When it comes to cross-border rail transport towards south-eastern Europe, the (Berlin–) Dresden–Prague route is an important link for Germany and the Czech Republic as well as for their neighbouring countries to the south-east. The existing Dresden–Prague railway follows the path of the River Elbe. The environment and topography along parts of the river make expanding and accelerating this line impossible. Building a new line to cope with growing international traffic in future is therefore a common strategic goal of both countries. The line is also a key section of the Trans-European Networks (TEN) and is therefore of strategic importance for freight transport.