After a 20,000 km journey while traveling 36 days across EU countries and even those outside the EU, the Connecting Europe Express has reached its final destination, Paris.
The train was designed to mark the European Year of Railways 2021, in an effort to raise awareness of the benefits of rail, as revealed by the European Commission in its latest statement, TheSchengen.com reports.
The Connecting Europe Express train stops at a total of 120 stations across 26 countries and 33 borders while traveling at three different scales along the route.
“Connecting Europe Express has been a rolling laboratory, revealing in real time the many achievements of the Single European Rail Area and our TEN-T network to allow seamless travel across our union. I would like to express my sincere gratitude to everyone who has helped us transform Connecting Europe. Express from idea to reality”, as noted by Transport Commissioner Adina Vălean in this regard.
On the other hand, Andreas Mata, President of the European Rail and Infrastructure Group (CER) and CEO of Austrian Federal Railways, said that this train had reached its goal while emphasizing that it had not only reached its ultimate goal in Paris but also highlighted On the challenges of serving cross-border trains.
In addition, Mata said that if another goal, the Green Deal, succeeds, driving a train through European countries should become as easy as driving a truck.
To achieve this, railways will need more capacity and new investments in infrastructure. Moreover, the framework conditions must be adapted to create a level playing field for all modes of transport. I congratulate and thank everyone involved in this highly successful project.”
According to the statement published by the European Commission, the Connecting Europe Express train was a collective achievement in Europe. Moreover, the same source revealed that the train has brought all the regional and national authorities together.
Previously, TheSchengen.com reported that European policy makers are cooperating in order to reach carbon neutrality by 2050, as a response to climate crises, a goal they are trying to achieve by finding effective solutions and creating railways in order to connect European countries.
At the time, Carlo Borghini, president of Shift2Rail, urged passengers to use the rail because, he said, they had impressive green credentials responsible for roughly 0.5 percent of EU countries’ carbon emissions.