Berlin - New long-distance night train routes will connect Berlin with other major European cities beginning next year.
Public broadcaster rbb reported that direct overnight routes are foreseen for Amsterdam-Rome, Paris-Warsaw and Berlin-Barcelona. For each of these routes, the travel time is expected to be about 13 hours.
The newly announced routes will be joint ventures among the current national railways in Germany (DB), Austria (ÖBB), Switzerland (SBB) and France (SNCF). Heads of the railways as well as top transport ministers from the respective countries will release additional details during a press conference Tuesday.
The revival of night trains comes as part of European governments' efforts to limit air travel as a way of reducing greenhouse gas emissions in line with the Paris Agreement.
In October, the Austrian Federal Railways (ÖBB), which acquired Deutsche Bahn's night train network in 2016, had already announced its intention to expand its services throughout the continent. The private Swedish rail operator Snälltåget announced in the summer that it would begin regular night train service between Berlin and Stockholm next year.
In September, German transport minister Andreas Scheuer (CSU) presented a concept to revive the post-war TransEuropExpress (TEE) that combines high-speed lines and night trains to provide faster and more straightforward rail links between major European cities.
TransEuropExpress (TEE) trains were first-class only and served some of Europe's mainline routes from the 1950s to the 1980s until they were replaced by less luxurious Eurocity trains. The transport minister and Deutsche Bahn intend to present their detailed plans for the new long-distance connections on Tuesday.