Brussels to Barcelona rail connection could become reality in 2025

Brussels to Barcelona rail connection could become reality in 2025
From 2025, people will be able to take trains to and from Antwerp after 01:00 on Fridays and Saturdays. Credit: Belga/ Paul-Henri Verlooy

The highly anticipated night train from Amsterdam to Barcelona, stopping in Brussels and Antwerp, is expected to launch in two years, the company behind the initiative announced on Wednesday.

The project by European Sleeper, the Belgian-Dutch-German initiative behind the launch of the upcoming night trains to Berlin, was first announced in June last year. In light of previous delays for the launch of its first night train service, the company did not give a start date for this link in order to "avoid disappointment". However, it has now given train lovers a date to put in their calendars.

"We are aiming for spring 2025 to launch an overnight train between Amsterdam and Barcelona," the company told Belga News Agency.

After departing from Amsterdam, the overnight train is scheduled to stop in Rotterdam, Antwerp, Brussels and Lille in the evening. On the way it will make stops in the southern French cities of Avignon, Montpellier and Perpignan, before heading to the Spanish cities of Figueres, Girona, and finally arriving in Barcelona in the morning.

Expanding services

This connection is the European Sleeper's second-night train route: the first, between Brussels, Amsterdam and Berlin, will start running on 25 May this year. It will initially run three times a week but it is hoped the service will be expanded, allowing it to run on a daily basis from next year.

The intention is later to extend the rail service to Dresden and Prague. The first tickets for this route will go on sale on 20 February via the company's website. Ticket prices range from €49 for a seat and from €79 for a "couchette" and €109 for a sleeping car. Breakfast is included in couchette and sleeper coaches.

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The news follows an announcement from the European Commission that it selected the project, and nine other night train initiatives, to receive support and help to "overcome existing hurdles, such as capacity allocation and financing of rolling stock."

"While demand for green mobility is growing, we need the rail market to respond much better and much faster, especially for long and cross-border journeys," European Commissioner for Transport Adina Vălean said. In a statement, the Commission invited the companies behind selected projects to announce a launch date and next steps.

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