More growth in EU cross-border night trains But many high barriers to entry must still be removed
In ten days’ time from now, on June 27th 2021, a new night train service of the long distance operator Snälltåget1 will depart from Stockholm to Berlin. It will be the first night train that runs in regular traffic between Sweden, Denmark and Germany since the 1990s. Yesterday, the start-up Midnight Trains announced plans to offer night trains between France & other countries. Clearly, private investors believe in night trains – and this will lead to modal shift. But more night time routes could be commercially viable – if only the high barriers to entry were removed.
Two More New Cross-Border Night Trains that will “Connect Europe” and lead to higher demand for rail
Yesterday it was announced that there will be two more new EU cross-border Open Access night trains 1. One of them will even link four capital cities during the same night: Brussels, Amsterdam, Berlin & Prague. They will both provide night train services that do not yet exist.
European cross-border night trains: four questions to the four governments
ALLRAIL believes that night trains can make a great comeback, as a sustainable alternative to late night & early morning flights. Several initiatives have shown how new entrant operators have contributed to this in a major way. Today, four European governments – Switzerland, France, Austria & Germany – announced that they want to promote a cross-border night train network. This is good, but it is important that new entrant operators can be fully involved.
SWEDEN / DENMARK: direct awards for night trains are just a painkiller, not the remedy
The only night train operator between Sweden and Germany over the past eight years has been Snälltåget, a privately owned venture, doing it on a commercial basis without subsidy. Next year it will serve Denmark as well.
Now, state rail incumbents are lobbying for directly awarded taxpayer subsidy for night trains between the same countries - only for themselves.