In Europe, Trains Are Full, and More Are on the Way

Paris to Venice. Barcelona to Amsterdam. Brussels to Bratislava, Slovakia. European cities could see a flurry of new rail connections in the next few years, as governments and private investors respond to climate concerns and strive to keep up with strong demand for cross-border passenger rail traffic.

Patience is required: Some new connections will take a year or more to start operating, and there will be the occasional inconveniences — like the six-month suspension of nonstop service from Amsterdam to London beginning in June, as Amsterdam’s Central Station undergoes renovations.

The route that passes under the English Channel could also have some slow-building changes in the works. Eurostar has had a monopoly on passenger rail traffic under the Channel for nearly 30 years. But the Channel Tunnel is open access, and competitors are lining up to offer additional services between Britain and the continent.

It’s all part of Europe’s ongoing rail renaissance, which is being driven in large part by strong interest from passengers.

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