Austria introduces new night trains in Europe
On Saturday, Austrian rail operator OeBB revealed its latest sleeper trains in response to demands for less polluting alternatives of travel. Meanwhile, night trains are gaining popularity again due to their low-carbon footprint. In fact, rail operators are investing in updating their services to allow passengers to travel in comfort and style.OeBB already has 20 rail routes throughout Europe and has been a major example of reviving train travel. Moreover, the company boasts Europe’s largest fleet of night trains and hopes to double its overnight passengers from the current 1.5 million to 3 million by 2030.
OeBB’s new sleeper trains offer ‘pure luxury’
Besides being climate-conscious, the rail operator’s new night trains feature a modern design, offering more facilities and more privacy. For example, each two-person compartment now has its own toilet and shower. Moreover, single-person compartments are available for solo travelers seeking more privacy. Readers can watch video footage of one of the new sleeper trains posted on X (formerly Twitter).
So modern & komfortabel war Reisen über Nacht noch nie. 😍 Wir präsentieren den #NightjetNewGen!
Ein paar "Schmankerl":
👉 bis zu 230 km/h
👉 Mini Cabins
👉 Barrierefreies Reisen inkl. Niederflureinstieg
💙 360°-Blick: https://t.co/4WtXps0GgL pic.twitter.com/ZkEVajBfE7
— ÖBB (@unsereOEBB) September 30, 2023
Rosemarie, a 69-year-old retiree, spoke to Euronews about the new sleeper trains on Saturday, saying:
I still remember the old sleeping coaches, which were so dark – the small window, the bunk beds and a curtain.
She went on to compare the old sleeper trains with the new, saying, “This is crazy – pure luxury.”
When will the new night trains be in service?The first of the 33 new sleeper trains, ordered from Siemens in 2018, could come into service as early as December. This night train will connect the Austrian cities of Vienna and Innsbruck to Hamburg in Germany.
Between now and 2028, OeBB will phase in new night trains on other routes in Austria, Italy, Germany, Switzerland and the Netherlands. However, the company’s CEO Andreas Matthae told AFP that the French will have to wait a while as this requires new approvals from the national railroad authority. “Unfortunately, we are not yet a unified Europe in the railroad sector,” he noted.
Austria’s sleeper trains run on renewable energyAccording to Austria’s Environment Minister Leonore Gewessler, each kilometer by train is a kilometer for climate protection. She added that it is also a contribution to a “better future.”
“Boarding in Vienna in the evening and waking up refreshed in another European metropolis the next morning. This will be even easier and more comfortable in the future,” Gewessler added. Reportedly, since 2018, the rail operator’s trains all run on “electricity generated by hydropower, solar and wind power.”
Meanwhile, Matthae added that OeBB will continue to play a “pioneering role” in developing the night train service in Europe.
Hopefully, the new OeBB night train between Vienna and Innsbruck to Hamburg, Germany will be running in time for the beauty of Christmas in Europe.