After the year 2021 without visiting my sister Florence in Zug in Switzerland, I finally returned to the Confoederatio Helvetica in March 2022. I stayed over a week. More than a family visit, I organised an excursion to French-speaking Switzerland, also known as Romandy to visit Maxime and the vineyards of Lavaux in the canton of Vaud, near Lausanne. I also booked a journey on the world-famous Glacier Express from Sankt Moritz to Brig. Furthermore, I looked for a nice way in and out. The ÖBB Nightjet night train from Amsterdam to Zurich and the voyage home via Lyon in France.
I’m always on the look-out for ‘new’ ways to go to Switzerland and it was Danny who came with the idea I should take the Nightjet from Amsterdam Central Station to Zürich HB. And sure, why not? Even after the Innsbruck – Aachen debacle, we still love night trains.
- Amsterdam Centraal Station.
- Oberhausen Hbf.
- Duisburg Hbf.
- Düsseldorf Hbf.
- Cologne (Köln Hbf).
- Bonn Hbf.
- Freiburg im Breisgau Hbf.
- Basel Bf.
- Basel SBB.
- Zurich (Zürich HB).
The NJ403 was scheduled for a 8.28 PM departure. It arrived at platform 10 just after 8 PM. So it gave me time to make this Instagram reel.
The train consists of Nightjet couchette cars and Nightjet sleeping cars. There are Deutsche Bahn seating cars and SBB-CFF-FFS seating cars. This train is a real Austro-Swiss-German collaboration.
There is no restaurant, bistro or bar car. But there is a menu. Staff can provide you with these items.
My car was built in 1975 but has been refurbished. I booked a solo bed, so only one bed was made up. There is no shower but there is a sink.
As you can see, there is a quite large table and a seat. There is one power outlet hidden next to the seat and there is a lot of light. There’s a closet. The wastebin is under de seat.
Perhaps it’s dated but it’s clean and functional.
The goodie bag provided includes a towel, slippers, an eye mask, a pen, salty (bird seeds?) and sweet (chocolate and berry) snacks. You get two bottles of water.
You order breakfast the night before on a form.
Contrary to the before mentioned Innsbruck – Aachen debacle, staff was friendly, jovial and helpful. I did get my complimentary prosecco. I had to ask, but I had it. I received a key to be able to lock my cabin when going to the toilet.
That toilet was clean, put there was a persistent smell.
Perhaps the 160 euro question: how do you sleep? I slept okay. I woke up a few time, but then again, I always do when it’s a ‘new’ bed. The bed is comfortable and the pillows are firm. The duvet is warm and cosy. You do hear and feel the train moving, but I can shut that down mentally.
Will I travel by night train again? Definitely. On this route? Perhaps not, because it is an expensive detour. But I enjoyed it. On to the next night train.
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- 2013 Scotland Rail Trip.
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- 2018 Poland Trip.
- 2018 Rail Tour of France, Italy and Switzerland.
- 2020 Saxony, Bavaria and Tyrol Getaway.
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