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.
The Brussels Times