Back to the Future

The Trans-Europ-Express was once of great importance in the history of mobility in Europe. Now he should get back on the rails. Frankfurt plays a major role in this.

Pretty sleek: a TEE on an undated photo in Frankfurt Central Station

Dhe Trans-Europ-Express was once a promise. The new diesel multiple units crossed borders from 1957, and the sleek trains also made their way from Frankfurt to Amsterdam and Tyrol. In the 1980s, this type of train gradually died out, but the memory of the TEE has only faded, not gone. Now Federal Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer (CSU) wants to continue the story, and as in the past, Frankfurt will play an important role in this.

The Trans-Europ-Express 2.0, as the minister calls his latest project, should in turn connect the countries of Europe with one another. The TEE lines that Scheuer believes can be implemented at short notice include one from Amsterdam via Frankfurt to Rome and another from Berlin via Frankfurt to Barcelona. Of the three lines that cross Germany, two would run through Frankfurt, only the connection from Warsaw to Paris takes a different route, via Hanover and Cologne. Munich and Hamburg would be integrated into the TEE network in a second stage.

A European network of night trains

According to the Federal Ministry of Transport, it is only later that the trains stopping in Frankfurt can be expected to be accelerated; the long-distance railway tunnel under the city center of the Main metropolis is expressly mentioned in this context. Scheuer suggests that an operating company should be founded to operate the new TEE network, in which large corporations such as Deutsche Bahn or the French SNCF could participate.

At the beginning of the week, Scheuer also presented plans for a European network of night trains, from which the Frankfurters would also benefit. These trains will in turn go to Barcelona, ‚Äč‚ÄčAmsterdam and Italy, but to Genoa and Venice, not Rome. The realization is basically possible by 2025, it said.