Focus on the potential of rail travel

Launch of the Connecting Europe Express Focus on the potential of rail travel

The Connecting Europe Express will start its journey through Europe from Lisbon on 2 September. With stops in more than 70 cities in 26 countries, it will demonstrate the unifying power of rail in Europe. At each of the stops there will be a public discussion of how to make rail travel the number one choice for European passengers and businesses.

Connecting Europe Express

The Connecting Europe Express will be travelling across Europe on the initiative of the EU to promote the use of sustainable means of transport.

Photo: Connecting Europe Express

The Connecting Europe Express will cover a total distance of 20,000 kilometres. The final stop of the journey will be in Paris on 7 October.

The Express is one of the most symbolic initiatives of the European Year of Rail, which aims to encourage more Europeans to switch to rail travel as well as convincing businesses to transport more goods by rail. This is because rail travel currently accounts for just 0.4 percent of EU greenhouse gas emissions – while other means of transport generate 25 percent of emissions.              

The Connecting Europe Express is not just a true-to-life demonstration of the EU’s commitment to sustainable transport: the project also demonstrates just how natural it has become to travel through the EU crossing borders. 

Graphic – Connecting Europe Express

Route of the Connecting Europe Express 

Photo: Connecting Europe Express

Promoting rail transport for climate neutrality

The initiative forms part of the European Green Deal, which aims to make the EU economy sustainable and achieve climate neutrality by 2050. 

In addition, the EU has adopted a new framework for passenger rights this year. This includes a new right to self-managed re-routing in the event of disruptions, separate spaces for the carriage of bicycles and the requirement to offer domestic long-distance and regional services as a through ticket.

The following Connecting Europe Express stops are planned in Germany:

  • Munich on 26/27.09.
  • Ulm and Stuttgart on 27.09.
  • Frankfurt and Karlsruhe on 28.09.
  • Leipzig and Halle on 29.09.
  • Berlin on 29.9. and 30.9.
  • Hamburg on 30.09. and 03.10.
  • Bremen and Bad Bentheim on 3.10.

Deutsche Bahn has chosen the catchword “climate” as the main theme of its carriage. Visitors can board the train for a visit in all cities where the Express makes a stop. An event is also planned in Berlin involving the EU Commissioner for Transport, Adina Vălean, and the Federal Minister of Transport, Andreas Scheuer. The public programme of events will also include panel discussions on the future of long-distance rail transport. 

Citizens and organisations who wish to organise an event or activity along the route can share their ideas via See herefor the latest information on the train. You can follow the journey on the Twitter channel @Transport_EU, and via the channels of photographers and bloggers travelling on the train here.