This week the European Commission announced it will support 10 pilot projects to establish new rail services or improve existing ones. Together, they will improve cross-border rail connections across the EU, making them faster, more frequent and more affordable.
After careful evaluation, the Commission has selected the following proposals for cross-border pilot services, in order of planned starting date:
- Hungarian Ministry of Transport, new services connecting Hungary, Austria and western Romania;
- Connection Germany – Denmark – Sweden, with participation of SJ (new night train service Stockholm – Copenhagen – Berlin and day train Hamburg – Gothenburg (and potentially Oslo, in co-operation with DSB and DB), Snälltaget (enhanced night train service Stockholm – Copenhagen – Berlin), České dráhy (new service Prague – Berlin –Copenhagen, in co-operation with DB and DSB) and Flixtrain (new service Leipzig – Berlin – Copenhagen– Stockholm);
- Midnight Trains, new night train service Paris – Milan – Venice;
- Flixtrain, new service Munich – Zurich;
- WESTbahn, new service Munich – Vienna – Budapest, extension of existing service;
- Nederlandse Spoorwegen, enhancement of the existing Amsterdam – London service, in cooperation with Eurostar;
- European Sleeper, new night train service Amsterdam – Barcelona;
- Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane /Deutsche Bahn, new services Rome – Munich and Milan – Munich;
- ILSA, new services Lisbon – A Coruña and Lisbon – Madrid;
- Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat de Catalunya, new services connecting Catalonia and the South of France.
The proposals were submitted by the rail sector and relevant authorities in response to the Commission’s Action Plan to boost long-distance and cross-border passenger railSearch for available translations of the preceding linkEN•••, adopted in December 2021. The Action Plan identified obstacles hindering the uptake and operation of cross-border passenger rail services, and measures to address them. One of these measures is the pilot services announced today, which will help railway operators and authorities to break down remaining barriers in practice, with the support of the Commission. The Commission will now invite those behind the 10 selected proposals to launch their projects.