ÖBB and DB to double night train traffic by 2030
Austrian operator ÖBB and its German counterpart Deutsche Bahn have announced their plans for international trains in the coming years. The number of services will increase, and new night train connection from Berlin and Vienna to Brussels and to Paris will launch with the December timetable change.
Rail traffic between Germany and Austria has seen a large increase over the past years. By the end of this year, Deutsche Bahn (DB) and the Austrian Federal Railways (ÖBB) are expecting around 40 percent more passengers than five years ago. The two companies are therefore expanding their cross-border long-distance services between the two countries, as well as to other European destinations.
Sabine Stock, ÖBB board member for passenger transport: “By 2030 we want to double the number of passengers in Nightjet traffic. Deutsche Bahn plays an important role here, as many Nightjet lines start and end in Germany. The new connections from Berlin to Paris and Brussels and the use of the ‘Nightjet of the new generation’ in Germany are strong signs that DB and ÖBB believe in the night train product and will provide more services.”
With the timetable change from December, an additional ICE connection between Berlin and Vienna via Nuremberg will be added. By extending the route to Hamburg, this city will have another daily connection to the Austrian capital. DB and ÖBB will also offer the ICE train from Berlin via Frankfurt/Main and Stuttgart to Innsbruck and back daily from December instead of only on weekends.
In addition, the operators will increase long-distance services between Munich and Salzburg to hourly, from around 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. From Innsbruck to Munich there will be a two-hour daily service between 6.40 a.m. and 9.40 p.m., though for these two it is not indicated from when the services will be increased exactly.
More night trains
From December this year, the German and Austrian state-owned railway companies will be offering Nightjet connections from Berlin and Vienna to Paris and Brussels. These connections will initially run three times a week, and then daily from autumn 2024, doubling the number of Nightjet connections to and from Berlin. As can be seen in a map of the new services published by the operators, the trains go separately to Paris and to Brussels, and do thus not connect those cities directly.
The completely new ÖBB Nightjet trains will be in service for the first time from the turn of the year. They are to be used first on the Hamburg-Vienna and Hamburg-Innsbruck connections. These newly developed Nightjets can reach speeds of up to 230 kilometres per hour. Different to the current night jets, individual ‘mini cabins’ are added in the couchette car, and the trains have level access for people with restricted mobility. Further connections in Austria, Germany and Italy will follow in the course of 2024.
ÖBB and DB are also investing in new trains. From the December timetable change, ICE 4 trains will be used on the Frankfurt/Main-Munich-Salzburg-Klagenfurt route. The new generation of Railjets, which will operate on the route between Munich and Italy from April 2024, will offer more seats and more quality, according to the operators, with “ICE-level comfort”.