European Sleeper to launch night train services from the Netherlands and Belgium in April 2022

Den Haag Hollands Spoor in The Hague.

European Sleeper Coöperatie U.A. is set to launch a sleeper train service from the Netherlands and Belgium in April 2022. In April 2021 the company will announce destination.

“Travelling by sleeper is comfortable, efficient, affordable, romantic and sustainable. The overnight sleeper is back in the spotlights again. The ambition to create a serious sleeper train network is widely shared throughout Europe. European Sleeper as a start-up company contributes to the revival of the sleeper train”, the website states. 

“European Sleeper is part of the movement that put the overnight sleeper train back on the European map. It was founded by two entrepreneurs with a great passion for sleeper trains: Elmer van Buuren of Train2EU and Chris Engelsman of Noord West Express. With the founding of European Sleeper, we combine an enormous amount of valuable knowledge and experience.”

“Elmer has been fascinated by sleeper trains from childhood on. Boarding in the Netherlands in the evening, sleeping in a proper bed and waking up in the morning in another world. Elmer read timetables in bed like they were exciting boys’ books and has always wanted to become director of his own railway company.”

Chris used to live by the railway where the Noord West Express to Copenhagen, Warsaw and Moscow passed by. At that time, ten sleeper trains ran from the Netherlands every day. When the last one left in 2016, he could not let that go unchallenged.”

Brussels-Midi.

No competition

Van Buuren and Engelsman don’t want to compete with present or future but confirmed sleeper train service. So no Vienna, Zürich or Munich. ÖBB and SBB-CFF-FFS already have these routes. 

Treinreizeiger.nl pins Warsaw, Milan, Prague and Copenhagen as potential destinations. 

Van Buuren has a professional past at Nederlandse Spoorwegen (NS) and Engelsman organized the Jazz Night Express to Berlin

The duo already made contact with NS and ProRail and with NMBS / SNCB and Infrabel. It also contacted the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Waterstate and the Belgian Ministry of Mobility

Challenges 

There are obviously challenges. Which rolling stock? The duo says there is comfortable rolling stock on the market. If the venture is successful, these coaches can be upgraded or new stock can be ordered. 

Running (night) trains is expensive but Van Buuren and Engelsman are adamant it can attract leisure and business travellers. 

More on night trains

Sources: Belga, European Sleeper, Treinreiziger.nl

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