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New night train to connect Brussels, Antwerp and Berlin from May 2023
Night trains will start running between Brussels, Amsterdam and Berlin from next May, Belgo-Dutch start-up European Sleeper has announced.
The night service – the second departing from Belgium – will initially make round trips three times a week.
The first train is scheduled for 25 May and will depart from Germany. Passengers will leave Berlin at 22.56 and arrive the following day at terminus station Brussels-Midi at 9.27. The train will also stop in Antwerp at 8.47. From Berlin, the service will run on Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday.
In the opposite direction, the train will leave Brussels-Midi on Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 19.22 (20.01 in Antwerp). The first trip is scheduled on 26 May. It will arrive at Berlin Central Station (Berlin Hauptbahnhof) at 6.48. Intermediate stops are planned at Roosendaal, Rotterdam Central, The Hague HS, Amsterdam Central, Amersfoort, Deventer, Bad Bentheim and Hannover Hbf. But Amersfoort and The Hague stations will not be served from Berlin.
The night train will offer passengers seats (from €49), couchettes (from €79; pictured above) and overnight compartments (from €109). Tickets go on sale from 20 February.
A breakfast service and other catering options are provided on board. Bicycles can be transported and pets are allowed in private compartments.
The inaugural service will run with 10 hired train carriages, but the company says it will soon be investing in its own wagons to offer a more modern service with greater comfort and privacy.
European Sleeper aims to extend the rail service beyond Berlin to Dresden and Prague from December 2023. The company also plans to extend the service from three trips a week to a daily train.
It was founded by Chris Engelsman and Elmer van Burren, rail enthusiasts who lamented the loss of overnight trains. They launched the private initiative as a co-operative, which means the public can invest in it.
The Brussels-Berlin route will be the second night train service from Belgium, after the NightJet of the Austrian railway company ÖBB to Vienna.
Photos: European Sleeper