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New night train connections coming to Europe in 2021

Credit: Belga

The railway companies from Germany, France, Austria and Switzerland are planning to launch new cross-border night train connections in Europe from 2021.

They will sign a letter of intent on Tuesday, according to an invitation to a press conference on Friday from Deutsche Bahn and the German Ministry for Transport, the Belga press agency reports.

The planned cooperation is an important step towards the announced Trans Europ Express (TEE) 2.0, according to the Ministry.

In September, German Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer already presented a concept of the TEE 2.0. The aim is to connect cities across all of Europe with each other via a combination of high-speed trains and night trains, without the need for excessive investment in infrastructure.

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Belgium was also part of this concept, with train connections such as Brussels-Barcelona, Brussels-Berlin and Brussels-Warsaw.

Currently, Belgium has one night train connection, Brussels-Vienna, operated by the Austrian railway company ÖBB. Due to the coronavirus restrictions, however, the connection has been suspended for the time being, with no set restart date yet.

The first Trans-Europ Express was launched on 2 June 1957. One of its aims was to compete with the emerging air traffic, but in practice, the trains were mainly used by businessmen.

The prices were quite high, the trains had only first-class seats, and in 1987, the TEE was cancelled.

The Brussels Times