European Rail Companies Will Bring Back Night Trains To Fight Climate Change

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Carlie Porterfield   Forbes U.S. Staff

European Rail Companies Will Bring Back Night Trains To Fight Climate Change

Photo: Sangga Rima Roman Selia/ Unsplash

A handful of train operators in Europe said Tuesday they will restore nighttime routes, aiming to connect more than a dozen European cities by sleeper trains within a few years in an initiative that is being hailed as a win for sustainable travel.


- National rail companies in Germany, Austria, France and Switzerland announced they will team up to bring back a series of cross-continent train routes that were shuttered years ago after budget airlines made flying a cheaper and faster travel option, the Associated Press reported.

- According to Aviation24, in December next year, travelers will once again be able to take a Nightjet sleeper line from Vienna to Paris with a connection in Munich, along with a Zurich-Cologne-Amsterdam route.

- In late 2023, the partnership aims to connect both Vienna and Berlin with Brussels and Paris, and has plans to bring Barcelona into the mix by December 2024 with a sleeper route from Zurich.

- The participation of Germany’s Deutsche Bahn is particularly meaningful in the goal to offer more pan-European journeys, AP reported, as the country’s central location in the continent makes it a prime stopover point for connections during long train trips. 

- The European Union last month reached a provisional agreement to call 2021 the “European Year of Rail,” with aims to launch more programs to boost train travel to help combat climate change.

- According to Euractiv, transportation is Europe’s last remaining economic sector that has not managed to slash its greenhouse gas emissions.


“We all firmly believe that night trains will play a key role in tomorrow’s Europe,” French Minister of State Jean-Baptiste Djebbari said, according to Aviation24. “They are environmentally friendly and will increase our citizens’ interest in travelling by train.”


The joint project of Deutsche Bahn, Austrian Federal Railways, France's SNCF and the Swiss Federal Railways is styled by some as a successor to The Trans Europe Express, a luxury network of lines that began in the late 1950s and at its height connected 130 cities across the continent. It faded out of popularity in the ‘80s, according to The Brussel Times, before shuttering in 1995. 

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Carlie Porterfield   Forbes U.S. Staff

I am a Texas native covering breaking news out of New York City. Previously, I was a Forbes intern in London. I am an alum of City, University of London and Texas State University.