With 19 Nightjet lines and eight other connections with partners, ÖBB already operates the largest night train network in Europe. In cooperation with the SBB, the Austrians want to expand the offer. The companies involved signed a corresponding letter of intent last week. The expansion plans under the motto “Nightjet Network Switzerland 2024” concern ten lines and 25 destinations.
As early as December 2021, a new, daily Nightjet will operate on the Zurich-Basel-Frankfurt / Main-Cologne-Amsterdam route. Connections from Zurich to Rome and Barcelona are also planned later. When the timetable for 2023 comes into force, the capacity of the connections from Zurich via Basel to Berlin and Hamburg is to be increased. According to the operators, the connection from Zurich to Prague is “as part of the Berlin Nightjet train with sleeping and couchette cars that will now also be routed across Germany”. This means that Leipzig and Dresden are reconnected.
Representatives of the Pro Bahn passenger association welcome the plans. “It turns out that the trade fairs were not sung on this topic after all,” says Ronny Hausdorf from Pro Bahn Mitteldeutschland. In the past, you could travel from Dresden to various European cities – including Amsterdam, Copenhagen and Budapest – by night train. When the timetable changed in December 2017, the Saxon state capital lost its last night train connection (to Budapest and Vienna).
Europe’s largest hub for night train traffic is Vienna. In second place is Zurich – with connections to Hamburg, Berlin, Vienna, Graz, Budapest, Prague and Zagreb.