The Austrian Federal Railways (ÖBB) keeps expanding its network of night train services across Europe. Starting on January 19, 2020, there will be a direct night train going from Vienna to Brussels two times a week.
Early bird one-way tickets are available for prices starting at €29 per seat. A bed in the couchette coach starts at €49, one in the sleeping car at €69. The ÖBB NightJet will leave Vienna on Sundays and Wednesdays at 20:38. Going via Innsbruck and Munich, the train will arrive at the Gare Midi in Brussels at 10:55 the next day.
Good night Vienna, good morning Europe!
The arrival time was criticized by some commentators in the Austrian press as too late for people who commute to the EU capital for work. ÖBB CEO Andreas Matthä countered that these were the only time slots provided by the Belgian Railways (SCNB). If the night train should prove popular, better time slots may be in the offing the following year. A daily service may also be an option.
The ÖBB chief further mused that Brussels won’t be “the last destination,” promising a direct night train to Amsterdam later in 2020. Currently, 25 European destinations can be reached by direct night train from Vienna. Plans to add Trieste in Italy and Swedish cities to the NightJet network are also already in the works, according to Matthä.
In 2017 the NightJet services carried 1.4 million passengers, which grew to 1.6 million in 2018. The service is being operated with over 42 sleeping carriages of various ages inherited from the Deutsche Bahn (DB). The ÖBB expect to replace them with 13 new night trains by 2022.