The “Main Line for Europe” Initiative

The Main Line for Europe project was founded in 1990 to support the rapid expansion of the Paris-Budapest railway axis. Its name is meant to underscore how important this railway connection is to transportation on the continent.

As of today, 28 cities, regions, and chambers of commerce and industry have joined the Main Line for Europe Initiative for specific reasons related to their respective locations. What has united these various entities, however, is the conviction that efficient connections to Europe’s highest-level rail network for personal and freight transport represent a first-rate location factor. The attractiveness of these rail connections increases economic competitiveness and improves the quality of life all along the Main Line’s axis – thanks in no small measure to the attendant ecological benefits.

In Europe, however, building and maintaining high-level infrastructure for intercity rail connections is mainly the responsibility of each individual nation. The European Union, on the other hand, defines and financially supports the expansion of the Trans-European Networks, while railway companies operate the train services.

This means that while cities, regions, and chambers of commerce may indeed be able to help shape the conception and realization of local and regional railway connections, they have little direct influence when it comes to long-distance rail transport. As a transnational pro-rail alliance, Main Line for Europe thus assembles its own technically feasible development proposals and brings the legitimate interests of its members to the attention of the continent’s decision-makers.

The mayor of Karlsruhe, Dr. Frank Mentrup, serves as the chairman of the initiative. The Main Line for Europe field office is also part of Karlsruhe’s city administration.

The Main Line for Europe Initiative works in close cooperation with Association TGV Est-Européen of France.

Main Line for Europe Initiative
c/o City of Karlsruhe, External Relations
76124 Karlsruhe

Managing Director: Annika Hummel
Phone +49 (0) 721 133 1873
Fax +49 (0) 721 133 1879

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