Inside Europe’s new NightJet overnight trains – ‘a new era in overnight travel’
The latest generation of Nightjet sleeper trains in Europe have been unveiled.
Designed by Siemens Mobility in Vienna and sponsored by the Austrian Federal Railways (ÖBB), the new seven-car Nightjets consist of two seat cars, two sleeping cars with compartments for two people and three couchette cars composed of compartments for four people.
There are also mini cabins for solo travelers in the couchette cars, featuring storage space, an adjustable folding table with built-in mirror, reading light and luggage locker.
The trains will run at a maximum speed of 230 km/h and will be able to carry up to 254 passengers, promoting a more climate-friendly approach to travel in Europe.
Those in sleeping car compartments will have their own toilets and showers, as well as a seating area and fixed beds.
For passengers in mini cabins, there will be storage space and a movable folding breakfast table, as well as a built-in mirror, coat hooks, reading light and luggage lockers.
Each Nightjet train also has an accessible sleeper compartment and bathroom.
“Night trains are becoming increasingly common in Europe as a climate-friendly alternative to short-haul flights,” Austrian Climate Protection Minister Leonore Gewessler said.
“A trip with the Nightjet is around 50 times more climate-friendly than a trip by plane.”
“This train marks the start of a new era in overnight travel,” added OBB CEO Andreas Matthä.
Austrian Nightjet services launched in 2016, connecting hubs in Italy, Germany, Belgium and beyond.
A new route from Paris to Salzburg and Vienna started last December.
Tickets start from €29.99 on special for shorter journeys in basic fare categories, while compartments cost from €139.90 for one person, €179.80 for two and €209.70 € for three shares.
The trains provide wireless phone charging stations on board and all compartments have mood lighting “at the touch of a button on the compartment control panel”, according to Mark Smith, founder of the website. train travel company The Man in Seat 61 (seat61.com), who attended the launch event.
The first trains should be in service by the end of summer 2023 and will run on the routes from Vienna and Munich to Rome, Venice and Milan.
By 2025, all 33 Nightjet trains will be in service across Austria, Germany, Italy, Switzerland and the Netherlands.
They will replace the majority of existing trains.
Night trains and sleeper trains are already popular in Europe – France has its Intercités de Nuit night trains, for example; Italy has a network of overnight services such as Rome to Sicily, and a new electric sleeper train service from Hamburg to Stockholm was launched on September 1, allowing passengers to travel to Sweden from the Kingdom United in less than a day.
French start-up Midnight Trains hopes to debut in 2024. “It’s time to retire short-haul flying,” he says.