European night trains

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Re: European night trains

Postby Gilbert B Norman » Sat May 27, 2017 7:17 pm

Here's a Politico article with "depth":

http://www.politico.eu/article/austrian ... ble-change

Fair Use:

Key long-distance overnight rail routes connecting Amsterdam, Zürich, Prague and Warsaw with German cities will disappear, killed off by Deutsche Bahn (DB) when the annual European timetable change takes place on December 11.

France’s SNCF is shuttering most of its domestic moonlight hours services this year too, adding to years of closures and downgrades of long-distance services from Europe’s big operators.

But while big rail shuts down night trains, citing high costs, regulatory difficulties and falling popularity, Austria’s national rail company ÖBB sees an opportunity
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Re: European night trains

Postby David Benton » Sat May 27, 2017 10:48 pm

Scottish Night trains seem reasonably priced. Compared to a hotel in London, i could imagine many Scottish workers in London taking the train down Sunday night, returning home Friday night.
When i worked on construction sites in london in the 1990's, many of the workers,( most memorable were the "monkey Hangers"),came down from the midlands, most using cheap night buses. I never met any using the night trains. I would imagine more office workers taking the train.
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Re: European night trains

Postby george matthews » Sun May 28, 2017 10:04 am

David Benton wrote:Scottish Night trains seem reasonably priced. Compared to a hotel in London, i could imagine many Scottish workers in London taking the train down Sunday night, returning home Friday night.
When i worked on construction sites in london in the 1990's, many of the workers,( most memorable were the "monkey Hangers"),came down from the midlands, most using cheap night buses. I never met any using the night trains. I would imagine more office workers taking the train.
https://www.sleeper.scot/

There are no sleeper destinations in the Midlands. Once again there are increasingly fast trains to London. I miss the sleeper car that used to travel to Bournemouth from Scotland, lost when the Tories privatised British Rail.
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Re: European night trains

Postby Gilbert B Norman » Thu Jun 08, 2017 7:26 am

Here is another "article" appearing at Politico European.edition. Article is enquote as the material appears to me somewhere between Op-Ed and an essay:

http://www.politico.eu/article/ode-to-n ... -transport

Fair Use:

..This wasn’t just nostalgia on rails, but a way a frictionless Europe was dreaming itself into being. Until Brussels killed it


Within such to me, there is a non-rail "eye opener", giving rise to explaining how an event such as Brexit, and a fairly close "Frexit", could occur - a foreign entity dictating a soverign state's domestic policy.

Think of it; even something as trivial as a national anthem. Until recently, I was unaware that the EU had such - and it turns out to be based upon Beethoven/Schiller "Ode to Joy". Imagine the "grrs" such caused amongst the European nations, especially UK which has its own Commonwealth and where the Queen remains the recognized Head of State (and within some God Save The Queen the Anthem).

Sorry Mr. Benton, for going political at your Forum.
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Re: European night trains

Postby Tadman » Mon Jun 19, 2017 9:31 am

I will be riding the Caledonian Sleeper and Stockholm-Narvik sleeper this week, reports to follow.
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Re: European night trains

Postby george matthews » Tue Jun 20, 2017 8:32 am

Tadman wrote:I will be riding the Caledonian Sleeper and Stockholm-Narvik sleeper this week, reports to follow.

I am thinking of taking the Caledonian sleeper to Edinburgh in July. It's probably 30 years since I last took the sleeper - then it was to the Highlands. As the temperature is very high on the south coast at present I will enjoy the cooler weather.
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Re: European night trains

Postby ExCon90 » Sat Jul 15, 2017 1:36 pm

Tadman wrote:I will be riding the Caledonian Sleeper and Stockholm-Narvik sleeper this week, reports to follow.

How are the reports coming? I realize you're still gainfully employed, unlike some of us retirees, but I'd really like to see a report on what those operations are like today.
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Re: European night trains

Postby george matthews » Sat Jul 15, 2017 6:18 pm

ExCon90 wrote:
Tadman wrote:I will be riding the Caledonian Sleeper and Stockholm-Narvik sleeper this week, reports to follow.

How are the reports coming? I realize you're still gainfully employed, unlike some of us retirees, but I'd really like to see a report on what those operations are like today.

I think I will be travelling to Scotland about Wednesday or Thursday night on the new sleeper. It's probably about 30 years since I last used the Highland sleeper. I am going to Edinburgh. It will be useful to arrive in the morning so I can find a place to stay, probably in the University. I will be interested to see how the new train is. I can remember travelling on a sleeper in about 1944 under wartime conditions. It was very spartan as the actual berth was just an ordinary seating compartment slightly adapted. But I have travelled more recently than that. The last time was from London to the Highlands - Inverness. And before that from Edinburgh to London. That was for a job interview in London.
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Re: European night trains

Postby David Benton » Mon Jul 17, 2017 1:11 am

FAIR ACCESS FOR SLEEPERS?
Faced with increasing competition from road, air and daytime services, a report finds Europe’s sleeper services could also be paying too much in track access fees.
https://www.railexpress.co.uk/fair-access-for-sleepers/
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Re: European night trains

Postby Gilbert B Norman » Sat Aug 05, 2017 9:54 am

Here is a Railway Technology article summarizing the 228 page report I noted earlier:

http://www.railway-technology.com/featu ... ns-5885394

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Is the end near for Europe’s passenger night trains?
Night train services have seen dramatic cutbacks in recent years, and many fear that a lack of investment, dwindling passenger numbers and competition from other travel sectors could spell the end for them entirely. European Parliament recently published a report looking into whether night trains are worth saving, and what EU Member States could do to ensure their survival.

Passenger night trains have been operating since the mid-1800s, first as the backbone of practical long-distance travel and later as a symbol of a by-gone era, romanticised by popular culture and nostalgic appeal.

Throughout Europe, the number of night train services has greatly reduced over the past 50 years. After the World War II, the advent of air travel, high-speed rail services and the rise of private car ownership have collectively phased out night trains from circulation.

As of last year, only 11 EU Member States retain their domestic night train services


I noted this earlier, but whenever the OBB managers signed off on this Night Jet initiative, which to me amounts to nothing more than "lipstick on a pig", I hope they were enjoying their Gruner-Veltliner.
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Re: European night trains

Postby johnthefireman » Thu Aug 31, 2017 12:20 am

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Re: European night trains

Postby RRspatch » Thu Aug 31, 2017 1:46 am



And it looks like the new sleeping cars are on their way.

http://www.railtechnologymagazine.com/R ... est-track-

Luckily for the UK CAF was able to build them faster than the Viewliner cars CAF is also building.
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Re: European night trains

Postby Gilbert B Norman » Thu Aug 31, 2017 6:35 am

This related Manchester Guardian Opinion piece is also worth a read.

I can't speak for the UK Night Train initiative beyond that they will have to compete with £75 budget airlines (how much to use the potty in flight?) anywhere within the UK.

Further, the UK does not have HSR systems ("Higher" of course) to the extent of the Western Continent. Three hour London-Edinburgh or Glasgow is not contemplated beyond think tanks. "It's there" on the Continent.

I still hold that the OBB Austrian initiative will not attract anyone other than the Backpack and others in the Econocrowd. They acquired cars on the cheap from Germany, and liveried them same (ones I noted parked at Munich Ost looked like "oh oh, better get Maaco" jobs). If they have visions of capturing the Zurich-Vienna business market, forget it. Two hours "holding it" (if that is really necessary) on an Easy Jet and in a stationary bed at an Accor (various Econo and Mid-Level brands) beats a "rack" in a shared room. The days of the Upper Berth and the communal washroom have been gone "over here" for pushing seventy years; gone overseas as well.
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Re: European night trains

Postby johnthefireman » Sat Sep 09, 2017 12:02 am

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Re: European night trains

Postby george matthews » Sun Sep 10, 2017 11:21 am

johnthefireman wrote:More Mk 5s for the Far North?

There used to be sleepers from Edinburgh and Glasgow to Inverness. I think the two trains combined, possibly at Stirling. I don't think I ever took one - back in the 1960s. I do remember taking a sleeper to London from Inverness. And another time to London I wanted to go from Edinburgh but it was fully booked, so I took a train across to Glasgow and boarded it there.

I think there may still be potential custom to Inverness from Edinburgh/Glasgow in addition to those from London - not just from Grouse shooters - but I do wonder if there is any real demand for further north. The day trains to Wick/Thurso from Inverness are rather slow - though in my experience very interesting. However, other people might prefer to endure the journey in bed. If the train could guarantee a connection with the ferries to Orkney and Shetland it might be a useful attraction. A sleeper from London might want to start earlier than the present sleepers - perhaps at 8 o'clock. Perhaps one or two sleeping cars from London might be added to the current train to Inverness for onward extension to Wick. There are many questions here, to be resolved. For example the current trains to Caithness are all DMUs, so I doubt if a sleeping car could be attached. In the end I doubt if it will be practicable to extend a sleeper train to Caithness. The current arrangement of boarding/alighting at Inverness will probably continue.

And as for the Kyle of Lachlash trains, who would want to miss the scenery? That is surely one of the world's most spectacular scenic trains. I still remember a trip there in the 1950s, and again in the 1960s.
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