Austria’s night trains, ÖBB, has been a key player in the ongoing rail revolution across Europe. As part of their commitment to offering improved 24/7 services, ÖBB has unveiled a new fleet of 33 night trains set to debut in December 2023. This fleet will focus on solo travelers, introducing pod-like single berths, along with standard couchettes and sleeping cars.
Improved Sleeping Experience
The new seven-carriage trains will accommodate up to 254 passengers and will consist of two seating cars, three couchettes, and two sleeping cars. Unlike traditional sleeper trains, these night trains will offer a more comfortable experience.
In the sleeping cars, all compartments will feature private bathrooms, complete with showers. Fixed beds promise a better night’s sleep, and additional space is provided for bulkier luggage, such as sports equipment, strollers, and even room for six bicycles.
Passengers will have several options to choose from. Ensuite cabins, available for two people in either Comfort Plus or Comfort configurations, provide cozy sleeping arrangements. Couchettes, with four berths per compartment, are not ensuite but offer affordability.
The real innovation comes in the form of “Mini Cabins.” These pod-like, single berths in the couchette cars are stacked in two layers, offering privacy for solo travelers. Each berth includes a mirror, a foldaway breakfast table, a reading lamp, storage space, and lockers for shoes and handbags.
For passengers with mobility needs, each train will feature an accessible couchette that can accommodate two wheelchair users and two additional passengers, with an accessible toilet.
An Eco-Friendly Future
Austria’s Minister for Climate Action, Leonore Gewessler, emphasized the environmental benefits of train travel. She stated, “Taking the train means protecting the climate. This is particularly true for night trains.
That’s why we are working together to further expand the European night train network.” Gewessler believes that with these improvements, the ease and comfort of traveling between European cities by train will continue to grow.
European Expansion and Ticket Sales
The new trains have received approval for use in Austria, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, and the Netherlands. They are scheduled to begin service on December 10, primarily on the Vienna-Hamburg and Innsbruck-Hamburg routes.
Tickets for these new services will be available starting October 11. ÖBB, celebrating its centenary this year, now operates Europe’s largest fleet of sleeper trains, connecting cities across the continent, offering travelers a more sustainable and comfortable way to explore Europe.