Scheuer demands EU money for express trains through Europe

From the 1950s to 1980s there were “Trans-Europ-Express” trains (TEE). If the Minister of Transport has his way, the legendary rail connections between Europe’s metropolises should be relaunched.

Paris train station: Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer is planning express trains between Europe's major cities

Band Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer has spoken out in favor of European financial aid for the “Trans-Europa-Express” between metropolises that is being sought. The concept is about fast and continuous connections with high-speed and night trains. According to Scheuer, trains that are comfortably equipped and can be used across borders are necessary: ​​”For this we need an EU funding program,” said the CSU politician of the Funke media group. In addition, a digital platform is needed through which European rail connections can be booked.

In mid-June, Scheuer brought up new offers for direct rail connections between major European cities. During the German EU Council Presidency he wanted to make a proposal to organize a “Trans-Europa-Express” (TEE) across borders. It should be discussed how this could be attractive for passengers and economical for railways. Scheuer wants to officially present the TEE concept this Monday at a rail summit with the European transport ministers.

From Paris to Cologne in three hours

Many connections could be set up at short notice, others require an expansion of the infrastructure – for example as part of the Stuttgart 21 project. “A network for high-speed and night train offers can be in place by 2025,” said Scheuer of the Funke media group. “We want to convince as many railway companies as possible in the European Union of our TEE concept so that a declaration of intent can be signed by the end of the year.” There is particularly great interest in Scandinavia.

“People should get through Europe better by train,” said Scheuer. As an example, he cited a connection from Paris via Brussels, Cologne and Berlin to Warsaw: “A train that leaves Paris at 9:00 could be in Cologne at 12:15, Berlin at 16:45 and Warsaw at 22:15 . “In June, Scheuer mentioned the routes from Berlin via Frankfurt and Lyon to Barcelona and from Paris via Brussels, Hamburg and Copenhagen to Stockholm as further possible examples.

According to “Spiegel”, a new TEE network could be created in two steps. Short-term connections between Paris and Warsaw, from Amsterdam via Cologne and Basel to Rome and a route from Berlin to Barcelona would be possible. In a second step, Stockholm could be linked to Munich or Berlin to Rome. The Ministry of Transport considers major trans-European infrastructure projects to be necessary for further expansion – such as the fixed Fehmarnbelt link.

From the 1950s to the 1980s there were “Trans-Europ-Express” (TEE) trains in Europe, and Eurocity trains have been running on long-distance cross-border connections ever since.