ÖBB prepares for Nightjet launch
AUSTRIA: National operator ÖBB has agreed arrangements with Deutsche Bahn to take over part of the German operator's network of overnight trains from the timetable change on December 11. DB had stated earlier this year that it would cease to run City Night Line services.
On October 7 ÖBB said it had invested €40m in acquiring 42 sleeping cars and 15 couchette cars from DB. These will be fitted with new berths and used to relaunch ÖBB's overnight network under the Nightjet brand. Bookings can be made immediately on the nightjet.com website, via the ÖBB app, at ÖBB stations, by telephone or through ÖBB's agents or marketing partners.
ÖBB also said that it planned to launch newly-built overnight stock on services to and from Italy from 2020, with refurbished couchette vehicles entering service on other routes from 2018.
Six routes will be added to the ÖBB Nightjet network from December, with two offering a car-carrying service:
- Hamburg - Berlin - Zürich;
- Hamburg - München - Innsbruck (daily car-carrier);
- Düsseldorf - München - Innsbruck (car carrier three times a week);
- München - Villach - Venezia;
- München - Salzburg - Villach - Firenze - Roma;
- München - Salzburg - Villach - Verona - Milano.
ÖBB's existing services run on nine routes, six of which offer a car-carrying facility:
- Hamburg - Wien (daily car-carrier);
- Düsseldorf - Wien (car-carrier four times a week);
- Zürich - Wien;
- Zürich - Graz (daily car-carrier Graz-Feldkirch);
- Wien - Bregenz;
- Wien - Venezia;
- Wien - Roma;
- Wien - Milano (summer season car-carrier Wien-Verona);
- Wien - Livorno (summer season car carrier).
ÖBB's existing overnight trains carry around 1 million passengers a year and the operator hopes that the expanded service will attract a further 1?8 million a year by 2020. 'Synergy effects' are expected to improve the EBIT from 2017.
DB will continue to provide marketing and support services for ÖBB's night trains, as will Swiss Federal Railways, which will act as a partner for overnight services linking Zürich with Budapest, Praha and Zagreb.
DB will continue to run overnight services using ICE trains or IC loco-hauled stock on routes from Hamburg to Köln and Frankfurt, from Hamburg to København, from Dortmund to Frankfurt and München, and from Basel and München to Hamburg at weekends. From December it will add overnight services with IC stock from Köln to Berlin and Binz, from Basel to Hamburg via Köln, from Berlin to München, and from Basel to Hamburg via Frankfurt at weekends. Dimmed lighting will be used and announcements kept to a minimum with most of the train designated a quiet zone.
DB also said that it would introduce early morning or late evening trains between Frankfurt and Amsterdam, between Leipzig and Praha and between Ulm and München.
- Newrest has been contracted to provide snacks, drinks and breakfast services on Nightjet trains.