Night trains are an eco-friendly alternative to flying and have the advantage of not wasting travel time during the day. Accommodation on night trains depends on the train operator and your budget. There are a variety of travel options, from reclining seats to private sleepers, some more appealing than others. , an overnight trip from London to Venice aboard the luxurious Venice Simplon Orient-Express. .
And now there is another fascinating night train route. Connecting the Netherlands and Belgium, European Sleeper, a new private railway company dedicated to night trains, will launch east-west connections between her three European capitals next spring. Direct trains run between Berlin and Brussels with a stop in Amsterdam. With just one transfer you can go to Paris, London, Prague or Warsaw. European Sleeper is in talks with Eurostar to further simplify the process, with plans to offer tickets all the way from London to Berlin in the future. At the moment, from May 2023, travelers can travel from London St. Pancras to Brussels to Midi on the two-hour Eurostar train, where they change to the European Sleeper. From December 2023, there are plans to extend rail services to Dresden and Prague.
European Sleeper was founded by Elmer van Buuren and Chris Engelsman, two entrepreneurs with a great passion for night trains. According to co-founder Chris Engelsman, “The introduction of this service is an important first step towards building a broader network of night trains from Belgium and the Netherlands. Availability proved to be the biggest challenge: services between Brussels and Berlin start with a hired vehicle, but the European Sleeper offers a more comfortable, modern feel and more privacy options. We plan to invest in our own fleet of vehicles.”
Regarding price comparisons with planes, Engelsmann said: Even if it’s a little more expensive, I can save on the hotel bill, so I think it’s acceptable. Perhaps the most important aspect of sleeper trains is the relaxed atmosphere and adventurous experience onboard. Travel is an end in itself. For all these reasons, we anticipate high demand for our services. Our goal is to introduce new train connections every year. ”
European Sleeper certainly seems like a new travel business with experience. Organized as a cooperative. In May 2021, European Sleeper raised €500,000 of seed capital within 15 minutes of him by selling shares to over 350 of his small investors in various countries inside and outside Europe. In a new round just before summer 2022, he sold €2 million worth of shares to 1,400 new investors. The result is an enthusiastic night train community that is actively involved with the company.
Seats on the route from Brussels to Berlin start at €49. Couchette from €79 for him, sleeper from €109 for him. Ticket sales will start on February 20, 2023, and the service starting in May will run three times a week on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 19:22, arriving in Berlin at 06:48. The train leaves Berlin at 22:56 and arrives in Brussels at 09:27 on Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays.