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Author Topic: SBB and ÖBB to expand Nightjet services  (Read 572 times)
grahame
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« on: August 21, 2019, 06:17:37 am »

The sleeper train is dead - long live the sleeper trains??

From the International Railway Journal

Quote
SBB says demand for international rail services has grown significantly during the first half of this year, aided by increasing awareness of sustainability and measures to protect the climate.

As ÖBB’s Nightjet service linking Zürich and Basle with Berlin and Hamburg has reached its maximum capacity due to strong growth, the two railways are studying how to meet demand. The overnight service between Zürich, Innsbruck, Salzburg and Prague is currently operated only with sleeping cars, so the two railways together with Czech Railway (CD) are examining whether couchette cars can be added to the train.

SBB and ÖBB are also assessing which cities can be added to the Nightjet network to provide more overnight connections to Switzerland – Zürich is already the second biggest hub for overnight services in Europe after Vienna.

In addition, the two operators are keen to improve the economic viability of overnight trains through initiatives such as a CO2 levy and reducing track access charges.

Other threads on the Coffee Shop describe the decimation of sleeper trains in France, and regret the reduction of such trains in the UK where you can no longer catch a sleeper from Newhaven to Perth or from Euston to Holyhead. Problems range from the uneconomic use of sleeper carriages through the "spray" question of where they should actually go ... to the (frankly) unpleasant wait around in Waverly or Central or Euston for the late, late departure after a business meeting ending by 5 p.m.

As I write, the UK's future relationship with the rest of Europe is unclear and any serious speculation as to rebirth of sleeper services from / via England to mainland Europe would be out of tune with stability - but I bring you a couple of graphics and ask "what if" ... and looking not to 2020 but to 2030 or 2040.



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« Reply #1 on: August 21, 2019, 08:25:11 am »

Did we miss the earlier news from Austria, that ÖBB had bought most of DB's sleeper coaches en route to the scrapyard and restarted a lot of services, including German ones?

What struck me was that they appear to be aiming at lowering the cost, to build custom, rather than raising it to a premium level which seems to be Caledonian's strategy.

If there is a new 'decarboniser' market to be addressed, based on avoiding flying as far as possible, how does/will that split between low and high cost/service?
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grahame
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« Reply #2 on: August 21, 2019, 04:56:13 pm »

Did we miss the earlier news from Austria, that ÖBB had bought most of DB's sleeper coaches en route to the scrapyard and restarted a lot of services, including German ones?

What struck me was that they appear to be aiming at lowering the cost, to build custom, rather than raising it to a premium level which seems to be Caledonian's strategy.

We quite likely did miss that.  As a forum looking at the GWR area in the UK, sleeper trains on mainland Europe tend to be out of general scope for most of our members.  But there are some interesting changes to observe, think about, learn from.

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If there is a new 'decarboniser' market to be addressed, based on avoiding flying as far as possible, how does/will that split between low and high cost/service?

That would be very interesting to learn.   And the balance of how big this market is at the various possible levels of inconvenience and expense in switching.
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« Reply #3 on: October 08, 2019, 01:25:09 pm »

From https://www.politico.eu/article/night-trains-set-for-return-to-brussels/

Quote
BERLIN — The EU capital could be connected to Vienna by a direct sleeper train from January, the boss of Austrian Federal Railways (ÖBB) Andreas Matthä said in an interview published Saturday.

“Starting in January 2020 we are planning a Nightjet to Brussels and are working hard on it,” Matthä said in an interview with the Wiener Zeitung, referring to the company’s Nightjet brand of overnight services.

Belgium is currently not included in Europe’s night train network, with foreign operators balking at the cost of running trains on the country’s railway network.
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« Reply #4 on: October 08, 2019, 03:51:30 pm »

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If there is a new 'decarboniser' market to be addressed, based on avoiding flying as far as possible, how does/will that split between low and high cost/service?

That would be very interesting to learn.   And the balance of how big this market is at the various possible levels of inconvenience and expense in switching.
[/quote]

Travelling a reasonable amount for work, I've often thought that there was a gap in the market for sleeper services to replace flight/hotel combinations for business travellers, particularly if they can be one-way, with a return via a HS day-train, or simply a leg to another business centre. It probably needs to be point-to-point to avoid having to get up at silly o'clock, but I would imagine that there are probably be a big enough market for a Munich to Brussels or Milan to Paris overnight service to be economical, particularly if you added in more basic services and couchettes. In terms of brands - Ibis Pullman (business), Ibis (standard), Ibis Budget (discount), Ouigo/Ryanair (super-budget)

 
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