• Criss-crossing 26 countries, it will trace many of the routes that bind us together, connecting countries, businesses and people. It will showcase the unifying force of rail.
  • Its role is to make us better understand the challenges that European rail has to overcome in order to become the mode of choice for passengers and businesses alike.
  • Railway companies from different EU Member States are providing rolling stock to configure this train.
  • Facts:





20 000

kilometres of journey


border crossings




overnight trips


railway partners

About the European Year of Rail

2021 is the European Year of Rail, shining a light on one of the most sustainable, innovative and safest transport modes we have!
A variety of activities will put rail in the spotlight throughout 2021 across the continent, to encourage the use of rail by both people and freight and to contribute to the EU Green Deal goal of becoming climate-neutral by 2050.
The Connecting Europe Express will be one of the European Year of Rail’s most emblematic initiatives.

It is diverse. The perks of rail are not only for holidaymakers and commuters. Businesses and freight carriers can shift to rail and benefit from low-cost, increasingly competitive offers to transport their goods all over Europe – all while reducing their carbon footprint.

It is green and sustainable. Rail is largely electrified and emits far less CO2 than equivalent travel by road or air. It accounts for only 0.4 % of greenhouse gas emissions from EU transport, while all EU transport accounts for 25% of the EU’s total emissions. Plus, it is the only transport means that between 1990-2017 has consistently reduced its emissions and energy consumption, while increasingly using renewable energy sources

It is affordable, comfortable and safe. Whether you are on holidays or travelling for business, you can rely on rail to get you safely to your destination. It is the safest land transport mode with the lowest incidence of fatal accidents. Make the train your mobile office or just enjoy the view – and leave stressful journeys behind.

The EU aims to build a modern integrated transport system that strengthens the EU’s global competitiveness and is able to meet the challenges linked to sustainable, smart and inclusive growth. The first step towards that goal is ensuring a well-functioning infrastructure that can transport people and goods efficiently, safely and sustainably.

Through the Trans-European Transport Network policy, the EU aims to build an effective EU-wide transport infrastructure network. The Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) is the EU funding instrument for strategic investment in transport, energy and digital infrastructure. In the transport sector, CEF is dedicated to the implementation of the TEN-T and aims at supporting investments in cross-border connections, missing links as well as promoting sustainability and digitalisation.