In addition to night train lines departing from Paris to European capitals, French transport minister Jean-Baptiste Djebbari stated that there are plans to set up a connection from the east of France to Spain. This line would connect Strasbourg and Luxembourg to Barcelona, via Metz, Nancy, Montpellier and popular holiday destination, Perpignan.
This announcement, at the end of the European Year of Rail 2021, came almost exactly 12 months after the announcement of four German rail companies Bahn, SNCF, CFF/SBB and ÖBB to create six new night train connections In Luxembourg by 2024.
However, for the moment this is merely “a declaration of political will” said mobility minister François Bausch (déi Gréng). There is however strong interest from Luxembourg and CFL to be involved in such a project with the CFL believing the project to be feasible and of interest to Luxembourg customers.
The mobility ministry said it remains in contact with neighbouring governments and European authorities to provide the necessary impetus.
Bausch also cited a night connection between Metz and Geneva as a possible project for the future. While a night line between Brussels-Luxembourg-Switzerland-Italy is also feasible. However, there are currently no concrete projects put in place.
Reemergence of rail
With 2021 marking the European year of the rail, the importance of train lines in the European Union have come into focus. While the EU's mobility and environment policies rely heavily on an increased use of trains.
Bausch confirmed in an answer to a parliamentary question that the mobility ministry was working towards standardising the European network, by working with the European Commission and the other member states.
The government also supports rail-related digitisation projects, in particular the development of the 5G network alongside railways. This technology will allow, among other things, the implementation of semi-automated trains.