Entrepreneurs Louis-Philippe Lammertyn and Louis De Jaeger from Belgium have started Moonlight Express, a company which will offer night train services between Brussels, Liège and Berlin. They keep in mind Eurostar connections so travellers can go easily from London to Berlin.
Louis Lammertyn and Louis De Jaeger are two young Belgian entrepreneurs who love to travel. In recent years, they began to feel that their way of travelling was not in line with their ecological commitment. Both are consultants in making society more sustainable. Louis De Jaeger on agriculture and Louis Lammertyn on transport and renewable energy.
Louis Lammertyn is, by the way, not the photographer Louis Lammertyn.
Plane v. train
“I did some years of restructuring projects in the aviation industry”, says Louis Lammertyn in a press release. “I especially saw the speed at which we are destroying the earth through the way we travel.”
At the same time, the two initiators understand that people want to break out and will continue to do so, especially after corona.
“The train offers a great alternative for people who want to travel with a clear conscience”, says De Jaeger. “And above all it should not be boring. Instead of competing purely on speed or price for transport from A to B, we focus on affordable and quality travel time.”
That is why they founded Moonlight Express a year ago. They want to create magical travel experiences with the night train.
“We actually see a night train as a time machine”, says De Jaeger. A stress-free journey begins from the moment the traveller boards. The traveller can grab a drink, eat tasty specialities and gets the chance to meet nice people in their own compartment or the bar car. You can sleep safely and comfortably in a real bed and arrive well rested.
“A project of this magnitude requires quite a bit of preparation, but we are happy to be able to get this company further on track after more than a year of discussions with various German and Belgian partners,” says Louis Lammertyn.
For the time being, Moonlight Express is starting their first line in April 2022 between Brussels and Berlin, via Liège.
In this way, they are connecting two European cultural poles that historically have a lot in common.
The connection with London by Eurostar brings a whole new perspective for British travellers.
Tickets for a bed in a shared compartment start at 49 euro per person.
The two Louis hope to persuade millennials and babyboomers. The rolling stock will be leased at RDC in Germany. RDC Deutschland has experience with the Alpen-Sylt Nachtexpress.
There will only be beds on offer. The plan is to run three times per week. Negotiations in Germany are done. Talks with NMBS / SNCB are ongoing.
France and Barcelona
There are also plans to connect Belgium with the south of France and Barcelona. This way, Brussels can be further expanded as an international train hub. The first trip will already be a unique premiere event with performances.
Night trains on the up
Night trains are gaining traction. 2021 is European Year of Rail. ÖBB in Austria, SBB-CFF-FFS in Switzerland and SJ in Sweden are working on (more) night trains.
European Sleeper from the Netherlands also announced a night train service from April 2022, going from Brussels to Antwerp to Rotterdam, Amsterdam and then Berlin, Dresden and Prague.
- ‘Green Speed’: Train operators Thalys and Eurostar to become one.
- European Sleeper to launch night train services from the Netherlands and Belgium in April 2022.
- Nightjet Vienna/Innsbruck to Brussels, or how we got thrown off the train in Aachen.
- NIGHTJET | Austrian Federal Railways ÖBB and Swiss Federal Railways SBB-CFF-FFS present 2024 Austro-Swiss night train plans for Europe.
- Why the expensive ÖBB Nightjet is really not that expensive.
- Reliving the era of the great railway journeys, travelling overnight on Nightjet.
- How we plan a big rail trip.
- Ticket Distribution: the failure of railways to sell themselves.
- Malmö – Cologne – Brussels Night train.
- BOOK REVIEW | ‘Night Trains, The Rise and Fall of the Sleeper’ by Andrew Martin.
- To use night trains in Portugal and Spain or not?.
- Night trains in Europe.
- Low-cost, long-haul trains to conquer Europe?.
- Fly now before it’s taxed and consider using the train instead.
- A passengers train from Antwerp in Belgium to Shanghai in China?.
- Venice Simplon-Orient-Express comes to Brussels in June 2021 and April 2022.
Sources: press release and Belga.
Images provided in press release.
46 Comments Add yours
This, like the other night train projects planned to open in the next few years, seems encouraging. However, in my personal opinion, they are lacking something. They add new routes, which is very positive, but there could be some improvements in the design of night trains that are conceivable today.
I am the author of a research paper on exactly this topic: it is about new types of night trains, to find a way to build a real travelling hotel. The work includes innovative interior design concepts, new on-board and off-board services, layouts of different carriages; there is also a basic business plan that verifies the possibility of realisation.
If you are interested, it is published in the book ‘Hotel-Train’, isbn 978-88-31474-12-2.
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Thank you for your insight and tip. I’ll try to locate the book.