Austria takes over DB sleeper train network (Railway Gazette)

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Austrian national rail operator ÖBB has agreed with Deutsche Bahn to take over part of the German operator’s network of overnight trains from the timetable change on December 11. DB had stated earlier this year that it would cease to run City Night Line services.

On October 7 2016 ÖBB said it had invested €40m in acquiring 42 sleeping cars and 15 couchette cars from DB. These will be fitted with new berths and used to relaunch ÖBB’s overnight network under the Nightjet brand. Bookings can be made immediately on the website, via the ÖBB app, at ÖBB stations, by telephone or through ÖBB’s agents or marketing partners.

ÖBB also said that it planned to launch newly-built overnight stock on services to and from Italy from 2020, with refurbished couchette vehicles entering service on other routes from 2018.

Six routes will be added to the ÖBB Nightjet network from December, with two offering a car-carrying service:

  • Hamburg – Berlin – Zürich;
  • Hamburg – München – Innsbruck (daily car-carrier);
  • Düsseldorf – München – Innsbruck (car carrier three times a week);
  • München – Villach – Venezia;
  • München – Salzburg – Villach – Firenze – Roma;
  • München – Salzburg – Villach – Verona – Milano.

ÖBB’s existing services run on nine routes, six of which offer a car-carrying facility:

  • Hamburg – Wien (daily car-carrier);
  • Düsseldorf – Wien (car-carrier four times a week);
  • Zürich – Wien;
  • Zürich – Graz (daily car-carrier Graz-Feldkirch);
  • Wien – Bregenz;
  • Wien – Venezia;
  • Wien – Roma;
  • Wien – Milano (summer season car-carrier Wien-Verona);
  • Wien – Livorno (summer season car carrier).

ÖBB’s existing overnight trains carry around 1 million passengers a year and the operator hopes that the expanded service will attract a further 1?8 million a year by 2020. ‘Synergy effects’ are expected to improve the EBIT from 2017.

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Written by Long Branch Mike