As reported by Swedish news website The Local the Swedish government would like to start more night trains connecting the country with the rest of Europe as an enviromentally friendly alternative to flying.
As the home country of flygskam Sweden is already a leading nation in the the change from flying to more enviromentally friendly forms of transportation.
They also have the expertise in running overnight sleeper trains as they have one of the biggest domestic nighttrain networks in Europe, connecting all parts of the country.
One of the first and possibly most successful routes according to a study of the Transport Administration would be the Malmö to Brussels via Cologne route. The launch of the new Nightjet from Vienna and Innsbruck proved there to be demand to connect the European capital overnight to outlying European countries.
Setting it up
Of course launching such a service is not easy, first of all they need to be able to arrange for the financial side to work. As especially in the beginning subsidies will be needed to make the service viable.
Adding to do that is getting slots on the networks the train will operate on, largely dictating the route the train will be forced to make. Will it operate over the land route through Denmark, or will it used a ferry crossing directly from Sweden to Germany?
The last, but maybe even most important part is finding the right equipment, able to run in all countries and offering the comfort levels required by todays travellers. Night train equipment is not just standing in sidings awaiting use, after the German Railways stopped their City Night Line services, OBB hopped on the opportunity to take over the most modern equipent for it’s relaunched Nightjet services.
The Swedes are also not able to use their existing sleeper equipment as the Swedish network allows for wider trains than the rest of the European network, resulting in their domestic coaches just not fitting on the other countries railways.
The route from Belgium to Northern Europe is the historic ground of the Nord Express, launched by the Compagnie Internationale des Wagons-Lits (CIWL) in 1897 on the Ostend to Saint Petersburg, operating across northern Germany and the Baltic States.
It’s only in 1932 that the first direct coaches to Copenhagen where attached to this train from where there where connections further into Scandinavia and thus the first connection with Scandinavia was established.
After the second world war in 1946 only the connection with Copenhagen was resumed, with direct coaches to Oslo and Stockholm added in 1952. These where already terminated in 1970 with the train still running to Copenhagen up until 1997.
A new direct route from Brussels to Scandinavia would be very welcome and would link Central Europe to Northern Europe in a comfortable and environmentally friendly way.
Hopefully they will get the pricing right and easy for everyone to use. Timothy and I are already excited by the idea and for sure will take a ride on it as soon as it launched!