THE European Commission (EC) has published a list of 10 pilot projects to introduce new cross-border passenger rail services or improve existing ones.

The 10 cross-border pilot services selected by the EC, in order of planned starting date, are:

Hungary: new services connecting Hungary, Austria and western Romania

Scandinavia: new SJ Stockholm - Copenhagen - Berlin night train service and Hamburg - Gothenburg (possibly Oslo) day train in cooperation with Danish State Railways (DSB) and German Rail (DB); enhanced Snälltaget Stockholm - Copenhagen - Berlin night train service, new Czech Railways (CD) Prague - Berlin - Copenhagen service in cooperation with DB and DSB; and new Leipzig - Berlin - Copenhagen - Stockholm Flixtrain service

Midnight Trains: new Paris - Milan - Venice night train

Flixtrain: new Munich - Zurich day train

Westbahn: extension of Munich - Vienna day trains to Budapest

Netherlands Railways (NS): expansion of Amsterdam - London Eurostar service

European Sleeper: new Amsterdam - Barcelona night train

Italian State Railways (FS) and DB; new Rome - Munich and Milan - Munich services

ILSA: new Lisbon - A Coruña and Lisbon - Madrid services, and

Catalunya Railways: new services connecting Catalonia and the south of France.

The EC says the proposals were submitted by the rail sector and relevant authorities in response to its action plan to boost long-distance and cross-border passenger trains, 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,” the EC said on January 31.

"While demand for green mobility is growing, we need the rail market to respond much better and much faster, especially for long and cross-border journeys,” says Europe’s transport commissioner, Ms Adina Vălean. “This is why the EC now wants to help rail companies create new international train connections - by day and by night - by breaking down the many barriers to cross-border rail. I’m looking forward to working with the rail sector to make these 10 pilots a success and to inspire many more to join.”