The project involves the European Commission, rail operators, infrastructure managers and numerous other partners at EU and local level. Events at each stop will illustrate rail’s key role and the challenges it needs to overcome to attract more passengers and freight.
Five conferences have so far been confirmed ‒ in Lisbon, Bucharest, Brdo, Berlin and Bettembourg ‒ that will debate the ambitious targets and action plans for rail outlined in the EU’s Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy.
As a reminder of the lack of interoperability between parts of Europe’s rail network, the Connecting Europe Express will have to comprise of three trains in order to fit different track gauges.
The standard-gauge (1435mm) train will consist of six coaches, of which two will feature mobile exhibitions on the technologies that are central to the rail experience and on what the European Union is doing to support infrastructure projects.
The Iberian-gauge (1668mm) train will operate in Portugal and Spain. The final one, a broad-gauge (1520mm) train, will run in the Baltic states of Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia. Both the Iberian and broad-gauge trains will meet the standard-gauge train during their journey.