Letter considering night train connections between Malmö and Cologne

To

Tomas Eneroth, Minister for Infrastructure, Sweden

Benny Engelbrecht, Minster for Transport, Denmark

Andreas Scheuer, Federal Minister Transport and Digital Infrastructure, Germany

Crister Fritzson, CEO of SJ

Flemming Jensen, CEO of DSB

Dr. Richard Lutz, CEO of DB

                                                                                                                                  17.01.2020

Dear Ministers,

Dear CEOs of the Swedish, Danish and German Rail Companies,

The Swedish Transport administration has announced in a statement that it is considering night train connections between Malmö and Cologne.

We as Members of the European Parliament very much welcome this move. It constitutes a further step in the development of a European network of international night train connections that is vital for reducing air travel, while ensuring the ongoing connectivity and mobility of our citizens. Offering this alternative empowers citizens to choose the more climate-friendly alternative when travelling within Europe and in extension has the potential to reduce carbon emissions significantly.

The Swedish government recognised this need and just commissioned a report outlining how state procurement of night trains from Sweden could work in practice. The train connection between Malmö is a foreseen pilot project as part of these plans. However, this hinges upon whether necessary agreements with the countries concerned are in place and whether there are operators who are interested and able to provide vehicles. In light of this, we call upon the Danish and German governments, as well as the national rail companies to proof to be cooperative and constructive partners in this process, working collectively to facilitate this project.

Beyond the emission reducing effect of train travel compared to air travel, train connections also offer great potential to better connect rural areas and hence have a very strong social component. We therefore urge the authorities and actors involved in the process to consider several stops between Malmö and Cologne, so that the citizens of Northern Germany and Southern Denmark can equally benefit from this connection, especially in those regions that hitherto were cut off from international air travel routes.

We offer our full support to facilitate such international cooperation and look forward to this project becoming reality.

Kind regards,

Rasmus Andresen (MEP, Greens/EFA, Germany)

Kira Peter-Hansen (MEP, Greens/EFA, Denmark)

Karen Melchior (MEP, RENEW, Denmark)

Niklas Herbst (MEP, EPP, Germany)

Delara Burkhardt (MEP, S&D, Germany)

Alice Kuhnke (MEP, Greens/EFA, Sweden)

Pär Holmgren (MEP, Greens/EFA, Sweden)

Nikolaj Villumsen (MEP, GUE/NGL, Denmark)

Margrete Auken (MEP, Greens/EFA, Denmark)

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