The overnight sleeper train, declared dead only a few years ago, continues to grow in popularity between major European cities; a new route is planned to start in January between Brussels and Vienna, and another, from Amsterdam, will resume service after a gap of years.
The Austrian rail operator ÖBB has applied for operating rights for the Brussels train, which would cross several countries along the way. It is negotiating with Infrabel, which operates the infrastructure of the railroads in Belgium. It may ease the way by teaming up with SNCB, the Belgian rail operator.
Overnight sleepers allow travelers to save daytime for business or sightseeing and travel at night, also saving the price of a hotel room. For many, it also carries the glamor of a past era. After a period of decline, capped by Deutsche Bahn's dropping its City Nightline services, ÖBB bought the rolling stock and has been expanding the network since under the Nightjet brand.
In other night train news, ÖBB and Netherlands rail operator NS have announced the return of night service from Amsterdam to Munich and Vienna, also serving popular Austrian ski areas. The service last ran several years ago.