Wednesday, 05 May 2021
Ostend will be the new starting point for the Dutch railway initiative European Sleeper’s night train to Prague planned for spring of 2022, not Brussels.
New details have emerged about the plans for the night train, which aims to connect Brussels to Prague via Amsterdam, Berlin and Dresden in partnership with RegioJet.
RegioJet is a private rail and bus company from the Czech Republic that already operates night trains and regular trains in the Czech Republic and other Eastern European countries.
A new notification to the Belgian rail regulator confirmed that Warsaw will be part of the night train’s route.
It also mentioned potential stops in Bruges, Ghent-Saint-Peter, Brussels-Midi, Brussels-Central and Antwerp-Central for Belgium.
Then, according to the plans, it will travel via Roosendaal, just across the Dutch border, with various stops in Rotterdam, Amsterdam, Berlin and Dresden (among others) to Prague, or after Berlin to Warsaw.
“The intention is, if it is possible for the regulators and if we get a good timetable, to add a section to the train to Prague. This section will then continue from Berlin to Warsaw,” co-initiator Elmer van Buuren explained on Wednesday.
European Sleeper is still waiting for news from the regulators and rail network managers from the different countries.
While Brussels remains on the route, it is no longer the starting point.
“We also wanted to provide a connection to buses to London,” said van Buuren. “We were therefore looking for a location closer to the Channel Tunnel. Brussels is not an ideal transfer point for that.”
The night train aims to start with three runs per week. Last month, the train routes for Belgium were requested from Infrabel.
A separate initiative, known as Nightjet, from an Austrian railway company that entails running overnight trains between Belgium and Austria was recently postponed.
The Brussels Times