Summer schedule announced for night train from Prague to Berlin and Brussels

Trains have much less impact on the environment than planes, but night routes have all but vanished in Europe in recent decades.

Raymond Johnston

Written by Raymond Johnston Published on 21.12.2021 13:33 (updated on 21.12.2021) Reading time: 2 minutes

Night trains will run between Prague, Berlin, Amsterdam, and Brussels as of this summer. The new Belgian-Dutch rail company European Sleeper announced a schedule on Twitter.

The startup promises service will start in summer 2022, but did not specify an exact date. Daily departure and arrival times, though, have been published. “The timetable is out there! And we are actually quite proud of it! Initially, three times a week, expanding to daily service ASAP,” European Sleeper tweeted.

Trains will depart from Prague’s main station Hlavní nádraží on Sundays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays at 6:31 pm. It will also stop at Prague’s Holešovice station as well as in Ústí nad Labem and Děčín before entering Germany, where stops will include Dresden, Berlin, and Hannover. Dutch stops include Amsterdam and Rotterdam. The final stop at Brussels, Belgium, is at 9:54 am the next morning.

Service from Brussels starts at 7:22 pm on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. The train arrives at Prague’s main station at 10:24 am the next morning.

In April of this year, the service had been promised for early 2022, but the launch has been slightly delayed. In the Czech Republic, the service will run in cooperation with Czech rail company RegioJet.

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One cause for delay has been the lack of availability of sleeper cars. While night trains were popular in Europe in the first half of the 20th century, they were largely displaced by air travel in the post-war years, and all but vanished by the 21st century.

“As we are working on the availability of comfortable sleeper cars, we will start operations later than originally scheduled. At the beginning of 2022, we will communicate the exact starting date. At the time, we will also announce the train composition, the different comfort levels, and the ticket prices.” European Sleeper said on its website.

Originally, European Sleeper had planned for the service to extend beyond Brussels to Ghent, Bruges, and Ostend. Those stops are no longer included in the current plan. The company will reconsider the route sometime in 2023.

European Sleeper in 2023 might also launch a night train service linking Brussels to Warsaw. This would be accomplished by splitting the train into two parts in Germany. Part of the train would follow the original route to Prague, and the other part would head to Warsaw.

One of the appeals of train travel across Europe is that it has much less impact on the environment than plane travel. A BBC report from 2020 stated that a flight emits 133 grams of CO2 emissions per person per kilometer, while a train emits as little as six grams.

“Sustainable and comfortable travel will become more attractive to many – for holidaymakers, city trippers, and business travelers alike. Our night train service to Prague will reduce CO2 emissions by 75 metric tons,” European Sleeper states.

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