Great Western Coffee Shop

Sideshoots - associated subjects => Railway History and related topics => Topic started by: grahame on April 22, 2021, 07:10:56 pm



Title: Nightstar
Post by: grahame on April 22, 2021, 07:10:56 pm
From Wales Online (https://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/amazing-plan-link-swansea-paris-20433705)

Quote
The amazing plan to link Swansea with Paris by train and the £139 million sleeper carriages built for the project

The Nightstar line was expected to carry as many as 800,000 passengers to European cities from Swansea and other UK destinations every year - but the carriages ended up carrying Canadians


Title: Re: Nightstar
Post by: Jamsdad on April 23, 2021, 01:52:57 pm
A great pity. They even built a secure compound at Laira which I believe was to hold the Plymouth- Paris set.


Title: Re: Nightstar
Post by: IndustryInsider on April 23, 2021, 03:57:50 pm
Yes, it was a victim of unfortunate timing really as the European sleeper network was in massive decline at the time as the budget short haul flight era started. 

The UK domestic sleeper service didn’t really alter very much with the Plymouth/Poole to Scotland service being the only casualty in that period IIRC.  Though of course the UK sleeper network was much more extensive up until the 70s when the motorway network started to bite into that traditional market.

Fast forward to today, and there are signs that the sleeper services within Europe are starting to regain momentum.  Whether we’ll ever see any overnight trains from London or elsewhere in the UK to Europe is far from certain, but is getting more likely as time passes.


Title: Re: Nightstar
Post by: TaplowGreen on April 23, 2021, 05:52:55 pm
Yes, it was a victim of unfortunate timing really as the European sleeper network was in massive decline at the time as the budget short haul flight era started. 

The UK domestic sleeper service didn’t really alter very much with the Plymouth/Poole to Scotland service being the only casualty in that period IIRC.  Though of course the UK sleeper network was much more extensive up until the 70s when the motorway network started to bite into that traditional market.

Fast forward to today, and there are signs that the sleeper services within Europe are starting to regain momentum.  Whether we’ll ever see any overnight trains from London or elsewhere in the UK to Europe is far from certain, but is getting more likely as time passes.

What do you think makes it more likely? Where's the evidence of demand for overnight train services to Europe? Which destinations do you have in mind?

Business travel is likely to contract even further, and whilst there may be a leisure market, it's likely to be highly seasonal, and the further the journey by rail, the more a much quicker (and likely cheaper) flight appeals?



Title: Re: Nightstar
Post by: IndustryInsider on April 23, 2021, 06:07:21 pm
We’ve discussed some developments on here: https://www.independent.co.uk/travel/news-and-advice/sweden-london-train-sleeper-malmo-amsterdam-cologne-munich-rail-a9288206.html?fbclid=IwAR3hXu2UX4z0wRqFiuCr1yTIfXJLlDM5sq0ExrgVxmxTlqRpXaEVzu0sMrI Though I remain sceptical that Sweden to London is likely, other places like Cologne or Zurich might be.  There’s a whole host of articles available to read if you Google ‘European Sleeper Train Renaissance’ or similar, but this is a good one for starters: https://theconversation.com/could-sleeper-trains-replace-international-air-travel-130334

Agreed that COVID adds a lot of uncertainty into the equation, for all modes of transport, but the momentum was definitely heading in the direction of more overnight trains, with several operators in advanced planning, and I hope it continues.

Channel Tunnel regulations continue to make anything to/from the Uk more difficult than it ideally should be, but a more extensive network in mainland Europe can only mean it becomes more likely over time - though far from certain.


Title: Re: Nightstar
Post by: TaplowGreen on April 23, 2021, 06:36:23 pm
We’ve discussed some developments on here: https://www.independent.co.uk/travel/news-and-advice/sweden-london-train-sleeper-malmo-amsterdam-cologne-munich-rail-a9288206.html?fbclid=IwAR3hXu2UX4z0wRqFiuCr1yTIfXJLlDM5sq0ExrgVxmxTlqRpXaEVzu0sMrI Though I remain sceptical that Sweden to London is likely, other places like Cologne or Zurich might be.  There’s a whole host of articles available to read if you Google ‘European Sleeper Train Renaissance’ or similar, but this is a good one for starters: https://theconversation.com/could-sleeper-trains-replace-international-air-travel-130334

Agreed that COVID adds a lot of uncertainty into the equation, for all modes of transport, but the momentum was definitely heading in the direction of more overnight trains, with several operators in advanced planning, and I hope it continues.

Channel Tunnel regulations continue to make anything to/from the Uk more difficult than it ideally should be, but a more extensive network in mainland Europe can only mean it becomes more likely over time - though far from certain.

Interesting article but written before Coronavirus. The World has changed.

Ironically the environmental argument against unnecessary travel may already have been won by the realisation that much more business can be done remotely than could ever have been envisaged a year ago.

Obviously leisure opportunities though, for its own sake and for those who aren't in a hurry.


Title: Re: Nightstar
Post by: IndustryInsider on April 24, 2021, 04:33:43 pm
It’ll be interesting to see how this new overnight service from Paris to Vienna, due to launch in December, gets on:

https://www.sncf.com/en/passenger-offer/travel-by-train/night-trains-Europe


Title: Re: Nightstar
Post by: Electric train on April 26, 2021, 06:51:06 pm
A number of factors worked against the Night star services, flying was quicker and cheaper Night Star was quite as slow service class 37 locos being the prime movers in the UK.  The UK not signing up to the Schengen area meant board controls, which might have disturbing passengers sleep.

Also don't for get there was also the Regional Eurostar services that did not get off the stop blocks.

The level of fright through Dollands Moor never meet the aspirations of the yard

The investment in all of these was substantial



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