As a night train from Vienna arrived at Brussels-Midi station again on Wednesday after a six-month coronavirus pause, the Austrian and Belgian railway companies ÖBB and SNCB are expanding the Nightjet's offer.
From now on, the Nightjet between Vienna and Brussels will run three times a week, all year round.
Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday evening, the train will travel from Brussels via Liège to Austria, where it arrives in Vienna the next morning. In the other direction - from Vienna to Brussels - the train will leave every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday.
"The relaunch and simultaneous expansion of the Nightjet offer confirms the growing importance of environmentally friendly international train transport in Europe," Luc Boey, Head of International Alliances of SNCB, said in a press release.
The train will arrive in Brussels-Midi at 9:55 AM, which is one hour earlier than last year. With the doubling of the sleeping car offer, SNCB and ÖBB are expanding the capacity on the connection.
In the Nightjets, individual seats can be booked in the seating cars, four-compartment coaches or sleeping cars. Tickets start at €29.90 (seating car) per person and per direction.
To have as much privacy as possible, the compartments in the three comfort categories can also be booked as an individual private compartment, making it possible for families or friends to travel undisturbed in their own compartment.
Belgium's Federal Mobility Minister Georges Gilkinet is pleased that the Nightjet is running to and from Brussels again, as it means "another affordable, friendly and environmentally friendly travel option for many types of travellers" ranging from students to business people.
According to him, the night train is "an excellent alternative" to short-haul flights, and that is an important ambition of Belgium's federal government.
"I hope that in the years to come other international trains will also stop in Brussels to make Brussels a real hub for night trains," Gilkinet said. "We are working on that."
A night train between Vienna and Brussels saves up to 100,000 kg of CO2 compared to a plane on the same route, according to Michaela Huber, member of the Executive Board of ÖBB-Personenverkehr AG.