New, modern ÖBB night trains are coming to Switzerland
The last few years have seen an explosion in the popularity of night train services in Switzerland, which has in turn led to the start of a new route between Zurich and Amsterdam and the revival of other routes across Europe. Now, Austrian Federal Railways (ÖBB), the operator of the vast majority of Swiss nighttime services, has announced that it will be running brand-new sleeper trains from December, with the services set to come to the alpine nation soon.
Night trains see boom of popularity in Switzerland
It’s safe to say that the last few years have seen a boom in what was previously thought to be an outmoded form of transportation: the night train. As travellers become more conscious of the changing climate, many in Switzerland are now choosing to spend the evening and early morning hours clickty-clacking their way slowly from Zurich or Basel to Frankfurt, Berlin, Vienna, Budapest, Zagreb and beyond.
However, according to 20 Minuten, the sudden rush in popularity has made it difficult for night train providers to meet the demand effectively, especially considering that much of the rolling stock comes from the 2010s - a time when most public transport providers thought night trains were not long for this earth so didn't bother to maintain them much. As a result, Swiss travellers have complained of broken berths and seats and unusable toilets.
First ever night train fleet is coming to Europe
Now, ÖBB and its subsidiaries EuroNight and NightJet - the companies which operate the vast majority of night rail services to and from Switzerland - have announced that they will be running the first-ever “fleet of night trains in Europe”. The fleet will consist of 33 brand new trains supplied by German international company Siemens, costing 720 million euros.
Along with brand new seated and couchette sections, all sleeping cars on the 254-place trains will have their own toilet and shower facilities, alongside new fixed beds and tables for working and relaxing on the go. Other quality-of-life upgrades like USB and inductive charging, free internet and modern passenger information systems are also included.
New night trains coming soon to Switzerland
The trains will first be used on the lines from Vienna and Innsbruck to Hamburg from December 10, before gradually being introduced to Switzerland and the rest of Europe between 2024 and 2028. Train enthusiast and blogger The Man in Seat 61 was lucky enough to get a sneak peek of what the train's new private sleeping berths will look like!
For more information about the trains, check out ÖBB’s official press release.
Thumb image credit: Tobias Arhelger / Shutterstock.com