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Conquering Europe by night train

November 2021

Conquering Europe by night train
The Snälltåget at its premiere in Berlin.

After Deutsche Bahn withdrew from the supposedly unprofitable night train business back in 2016, other providers are sharing the market. Not only does the Austrian Federal Railway (ÖBB) offer connections to and from Germany; an increasing number of private railway companies are now also taking up the challenge.

From late June to early September, the so-called Snälltåget, which is part of the Transdev Group, has been operating daily between Stockholm via Lund, Malmö, the Danish Høje Taastrup near Copenhagen and Hamburg to Berlin and vice versa. The service will continue until early November, but will then no longer run daily. The Alpen-Sylt-Nachtexpress operated by RDC Autozug Sylt GmbH has been running up to four times a week since mid-July from Westerland/Sylt via Hamburg, Hanover, Frankfurt/M., Ludwigsburg near Stuttgart and Munich to Austria (Salzburg) or Lake Constance (Konstanz). This connection will also be offered until the beginning of November.
Other night train connections, for example from Zurich via Cologne to Amsterdam, or the route Vienna – Munich – Paris, are to start operation as early as in December. The cooperation of the Belgian start-up Moonlight Express and European Sleeper from the Netherlands intends to offer a night train on the Brussels – Amsterdam – Berlin – Prague route from April 2022, in cooperation with the Czech railway company Regiojet.
Under the name Midnight Trains, various night trains with the luxury of an overnight hotel stay are to run from Paris from 2024 onwards; co-founder Adrien Aumont states that potential destinations are Madrid, Lisbon, Porto, Milan, Venice, Florence, Rome, Vienna, Prague, Budapest, Berlin, Hamburg, Copenhagen and Edinburgh.
This market segment will certainly see more movement in the years to come, and not just because of European climate policy.