On Sunday 9 May 2021, on the occasion of Europe Day, the European Commission announced the route and timetable of the Connecting Europe Express, as part of the European Year of Rail 2021.
Beginning its journey on 2 September 2021 in Lisbon (Portugal) and stopping in more than 70 cities in 26 countries, the train will link the Portuguese, Slovenian and French Presidencies of the Council of the European Union (EU). The Connecting Europe Express will stop in Bettembourg on 5 October before continuing from Luxembourg to Strasbourg and arriving in Paris on 7 October 2021.
Adina Vălean, European Commissioner for Transport, explained: "Crisscrossing the continent, from Lisbon to Bucharest and from Berlin to Paris, the Connecting Europe Express will follow routes that bind us together – whether countries, businesses or people. While a symbol for connectivity, this train also serves as a reminder that we still have a long way to go and much work to do before rail becomes the transport option of choice for Europeans. Welcome the Connecting Europe Express as it stops at a station near you and join the events taking place around the continent".
The project is a unique endeavour, involving the European Commission and the Community of European Railway and Infrastructure Companies (CER), European rail operators, infrastructure managers and various other partners at EU and local level.
At each of the stops, events and other activities, adapted to local COVID-19 measures, will shine a light on the key role that rail plays for our society, but also on the challenges that rail must still overcome to attract more passengers and freight.
Further details about the European Year of Rail are available at europa.eu/year-of-rail.