The couchette and sleeping cars for the Ostend – Brussels – Amsterdam – Berlin – Prague European Sleeper by RegioJet

Okay, that is a long title. I feel like Im’m introducing and American sporting evenement with many sponsors and brand names. Anyway. European Sleeper, a new railway operator from the Netherlands, is planning a night train service between Ostend and Prague. This train will be operated by RegioJet, from Czechia

It seems Elmer van Buuren of Train2EU and Chris Engelsman of Noord West Express started this idea of a night train by creating European Sleeper. They decided to team up with RegioJet, which has sleeper train experience thanks with its Prague – Bratislava – BudapestRijeka/Split and Prague – Košice connections. 

Train lovers and researchers throughout Europe have publicized documents with more information regarding the European Sleeper. 

Itinerary

RegioJet asks for this timetable, to start on 11 December 2022, “or earlier”. According to Železniční magazín

The train would depart Praha hlavní nádraží or Prague Main Railway Station at 19.10 (7.10 PM) and arrive at Oostende (Ostend) at 9.56 (9.56 AM) with stops at Praha-Holešovice, Ústí nad Labem, Děčín, Bad Schandau, Dresden Hauptbahnhof (Dresden Main Railway Station), Dresden Neustadt (Dresden New Town), Berlin Hauptbahnhof (Berlin Main Railway Station), Hannover, Amsterdam Centraal Station (Amsterdam Central Railway Station), Schiphol, Den Haag Hollands Spoor (The Hague HS), Rotterdam Centraal (Rotterdam Central Railway Station), Roosendaal, Antwerpen-Centraal (Antwerp-Central Railway Station), Brussel-Centraal (Brussels-Central Railway Station), Brussel-Zuid (Brussels-Midi Railway Station), Gent-Sint-Pieters (Ghent-Saint-Peter’s Railway Station), Brugge (Bruges) and finally Ostend.

The return trip would leave Ostend at 18.04 (6.04 PM) and arrive at Prague 9.56 (9.56 AM). 

Not for domestic travel

The notification to the Dienst Regulering van het spoorwegvervoer en van de Exploitatie van de Luchthaven Brussel-Nationaal / Service de Régulation du Transport ferroviaire et de l’Exploitation de l’Aéroport de Bruxelles-National or Regulatory Service for Rail Transport and the Operation of Brussels-National Airport has also been made public.

That document also gives 11 December 2022 “or sooner” als start date. It also has this interesting little sentence. “De trein is niet voor binnenlands vervoer in België en Nederland toegankelijk“. In English: “The train is not accessible for domestic travel in Belgium and the Netherlands”. 

So unlike the Benelux train, you’re not allowed to take it to travel from Oostend to Ghent or Brussels, for example. 

Three times a week to daily service

We also learn European Sleeper and RegioJet aim at three services per week, and hopefully later on every day. 

Train composition

And then, as pièce de résistence, the train composition.

  • 3 sleeping cars, type to be determined, RegioJet class ‘Berth compartment’. 
  • 4 couchette cars, Bcmz 248.5, RegioJet class ‘Couchette car’.
  • 2 seating cars, type Ampz, RegioJet class ‘Business / Relax’.
  • 1 seating car, type Bmz, RegioJet class ‘Standard’.
  • 1 seating car, type Bmpz, RegioJet class ‘Standard Astra’. 

The capacity would be 548 passengers. In the future perhaps 900. 

You can count eleven coaches. That’s a long train. The A indicates first class, the B second class. 

VagonWEB

VagonWEB is porn for train lovers. It has so much information on trains. It’s your go-to website for train compositions. There we learn RegioJet bought its rolling stock from ÖBB (Austria), SBB-CFF-FFS (Switzerland), Deutsche Bahn (DB, Germany), NMBS / SNCB (Belgium) and new Astra cars from Romania

No showers

From the VagonWEB and RailJet’s own information, we don’t see any showers. Is that necessary? Both Danny and I really like a shower in the morning. When possible, we will pay for a compartment with shower. 

In 2016 we travelled across the United States with Amtrak. On the California Zephyr we had our own shower. On the Coastal Starlight not. We were, as far as we were aware, the only one passengers using the showers on the lower deck. 

Perhaps people don’t bother with the hassle. 

So no shower in the train? Okay, but can we have an early hotel check-in and shower there? RegioJet and European Sleeper obviously not only aim at tourists. But civil servants from the European Union, other diplomats and workers and people transiting to London can shower at home or somewhere else. 

Maybe European Sleeper can strike deals with hotels to use the showers at the gym? And why not sell train travellers a hotel brunch?

In conclusion

Some questions are answered, many are not. There’s one year to go. Let’s hope both the European Sleeper and the Moonlight Express become reality. 

Further reading

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