The Austrian railway company ÖBB has applied for a ‘train path’ to operate a night train between Brussels and Vienna, confirmed the Belgian railway network manager Infrabel on Monday.
“There are contacts between Infrabel and ÖBB, and their request for a train path is being analysed,” commented an Infrabel spokesman.
A train path is the infrastructure capacity required to run a train between two points. Within the EU, a train path needs to be purchased from a rail infrastructure company to be allowed to run a train on their tracks.
ÖBB boss Andreas Matthä spoke last weekend in an interview with the Wiener Zeitung about plans to establish a night connection between Brussels and Vienna from January 2020.
No further official communication will be made at this time.
The Austrian company announced on Monday that such a route was under consideration. “Details will be released during the press conference on our rolling program, scheduled for October 23,” added a spokesperson.
SNCB could also be involved in the project, which would simplify the procedure for operating in Belgium. “Discussions are ongoing, but we are only at a preliminary stage,” an SNCB spokesperson told de Tijd.
According to the economic daily newspaper, other sources within SNCB say they are well involved and in consultation with the ÖBB.