Tuesday was a big day for rail news. Privateers European Sleeper from the Netherlands and Moonlight Express from Belgium announced night train services from Brussels to Berlin. Earlier, the Austrian Federal Railway carrier ÖBB (with its Nightjet brand) also showed interest in linking Brussels to Berlin. Are three sleeper services too much? Perhaps not.
Moonlight Express’ Louis De Jaeger (27) is adamant there is room for (at least) three. To Treinreiziger.nl De Jaeger says its competitor European Sleeper stops in Berlin due to plan infrastructure works. European Sleeper confirms it first planned to call Leipzig instead of Germany‘s federal capital.
Budget friendly v. comfort and luxury
RegioJet is known for competitive prices. Cheap means cutting down on luxury, perhaps even comfort. Dare we say it? It fits the Dutch tendency to focus on cost and price. Just look at adverts on Dutch television. Maybe it’s cliché, but the Dutch take price seriously.
Moonlight Express’ story sounds different. In interviews, Louis De Jager states the train will only offer beds. The train will include bar and restaurant coaches.
Moonlight Express aims at offering an experience, a sustainable way of travel and doesn’t want the journey “to be boring”.
Passengers should be able to meet at the bar and enjoy better food than a croque-monsieur. The Belgian equipe already spoke to specialized caterers.
More than the price, Louis De Jaeger and Louis-Philippe Lammertyn (33) aim at providing a good time. In their own words: “people should almost be sad to arrive at destination”.
Moonlight Express has already a Wikipedia page, offering quite a lot of information. We already know Moonlight Express will lease coaches from RDC Deutschland.
There will be couchettes and beds. There will also be a space for bikes.
A couchette ticket will – according to Wikipedia – include a drink, breakfast and water.
To Treinreiziger.nl, De Jaeger says in the future they will look into buying rolling stock and adapting in or even order brand new coaches.
With European Sleeper / RegioJet looking at a sharp price policy and Moonlight Express / RDC focussing on the experience, both night train products should be different enough not trip over each other’s feet.
We can’t wait to sample both products.
- European Sleeper announces Berlin and Prague as destinations.
- Moonlight Express to offer night train services between Brussels, Liège and Berlin from April 2022.
- 2021, European Year of Rail.
- ‘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: Treinreiziger.nl, Wikipedia, Business AM, Het Laatste Nieuws, Belga, Treinweb.nl