Connecting Europe Express


November 30, 2021

The Connecting Europe Express, or CEE for short, was a special train of the European Union (EU) as part of the European Year of Railways, which left Lisbon on September 2, 2021 and ended its journey through 26 countries on October 7, 2021 in Paris. During these five weeks, the train stopped at over 100 stations where events were taking place. While the EU countries Finland, Ireland, Malta and Cyprus were not served, he also drove to the non-EU countries North Macedonia, Switzerland and Serbia (Malta and Cyprus have no railways, Ireland and Finland have their own broad gauge and are not directly via Reachable by rail). The Connecting Europe Express was also seen as a warning against the still incomplete interoperability in the European rail network.


The Connecting Europe Express was intended to demonstrate the importance of the railways for connecting peoples, people and companies and the important role of EU infrastructure policy and the single European railway area. Discussions with politicians and experts on various European transport issues were possible on the train. Flag handovers and events were held in the cities where he stopped. During the longer stops, a car with an exhibition on new technologies and infrastructure projects in European rail transport could be viewed.

Vehicle material

The train, which ran on standard gauge (1435 millimeters), consisted of the following six cars: The set, which ran on Iberian broad gauge (1665/1672 millimeters) in Portugal and Spain, consisted of a six-part Talgo IV, provided by Renfe, while the third train, which ran on Russian broad gauge (1524 millimeters) in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, was one of the The three-part diesel railcar of the 730ML series from PESA was provided by Lietuvos Gelezinkeliai.

Stop in German-speaking countries

The train ran from September 9 to September 24 via Innsbruck, Wörgl, Salzburg, Linz, St. Pölten, Vienna and Graz through Austria, and from September 28 to September 29 via Schaffhausen, Zurich, Bern and Basel through the Switzerland and from September 26th to October 3rd via Schwandorf, Regensburg, Munich, Ulm, Stuttgart, Karlsruhe, Frankfurt am Main, Leipzig, Halle (Saale), Berlin, Hamburg, Bremen and Bad Bentheim through Germany. On the section from Karlsruhe to Leipzig, the train was controlled by the Frankfurt candidate of PARTEI Matthias Grün. The "Connecting Europe Express" covered a total of around 20,000 kilometers.


Connecting Europe Express travels through 26 countries. In: Eisenbahn-Revue International. No. 11, November 2021, ISSN 1421-2811, pp. 600-607. Markus Inderst: European Year of the Rail: Connecting Europe Express on a long tour. In: Eisenbahn Magazin. No. 11, 2021, ISSN 0342-1902, p. 30.


Official website: Connecting Europe Express 3D animation for Connecting Europe Express Connecting Europe Express stations (interactive map)

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