Berlin - The night train revolution in Germany's capital starts Monday.
A new line connecting Berlin with the Scandinavian capitals of Stockholm and Copenhagen will begin Sunday, running daily until 4 September and then just twice a week through October, French rail operator Transdev said Wednesday. Transdev's Swedish unit Snälltåget will operate the route and hopes to do so without state subsidies.
The direct train is scheduled to depart Berlin at 7.02pm and Hamburg at 11:26pm. The train gets into Høje Taastrup just outside of Copenhagen (but doesn't actually stop at the city's main station) at 6.38am, the Swedish city of Malmö at 7.40am, and arrives in Stockholm at 2.25pm. Other stops include Södertälje, Norrköping, Linköping, Nässjö, Alvesta, Hässleholm, Eslöv and Lund.
Transdev and Snälltåget say it's the first night train connection since the 1990s to run regularly between Sweden, Denmark and Germany. The service is part of a broader renaissance in European night trains brought on by the pandemic and growing concern over climate change.
Construction delays already
In Stockholm the journey starts at 4.20pm and 9.55pm in Malmö with arrival in Hamburg at 5.31am. and Berlin Hauptbahnhof at 8.52am.
But just as it starts, the line is already hit by its first construction. Work on the Rendsburg bridge in northern Germany will delay arrivals in Berlin and Hamburg by about three-and-a-half hours. The work may also affect trains travelling in the opposite direction.
The trains will offer seats, reclining chairs and sleeping compartments at various price levels but they will not take bikes - folding bikes excepted. Plans call for Wi-Fi to be added later this summer. The dining car will also serve as a pub in the evenings.
State-owned Deutsche Bahn halted night train service between Berlin and Copenhagen at the end of 2014 and there hasn't been a direct daytime connection between the German and Danish capitals since 2015.
Direct rail service between Berlin and Stockholm was discontinued in the 1990s, though Snälltåget resumed service in 2019.