de RDC sleeping car

EUROPE: RDC Deutschland has opened bookings for the Alpen-Sylt Nachtexpress, a seasonal overnight train between the German North Sea island of Sylt and Salzburg in Austria which will launch on July 4.

‘We believe in the successful renaissance of night trains in Europe’, said Managing Director Dr Markus Hunkel, adding that the service ‘meets people’s desire for sustainable travel by rail, even over longer distances – an attractive alternative to air or car travel from the consumer’s perspective’.

Sylt lighthouse Pixabay

RDC Deutschland said it was proud to operate the service with its own air-conditioned rolling stock and crew. Trains of 10 or 11 coaches will run southbound on Thursdays and Saturdays and northbound on Fridays and Sundays, calling at Hamburg where the diesel locomotive will be swapped for an electric loco, and other intermediate stations including Frankfurt, Nurnberg and Munchen.

As part of social distancing measures the tickets priced from €399 are being sold for entire couchette compartments, which have space for up to six people travelling together. Face coverings will not be required, and compartments will be left empty after passengers alight at intermediate stations. These measures will be reviewed once the passenger response has been assessed.

Salzburg Pixabay

The same fares apply for all destinations, with the price including bedding and a towel. Snacks, drinks and breakfast will be available for purchase, and pets, bicycles and bulky luggage can be transported for a fee. The trains will include facilities for passengers with reduced mobility.

The Alpen-Sylt Nachtexpress will initially run between July 4 and September 7 2020, but RDC Deutschland told Railway Gazette International that it was considering a winter service in 2021 for passengers travelling between Scandinavia and the Alps.

‘Stretched out comfortably in your personal couchette car compartment, you can travel more than 1 000 km to the north or south overnight and arrive rested at your holiday destination – no one else in this country offers that’, said Hunkel. ‘And the low carbon footprint is impressive’.