Sleeper trains in Europe are poised to make a huge comeback after four national railway companies announced new routes that will link up 13 cities across the continent. The announcement marks the biggest extension of the European night train network in years – it was just four years ago that Deutsche Bahn, Germany’s state railway, sold off all its sleeper cars, declaring them unprofitable because of low passenger numbers
Climate change and the coronavirus pandemic are changing how travelers get from A to B. Some European train journeys are actually faster than flying. Now the state railways in Germany, Austria, France and Switzerland are forming a partnership. $605 million investment fund to revive nighttime services.
Five routes are expected to launch in the next four years. By December 2021, a new night service will operate between Vienna and Paris via Munich. Also between Zurich and Amsterdam. Trains between Zurich and Rome will be on the schedule from December 2022. December 2023 will see another service between Vienna and Paris that travels via Berlin and Brussels. Night trains will also start to run between Zurich and Barcelona from December 2024.
Separately, Sweden announced earlier this year that it’s planning to introduce a new international night train service to Germany and Belgium by 2022. The new route would connect Swedish cities to Hamburg and Brussels. So allowing for fast connections to central Europe and the UK.
A new low-cost night train between Prague and the Croatian coast started this past summer. It was such an instant hit that the service was increased to run every night. In its inaugural weeks, more than 30,000 tickets were sold. Some trains were entirely booked out. Probably thanks to tickets that were priced as low as €22 one way.