Train travel across the Germany-Austria border has increased by around 40 per cent compared to five years ago, prompting the two countries’ national rail companies to cooperate to expand travel options between them.
As a result, starting this December, the two companies will introduce Nightjet trains, connecting Berlin and Vienna with Paris and Brussels. These connections will operate thrice a week and become daily starting next autumn, doubling the number of Nightjet connections accessible to Berlin.
As the Bussiness Travel News reports, both companies have expressed their intention to double the number of Nightjet passengers by 2030.
Next year, the new Germany’s Deutsche Bahn and Austria’s ÖBB Nightjet trains, capable of reaching speeds of up to 230 km/h, will be introduced on the Hamburg-Vienna and Hamburg-Innsbruck lines. At the same time, more connections will also be introduced within Austria, Germany, and Italy.
ÖBB Nightjet trains offer individual cabins within their sleeping cars and provide level boarding to accommodate passengers with reduced mobility.
Furthermore, ÖBB and DB are intensifying their investments in other innovative trains. The Frankfurt–Munich–Salzburg–Klagenfurt line will use ICE 4 trains, and the next generation of Railjets will be progressively deployed on the route connecting Munich with Italy, starting next spring.
“By 2030, we want to double the number of passengers on Nightjet trains. Deutsche Bahn plays an important role since many Nightjet lines begin and end in Germany,” ÖBB executive board member for passenger transport Sabine Stock pointed out in this regard.
In addition, ÖBB has also predicted that around seven million passengers will travel between the two German-speaking nations this year.
Previously, Austria, the Czech Republic and Germany reached an agreement to build a high-speed rail link that will stretch from Vienna to Berlin, with the aim of reducing travel times to just four hours and five minutes.
The link between Berlin and Dresden is on track to be completed by 2025, while the entire route, which includes the high-speed rail from Vienna to Berlin, is expected to be completed by 2030.
This ambitious project is an important component of the Trans-Europ Express TEE 2.0 initiative, which was presented during the German Presidency of the Council of the EU in September 2020. TEE 2.0 envisages a comprehensive expansion of high-speed rail networks connecting main European cities and greater use of night trains across the continent.