European Sleeper route map of planned night train service

EUROPE: Plans to launch a Praha – Dresden – Berlin – Amsterdam – Brussels night train services have been unveiled by established Czech independent operator RegioJet and newly-formed Dutch overnight train co-operative European Sleeper.

Applications for paths are to be submitted shortly, with the aim of launching in April 2022, the two companies announced on April 6. Trains would run three times a week for the first few months, and then increase to daily.

RegioJet night train sleeping passenger (2)

The services are expected to leave the Czech capital in the early evening, with a morning arrival in Brussels being ‘ideal for meetings with EU institutions.’ The return trip would similarly leave Brussels in the early evening, offering a ‘convenient’ arrival time in Praha.

RegioJet and European Sleeper plan to co-operate with other railway companies to operate the train and sell tickets. The overnight services will provide seating accommodation as well as sleeping compartments, with free internet access and free coffee and a policy of ‘the best prices for the best services’.

The companies described Amsterdam, Brussels, Praha, Berlin and Dresden as ‘ideal’ destinations for night trains, attracting both business and leisure passengers. The service would make rail a more attractive option for travel between key European capitals, with Brussels also offering onward connections to Paris and London.

RegioJet Bombardier Transportation Traxx locomotive

RegioJet said it was aiming for strong expansion in the overnight market. The company already operates night trains from Praha to Košice in Slovakia and a summer service to Rijeka/Split in Croatia; this year it is to launch a service from Praha to Przemyśl in Poland and Lviv in Ukraine.

European Sleeper was founded in February by Elmer van Buuren, Chair of of the Train2EU group of Dutch rail and travel professionals, and Chris Engelsman who runs the Noord West Express website to promote rail travel. The co-operative aims to bring together user groups, activists, politicians and small and medium sized enterprises, with shares to be made available to small investors from May.

RegioJet night train sleeping passenger (1)

European Sleeper’s ambition is to establish a network of overnight trains from the Netherlands and Belgium. It will work with RegioJet to develop further night train connections in Central Europe, and hopes to launch a second services in December 2022.

‘We stand for quality through involvement’, said European Sleeper. ‘Due to our passion for the sleeper train, we know the needs of our customers and how to build up a strong product very well.’