European Sleeper Brussels to Praha map

EUROPE: Night train start-up European Sleeper now expects to launch its first service on the Brussels – Amsterdam – Berlin – Praha route in 2023.

The Dutch company announced a year ago that infrastructure managers Infrabel, ProRail, DB Netz and Správa Železnic had allocated capacity for the service in the 2022 timetable, and details were being finalised in co-operation with its operating partner, established Czech open access company RegioJet.

However, in an update issued on October 25, European Sleeper said the availability of rolling stock was proving ‘the most challenging part’ of the launch process.

It is negotiating with several subcontractors for the acquisition of refurbished second-hand coaches as well as completely new vehicles, seeking coaches offering passenger comfort and which can operate flexibly in most European countries.

Three comfort levels are planned:

  • ’luxury’ sleepers, including en suite bathrooms and toilets;
  • ‘comfortable’ couchettes, with a family-friendly setup;
  • ’modern’ cabins, providing privacy for solo travellers or couples.

All would include mattresses, more space than a comparable overnight service, wi-fi, charging points, lockers and reading lights. There would be wheelchair-accessible compartments, as well as bicycle spaces and a variety of catering facilities.

Meanwhile, European Sleeper’s latest sharefunding round on the Eyevestor platform attracted almost 1 400 new investors, taking the total to more than 1 700.