With the abolition of border installations and controls in the Schengen area of the European Union, the importance of everyday mobility between border regions has grown steadily in recent decades. In addition to the cross-border railway lines in operation, there are a large number of disused railway lines or lines not used for passenger transport that could be reactivated.

The nexus Institute was commissioned by the German Centre for Rail Transport Research (DZSF) at the Federal Railway Authority (EBA) to identify and investigate the reactivation and development potentials in cross-border regional rail passenger transport.

The aim of the project “Reactivation of railway lines in border regions” is to set the course for a shift of cross-border commuter and leisure traffic from road to rail and thus to contribute to climate protection as well as to a better networking of European border regions.

For this purpose, the project team analyses the existing transport offers and the potentials of the existing or reactivatable rail transport infrastructures. In addition, everyday cross-border movements and various secondary data sources (e.g. labour market statistics, from public transport authorities in regional passenger transport and euroregional studies) are evaluated for the study.

Finally, three model regions are identified on the basis of the secondary data analysis. For the model regions, the data analysis will be further deepened and examined in depth by interviewing commuters and key stakeholder groups (including political actors from the EU to the national, regional and municipal levels, public transport authorities, transport companies and passenger associations).

The effects and interactions resulting from reactivation projects with regard to settlement and population development, environmental pollution and other economic and social consequences are also included. Finally, the project will compile all analysis results and data into a catalogue of recommendations and measures, which will be tested and condensed in an interactive event format with experts from the field.

Further information on the project can be found at the German Centre for Rail Transport Research – DZSF.

Duration: 01/2023 – 12/2023
Client: Deutsches Zentrum für Schienenverkehrsforschung (DZSF)
Team: Ansgar Düben (Project management), Moritz Filter (scientific project management), Nele Buchholz
Project partners: Prof. Dr. Birgit Milius, Dominik Knebel (Fachgebiet Bahnbetrieb und Infrastruktur – BBI der TU Berlin)

Picture: Moritz Filter