ÖBB launches two night trains to Brussels

Austrian national railway operator ÖBB has launched a new night train service. It links the cities of Vienna and Innsbruck to Brussels. Two new connections between Austria and Belgium are available for passengers twice a week.

The first train from Vienna to Brussels has departed at 20:38 on Sunday, 19 January. It arrived at Brussels-South railway station (Brussel-Zuid or Bruxelles-Midi) at 10:55 on Monday, 20 January. From Belgium, the train will depart at 18:04 on Monday, 20 January. The scheduled arrival time to Vienna is 08:27 on Tuesday, 21 January.

On its way between the termini, the train makes 16 stops: 4 in Austria (Vienna Meidling, St.Pölten, Linz, Wels), 10 in Germany (Passau, Regensburg, Nuremberg, Frankfurt (Main) Süd, Frankfurt (Main) Flughafen Fernbahnhof, Mainz, Koblenz, Bonn-Beuel, Köln, Aachen), 2 in Belgium (Liège-Guillemins and Brussels-North which is also known as Brussel-Noord or Bruxelles-Nord). The new connection departs on Sundays and Wednesdays from Vienna as well as on Tuesdays and Thursdays from Brussels.

From Innsbruck to Brussels

The Innsbruck – Brussels night train has a very similar schedule. It has the same frequency and runs between the termini on the same days with the same arrival and departure time to/from Brussels. However, this service has a partially different schedule and route. ÖBB’s train departs from Innsbruck at 20:44 and arrives at this station back at 09:14.

On the way between Innsbruck and Nuremberg, it makes stops at Jenbach, Wörgl, Kufstein, Rosenheim in Bayern, Munich, Augsburg (first three stations are in Austria and the other three ones are in Germany). The further route and schedule, between Nuremberg and Brussels, are the same as the Vienna – Brussels train has. This is happened because of the coupling of both trains into one.

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Launching the Vienna-Brussels night train
Members of European Parliament at the launching ceremony of the Vienna-Brussels night train, source: ÖBB

From plane to train

Among the passengers of the first Vienna – Brussels train link, there were numerous members of the European Parliament. They participated in the official ceremony and made some remarks about the importance of the night trains for the European Green Deal. “The new ÖBB night train connection from Vienna to Brussels is a great signpost on the way to climate-friendly mobility in the European Union,” Federal Minister of Austria Leonore Gewessler said.

At the same time, Managing Director of Greenpeace Alexander Egit emphasised the role of such trains in a modal shift. “In order to fight the climate crisis, we have to switch from the plane to the train. This requires railways like ÖBB, which are constantly expanding their offer – but also the political framework, so that all citizens in Europe can get from A to B quickly, comfortably and affordably,” he noted. It is worth to add that one passenger flying from Vienna to Brussels generates 410 kilograms of CO2 emissions. For a train journey on the route, this figure is only 40 kilograms.

Nightjet network

Austrian Federal Railways (ÖBB) has launched the new services within its Nightjet network, a series of overnight trains that connect Austria with 10 European countries. Besides Belgium, the Nightjet trains run to Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Poland, Czechia, Slovakia, Hungary, Slovenia and Croatia. For December 2020, ÖBB has already scheduled to add the new Nightjet connection – to Amsterdam in the Netherlands.

Some of the Nightjet connections are provided in a partnership with other railway operators such as PKP Intercity (Kraków, Warsaw), České dráhy (Prague), MÁV-Start (Bratislava, Budapest), HŽ Putnički prijevoz (Ljubljana, Zagreb, Rijeka). Moreover, the railway companies of Ukraine and Romania, UZ and CFR, provide the night trains to Vienna under their own brands.

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Author: Mykola Zasiadko

Mykola Zasiadko is editor of online trade magazines RailTech.com and RailFreight.com.

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