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Train sets off on 20,000km trip across Europe to promote rail travel

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The Connecting Europe Express is part of the European Year of Rail.
The Connecting Europe Express is part of the European Year of Rail.   -   Copyright  Unsplash
By euronews

The 'Connecting Europe Express' pulled out of Lisbon station today on a five week journey that will stop in more than 100 towns and cities.

This special train is aimed at highlighting the challenges preventing rail from being a more popular travel choice for Europeans.

It will take in 26 countries and clock up a distance of 20,000 kilometres, finishing in Paris on October 7.

Credit: European Commission
The route map for the Connecting Europe ExpressCredit: European Commission

The Connecting Europe Express initiative is the European Commission's flagship project for promoting the benefits of rail travel and raising awareness of the challenges that still need to be overcome.

"Rail has shaped our rich, common history. But, rail is also Europe's future, our route to mitigating climate change and powering economic recovery from the pandemic, as we build a carbon-neutral transport sector, " says European Commissioner for Transport Adina Vălean.

"Over the coming weeks, the Connecting Europe Express will become a rolling conference, laboratory and forum for public debate on how to make rail the transport mode of choice for passengers and businesses alike."

For more, Euronews spoke to Carlo Borghini, the executive director of Shift 2 Rail, an EU-funded project about how to make rail travel cheaper and more cost-effective.

Watch the interview in the video above.