Belgium is speeding up night trains in Europe
In the 2000s, the night trains systematically declined, but recently they are appearing more and more often. Thanks in part to Belgian government support for this environmentally friendly, safe, fast and comfortable means of transport.
Board in the evening in Brussels, let yourself be lulled to sleep at night by the gently rocking wagon and wake up fresh and fruity in Vienna in the morning. This is already possible with the Nightjet connection of the Austrian railway company ÖBB. The offer on Belgian territory will soon be expanded with the Brussels-Amsterdam-Berlin route of the Belgian-Dutch operator European Sleeper. In 2024 this would be extended to Dresden and Prague. Barcelona is on the program in 2025. And European Sleeper aims even higher: in the winter Antwerp-Brussels-Austrian ski resorts (including Salzburg and Innsbruck), in the summer Brussels-Liège-Switzerland-Northern Italy (including Como and Milan). Brussels-Cologne-Copenhagen and Malmö in Sweden are also on the drawing board.
Of course cooking costs money. And due to their specific nature, night trains are expensive birds for the operators. So our federal government worked out a support scheme. Through the Belgian rail network operator Infrabel, it will reimburse the network, traction and energy costs of the operators who run night trains on our territory. A unique and first in Europe, which deserves to be copied to encourage the use of the train with its limited carbon footprint.