Man living in Germany on mission to cross every European border by train

Man living in Germany on mission to cross every European border by train

Is it possible to visit everywhere in Europe using only trains? A British blogger and consultant, who currently lives in Germany, has devised a plan to visit every European border by train.

The great European train ride

A British political blogger and consultant living in Germany has devised a master plan to cross every single European border, all on the train. John Worth, from the UK, wants to visit all European countries by train, and cross every border along the way.

The plan isn’t to cross every border as quickly as possible, but rather to tackle international train crossings. "My goal with this project is to show that as soon as you cross a border, everything changes. Trains are often well organised within a country, but international train traffic lags behind,” Worth explained.

During the first three days of his mission, which began on Monday, Worth had already taken 19 trains across Europe. The journey has been extensively planned out by Worth, with the help of a trusty map. "It took me weeks to make the plan. And I also had a lot of help from people via Twitter who pointed me to special places," he said.

Not a fan of German rail

On his journey, Worth was less than impressed with German trains. "It was the worst train ride yet," he told German reporters after his train to Hamburg. "At the moment there is a lot of work on the German railways, so the trains are very full and they have many delays."

So far, Worth has found that travelling by train to large international cities is relatively easy, but found visiting smaller places along European borders harder to reach. "In the Netherlands, I wanted to go to the border crossings where there is a track, but where the trains no longer run," he said. This led to him cycling from Hamont in Belgium to Weert in the Netherlands. He also had to cycle from Nijmegen to Kleve in Germany.

"I wanted to see with my own eyes what these towns are and why there is no longer a train,” Worth told reporters. “Is there no demand for it? Or are there political reasons? In Groesbeek I saw that the former railway runs straight through the centre of the village, then I can imagine that the residents are not waiting for a train to come there all of a sudden."

Better trains in Europe

Europeans have been calling for better connections on public transport for some time now. Train connections across the continent are improving, with more trans-European connections being established every year. In December, the EU presented plans to expand rail networks across state borders. This should lead to the number of high-speed rail services tripling by 2050.

Worth has called for better rail services across Europe, and cooperation between European countries. “The EU needs to start looking at the bigger picture," Worth says. "There are excellent tracks in some places, but trains no longer run. Either the trains are of poor quality, or they only run once a day, so your connection is not good,” he said. He also called for a proper platform for buying international train tickets.

William Nehra


William Nehra

William studied a masters in Classics at the University of Amsterdam. He is a big fan of Ancient History and football, particularly his beloved Watford FC.

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