Crowd funding for #CrossBorderRail 2023 – all of Germany’s borders – is now open. I need to raise a minimum of €2627 to make the project happen, and ideally would like to raise €5171. You can donate to the project on Betterplace here!


In May 2023 there will be an innovation in German public transport: the introduction of the Deutschlandticket (also known as the 49 Euro Ticket) – a flat rate ticket that will work on all regional transport (buses, trams, metros, S-Bahn and regional trains) across the whole of the country. Unlike the predecessor 9 Euro Ticket that was piloted in 2022, this ticket is supposed to be permanent.

So why not test it, and travel to all of Germany’s borders, in a two week period in May? I plan to do this 2-15 May 2023. And while I am at it, assess where the Deutschlandticket can get you to stations on the other side of a border, and where it cannot.

And then – as in 2022 – I am going to travel to a selection of different cross border railway lines, aiming to cross at least one border each day, with the focus on lines I did not investigate in 2022 (you can find my 2022 project route map here, and a complete map of all European rail borders here – grey pins are places I have not been yet). And where trains do not run I will take to my folding bike and go and investigate the infrastructure that way. I will of course be taking the drone along as well to document what I find. Every day will start with a video of me explaining what I am going to explore, a Mastodon live thread throughout the day, and a video summary at the end of the day.

In total 30 current, former, and future cross border lines will be examined:
(by train) Aachen (DE) – Welkenraedt (BE)
(by train) Cheb (CZ) – Schirnding (AT)
(by train) Furth im Wald (DE) – Domazlice (CZ)
(by train) Gouvy (BE) – Troisvierges (LU)
(by train) Gronau (DE) – Enschede (NL)
(by train) Lauterbourg (FR) – Berg (Pfalz) (DE)
(by train) Saarbrücken (DE) – Sarreguemines (FR)
(by train) Sebnitz (DE) – Dolní Poustevna (CZ)
(by train) Simbach (Inn) (DE) – Braunau am Inn (AT)
(by train) Wasserbillig (LU) – Konz (DE)
(by train) Wernstein (AT) – Passau (DE)
(by bike) Aachen (DE) – Montzen (BE)
(by bike) Aachen-Vetschau (DE) – Bocholtz (NL)
(by bike) Alstätte (DE) – Broekheurne (NL)
(by bike) Avantis (DE) – Spekholzerheide (NL) – Planned line
(by bike) Barlo (DE) – Winterswijk (NL)
(by bike) Bocholt (DE) – Aalten (NL) – Former 750mm gauge tramway
(by bike) Borken-Burlo (DE) – Winterswijk (NL)
(by bike) Cheb (CZ) – Schloppach (DE)
(by bike) Coevorden (NL) – Emlichheim (DE)
(by bike) Ebersbach (DE) – Jiríkov-Filipov (CZ)
(by bike) Forst (Lausitz) (DE) – Zary (PL)
(by bike) Görlitz (DE) – Zgorzelec (PL)
(by bike) Gronau (DE) – Glane (NL)
(by bike) Konstanz (DE) – Kreuzlingen (CH)
(by bike) Leer (DE) – Bad Nieuweschans (NL)
(by bike) Niedaltdorf (DE) – Bouzonville (FR)
(by bike) Puttgarden (DE) – Rødby (DK)
(by bike) Wegliniec (PL) – Horka (DE)
(by bike) Wissembourg (FR) – Schweighofen (DE)

The project will encompass:
3973 km on 59 trains
158.3 km on 2 buses
24km on 2 ferries
354.2 km across 15 bike legs

I am going to more systematically organise events as I go this time – with evening discussions in Kiel, Hamburg, Oldenburg, Münster (Westfalen), Aachen, Saarbrücken, Karlsruhe, Mühldorf, Nürnberg, Görlitz and Berlin in planning. There will be a social event in or near Enschede. You can signup for events here. I am very happy is people would like to join me for any part of the trip – on trains, or for the bicycle legs – please use this form if you want to do that. You can find all the planned bike routes on my Komoot profile here.

Want a taster of what I am likely to find? Here’s the video summary of 2022:

The full timetable for the Germany’s borders tour 2023 can be found here, and the detailed, zoomable map of the route can be found here.

.geojson and .gpx files for all parts of the route are now available here (in case anyone wants to replicate any of this!)

As in 2022 the project will be crowd funded, and that funding will start in March – once the route and dates are completely finalised.

And also, don’t worry… this is not all there is going to be with #CrossBorderRail for 2023. There will be other projects later in the year as well!