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Old June 18th, 2014, 07:00 PM   #1
Jeff Hawken
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MISC | International Night Trains

A thread to discuss long-distance overnight train services, especially those running internationally.
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Old June 18th, 2014, 07:05 PM   #2
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Yesterday DSB issued a press release confirming the withdrawal of international sleeper services to / from Kobenhavn with effect from the December 2014 timetable change. Stated reasons are uneconomic operation, and forthcoming engineering blocks during 2015.
This means the loss of the Kobenhavn portions to Amsterdam, Prague, and Basel, which must seriously undermine the whole economics of continuing the CNL operation to / from those locations.

Jeff Hawken

http://www.dsb.dk/om-dsb/presse/nyhe...ra-arsskiftet/

Google translation of press release:

The night train stops running at New Year
17-06-2014 10:30:00
When the last departure at City Night Line, DSB and German courses DB night train rolls out from Copenhagen Central Station in December 2014, it ended up lying in sleeping cars on trains to and from Copenhagen. Indeed, it is a limited audience, which takes advantage of could lie in sleeping cars and dining in the restaurant car in the night train that runs from Copenhagen to Amsterdam, Basel and Prague."DB and we've looked at the numbers and we have to recognize that there is no economy in it," said DSB's head of sales and product marketing Christian Linnelyst.
Track work shuts down exit
DB and DSB have jointly decided to close the exit from Copenhagen via Roskilde, Odense, Kolding, Padborg and Hamburg. In Hamburg, shared the train and continue to Amsterdam, Basel and Prague. There are daily one departure and one arrival in Copenhagen. "It's mainly tourists during the summer months using this flight. The summer of 2015, however, marked by a significant and long-lasting track work on Funen, which means that we are forced to cancel almost all night trains in peak season, "says Christian Linnelyst and continues: "The economic indicators in conjunction with the track work next summer means that we choose to set the run right from the timetable change in December 2014 "Christian Linnelyst.
Still lots of connections to Europe
DSB continues 4:00 to 6:00 daily flights between Copenhagen and Hamburg and a daily flight between Copenhagen / Aarhus and Berlin and from there connect to the rest of Europe. "DB and we are investigating whether we can adjust the roadmap daytime so that we can provide customers with an attractive alternative to the night train with good connections through Europe, "says Christian Linnelyst.

DSB Communications & Branding (msl)
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Old June 20th, 2014, 05:47 PM   #3
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There are two overnight sleeper train services (no seating or standing tickets available) direct to/from Hong Kong on alternating days:

T97B/T98B: Kowloon <-> Beijing (~23 hours non-stop)
T99B/T100B: Kowloon <-> Shanghai (~20 hours non-stop)

Since the route originates/terminates at Hung Hom railway station in Kowloon (part of the Hong Kong SAR), these trains are considered to be 'international' services, where travel documents such as passports are checked at immigration, and customs formalities must be observed.
Besides the overnight sleeper trains, Hong Kong also has 'international' railway services from Kowloon (Hung Hom station) to Changping, Guangzhou East, Foshan, and Zhaoqing railway stations in neighboring Guangdong province. However the Guangdong line does not have sleeper facilities and only runs during the day.
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Old June 22nd, 2014, 05:54 PM   #4
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Rīga - Moscow

From 25th of June to 10th of July Latvian Railways will begin testing on-the-go border checks for Rīga - Moscow night train. This will reduce the journey time by two hours.

Other recent technological improvements have already cut the journey time by 40 minutes. So now the 920 km journey will take just 13 hrs and 40 minutes instead of the 16 hrs and 21 minutes just a few years ago.

That's still a quite miserable average speed of less than 70 km/h though. And indeed for some reason the up to 20 coaches long train accelerates very slowly. We have regional DMUs with more stops than the Moscow sleeper but they're faster.
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Old June 22nd, 2014, 08:04 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BriedisUnIzlietne View Post
From 25th of June to 10th of July Latvian Railways will begin testing on-the-go border checks for Rīga - Moscow night train. This will reduce the journey time by two hours.

Other recent technological improvements have already cut the journey time by 40 minutes. So now the 920 km journey will take just 13 hrs and 40 minutes instead of the 16 hrs and 21 minutes just a few years ago.

That's still a quite miserable average speed of less than 70 km/h though. And indeed for some reason the up to 20 coaches long train accelerates very slowly. We have regional DMUs with more stops than the Moscow sleeper but they're faster.
I hope this trial is successful.
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Old August 13th, 2014, 07:02 PM   #6
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Last weekend I travelled from Koper in Slovenia through to 's-Hertogenbosch in the Netherlands, using the weekly car sleeper train which operates in the summer. The train was formed of 8 coaches, including sleeping cars, couchette cars, and a restaurant car, plus 6 double-deck car-carrying vehicles. From Koper we had a Slovenian 541 class electric loco through to Jesenice via Ljubljana, hauled from Prestranek to Ljubljana by an OBB class 2016 diesel (because of the overhead wire damage caused in the winter). Because of engineering work between Jesenice and Villach, the train took the diesel only route via Klagenfurt, so a further pair of OBB class 2016 diesels worked on that section. These were replaced by an OBB 1116 to Salzburg, where 1142 704 (owned by CBB) took over and worked via the north side of Munchen, south side of Frankfurt, across the bridges at Mainz, the left bank of the Rhine, avoiding Koln Hbf, and on to Kaldenkirchen, a few kms short of the border at Venlo. Here the 1142 had to be replaced by a class 189 electric for the short trip to Venlo, as the 1142 is not licensed on NS rails. Finally a "Baldwin" class 12 took over for the run to 's-Hertogenbosch, where the arrival was on time.
The operator of the weekly trains from 's-Hertogenbosch to Alessandria, Livorno and Koper is http://www.autoslaaptrein.nl/
Bookings can be made and paid for in Sterling via their UK agents, Railsavers http://www.railsavers.com/
Prices vary according to type of accommodation, and season.

They accept passengers without cars too (like me). Certainly worth considering, either for a family holiday (with or without your road vehicle(s)) or just as a single traveller.
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Old September 5th, 2014, 01:52 PM   #7
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The Danish Transport Ministry have upon request in parliament from the left-wing Enhedslisten party released figures for how many passengers use the CNL night train from Copenhagen. The month with the worst statistics is November, equalling to about 150 passengers per service.

The numbers are from 2013.

[IMG]http://i61.************/3502n2t.png[/IMG]
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Old September 5th, 2014, 03:11 PM   #8
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What is finally the truth regarding CNL trains to Paris ? I hear two different
messages, one saying that all trains are axed, the other one saying that only
the Munich branch will disappear. Anyone knows ?
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Old September 5th, 2014, 09:32 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarcVD View Post
What is finally the truth regarding CNL trains to Paris ? I hear two different messages, one saying that all trains are axed, the other one saying that only the Munich branch will disappear. Anyone knows ?
You might find more info at: http://www.europebyrail.eu/timetable...europe-by-rail
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Old September 12th, 2014, 07:20 PM   #10
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A petition has been launched to save overnight services from Germany to Copenhagen http://t.co/rj8wto6QgN
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Old September 14th, 2014, 11:43 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Hawken View Post
This means the loss of the Kobenhavn portions to Amsterdam, Prague, and Basel,
I remember in 2008 taking the night train Copenhagen-Munich, that shaky train was 4 hours late - This was probably the first night train line from Copenhagen to close. The problem with night trains is that they have a hard time sticking to the timetable. I went to Prague with train last year, I considered the night train from Copenhagen but it was very expensive. The cheapest way was to get to Hamburg first then take the ICE to Berlin and the train to Prague.

Now also closing the service to Amsterdam, Prague, and Basel meaning that Hamburg will be the main hub for international traintravel from Scandinavia/Northern Europe.

So now Hamburg & Berlin are the only remaing continental european cities with a direct service to Copenhagen. Remember that the Malmö, Sweden-Berlin night trains still are running, although with a seasonal traffic only (april-sept)


Last edited by NordikNerd; September 14th, 2014 at 11:51 AM.
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Old September 16th, 2014, 04:35 PM   #12
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Train 91 Vilnius (Lithuania) - Daugavpils (Latvia) - St. Petersburg (Russia) MIGHT be canceled on 25th of May 2015.

This closure would not only cut the only passenger train between Lithuania and Latvia but also raise the question of what would happen with the direct Daugavpils-Vilnius railway: this night train is the only train of any kind on 17 km (Grīva station to border with Lithuania) of the railway in the territory of Latvia. If LDz decides to close the line, any future trains will have to take a 200 km longer route.

Last edited by BriedisUnIzlietne; September 16th, 2014 at 04:50 PM.
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Old January 16th, 2015, 01:03 PM   #13
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http://www.railjournal.com/index.php...e-network.html

Quote:
Monday, August 04, 2014
DB shrinks City Night Line network

GERMAN Rail (DB) long-distance subsidiary DB Fernverkehr is planning to further restructure its night train and Autozug motor rail services, which have collectively lost more than €20m annually in recent years.

DB says revenues from the services remain relatively low with little growth in recent years whilst operating costs are relatively high and largely fixed. DB has therefore decided to make significant changes to remove the worst loss-making routes. The services use specialist vehicles that are nearing the end of their useful life but DB says the trains currently do not make enough money to warrant investment in a new fleet.

Services will be withdrawn in December on the following routes:

• Basle/Amsterdam and Prague to Copenhagen

• Hamburg/Berlin and Munich to Paris

In addition Warsaw/Prague – Amsterdam services will no longer serve the Netherlands and will be cut back to Cologne.

DB says vehicles freed up by these changes will be redeployed to improve availability levels on other routes and to lengthen trains at busy times.
The Amsterdam section will be a big loss for me, I used it several times =(

I am happy they still have Zurich - Dresden - Prague, so there is 1 night train left to me: to the switzerland.

But cutting the trains in Oberhausen while Netherlands is so close, that's stupid =( Its so close, and it makes the difference between the route being very useful and being useless to me =( Connecting is possible, but only hardcores will do it. Alone I could do it, my wife probably wouldnt accept it.
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Old January 16th, 2015, 04:56 PM   #14
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Where have you been the last month? These cuts already took place last November and December.
The matter was discussed in a parliament committee recently. Interestingly DB admitted that the night trains in themselves cover their costs. However profits are not sufficient to cover the separate night train bureaucracy and does not warrant investments into the necessary new coaches. Plus open access fees for operating the night trains in countries outside Germany are sometimes horrendous. In the hearing, some interesting suggestions were made as to how night trains could be operated in a more promising way, taking in 21st century amenities and allowing for more cost efficiency. However most agreed that political incentives would have to support efforts at upkeeping night services.
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Old January 17th, 2015, 01:12 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Baron Hirsch View Post
Where have you been the last month? These cuts already took place last November and December.
I dont travel that much in winter, its cold. And I need to take days off to travel, and the number of days off are limited.

Quote:
does not warrant investments into the necessary new coaches.
new coaches? I was very happy with the existing ones =( German night coaches are brand new compared with polish ones for example. IMO they could run those coaches for 10+ more years easily.

Quote:
Plus open access fees for operating the night trains in countries outside Germany are sometimes horrendous.
Probably that's why they cancelled the route into the Netherlands and Denmark =( In Denmark there has been quite some effort to revert this, but I haven't heard from the dutch. I guess they don't care.

I wonder how much of this had to do with the bus liberalization. Buses taking market share, DB needs to save wherever it can. I hate buses.
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Old April 24th, 2015, 02:21 PM   #16
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A question

Does the train CityNightLine between Berlin and Paris has been deleted ?
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Old April 24th, 2015, 02:47 PM   #17
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Yes, cancelled last December despite it being almost always full. DB blames the French for high open access fees, the French side rejected that claim, blaming DB (see posts above). Now help comes from an unexpected angle: as of summer, RZD, the Russian train operator will retime its Paris-Moscow train so it can also serve as an overnight connection between Paris and Berlin. However this train only operates twice a week.

Last edited by Baron Hirsch; April 24th, 2015 at 02:54 PM.
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Old April 25th, 2015, 02:23 AM   #18
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Night train removals in Europe are a shame. You here the same mantra "night trans have no more room in the age of cheap flights and HSR". However, most night trains in Europe are always PACKED. Same for domestic ones in Romania... Not that they have huge ridership. But filling in a single daily train with 200-250 people between two major cities is not that hard.
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Old April 26th, 2015, 09:48 PM   #19
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Does anyone know why the Sofia-Moscow train was cancelled? It provided an extra cross border train between Bucharest and Bulgaria.

Now there is only 1 cross border service each way daily. A disgrace.
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Old April 27th, 2015, 12:03 AM   #20
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Due to the sanctions, international ridership has decreased dramatically. Russians do not feel safe to travel abroad, and especially the number of trains crossing Ukraine, even when traveling through a peaceful part of that country, have been a prime target for RZD's attempts at cutting down its deficit.
There is a second cross-border train between Romania and Bulgaria though. The Serdica (Sofia-Budapest) crosses between Vidin and Calafat. However this is admittedly not a good choice if you are heading to Bucharest or the East or Center of Romania.
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