The ‘Main Line for Europe’ Initiative

The ‘Main Line for Europe’ initiative, founded in 1990, is committed to the rapid expansion of the Paris-Budapest/Bratislava rail axis. The “Magistrale for Europe” initiative now includes 24 cities, regions, federal states and chambers of industry and commerce that are committed to their ‘Main Line for Europe’ for reasons of location policy. The players in the initiative are united in their conviction that an efficient connection to the high-level rail network is a key location factor for passenger and freight traffic. Attractive rail links such as the Magistrale strengthen competitiveness, increase the quality of life and make an important contribution to climate protection. The name ‘Main Line for Europe’, an analogy from the field of urban development, underscores the great importance of the European rail link Paris-Budapest/Bratislava as a major transport axis.
In Europe, however, the construction and maintenance of high-level rail infrastructures for long-distance traffic is mainly the responsibility of the national states. The European Union in turn defines and promotes the development of the Trans-European Networks financially and the railroad companies operate the train services. Against this background, cities, regions, countries and chambers of commerce – in contrast to local and regional rail transport, for example – have little direct scope for designing and implementing long-distance rail transport.

The ‘Main Line for Europe’ initiative therefore sees itself as a source of impetus and active lobbyist vis-à-vis the players involved at regional, national and European level. As an artery in East-West traffic, the “Magistrale for Europe” links important economic areas and at the same time contributes to environmentally friendly mobility. The high speed road enables 35 million inhabitants and 16 million employees to move quickly across borders.

Through their work and commitment, the members of this transnational alliance promote the growing together and strengthening of Europe. Chairman of the initiative is the Lord Mayor of Karlsruhe, Dr. Frank Mentrup. The office of the initiative is also located at the city of Karlsruhe.


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

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