A Dutch startup is launching a new night train service next year that will connect several major European cities.
From April 2022, European Sleeper aims to link Brussels and Prague, taking in Amsterdam, Berlin, and other destinations along the way.
The project aims to capitalise on surging demand for climate-friendly travel, as the EU tries to encourage more passengers away from short-haul flights.
“There used to be a lot more night trains than nowadays and I want to bring them back,” European Sleeper co-founder Elmer Van Buuren told Euronews.
“People can sleep and get rested while being transported, and then wake up in a new city on time for a professional meeting. It’s kind of magical.”
Van Buuren thinks that creating a few night train lines is an easier and cheaper investment than “building high-speed lines everywhere”, due to the difficulties of coordinating between countries and get attractive timetables.
However, he rejects the idea that a revamp of night trains could herald a new golden era for railways.
“If you look at the total of travelling throughout Europe, the train will never be the major way of travelling”.
But, he argues, “more and more people are discovering” the comfort of avoiding “all kinds of queues” at the airport”, and he thinks trains are there to offer a good alternative.
Watch the full interview with Van Buuren in the video player, above.