European Sleeper begins its journey from Brussels to Berlin

sleeper service

The founders of European Sleeper, Elmer van Buuren and Chris Engelsman, and the Belgian Deputy Prime Minister, Georges Gilkinet, have launched the first Brussels – Berlin sleeper service in a ceremony held on 26 May 2023 in Brussel Zuid station.

The train service runs from Brussels via Antwerp, Rotterdam, Amsterdam towards Berlin on a 12-hour journey. The train leaves Brussel Zuid station on Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 19:22 and arrives at Berlin Hauptbahnhof on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at 06:48. The return journey takes 9 hours with train departing Berlin at 22:56 on Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday and arriving in Brussels at 09:27 on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

The most comfortable travel option provides a maximum of 3 beds in the compartment, the comfort class provides passengers with 6 couchettes at night and seats during the day. The most affordable travel option provides 6 seats in a compartment which can also be booked as a private compartment, but not between the Netherlands and Belgium.

The operator intends introduce a new train service every year, from spring 2024 expecting to expand the service from Berlin to Dresden and Prague, in the Czech Republic.

On 22nd May, European Sleeper performed a test train ride with its partners, investors and the team.

For European Sleeper, the introduction of this service is an important first step in building a more extensive network of sleeper trains from Belgium and the Netherlands. In recent months, the availability of sleeper carriages has proved the greatest challenge. The service between Brussels and Berlin will start with hired carriages, but European Sleeper will soon be investing in its own carriages with even more comfort, a modern feel and more privacy options.

The new sleeper service between Brussels and Berlin is not just relevant for the cities on the route. Thanks to the sleeper service, other attractive options to travel by train come into play as well, for example between London and Berlin (change in Brussels to the Eurostar), Paris and Berlin (change in Brussels to the Thalys), Brussels and Warsaw (change in Berlin to the EuroCity).

“The European Sleeper demonstrates that demand for long-distance cross-border passenger rail, including night trains, is growing fast, and that such services can be operated in a commercially viable Open Access manner,” AllRail says highlighting that tit is the first independently owned scheduled long-distance rail operator to depart from Belgium and its new night train is commercially driven – not a Public Service Obligation (PSO) – and links Belgium, the Netherlands with Berlin in Germany.

European Sleeper is a new Dutch-Belgian rail company focusing on sleeper trains and is part of the movement which is putting the sleeper train in Europe back on the map. “More and more people will abandon planes, cars or buses and board the sleeper train to be transported to new places as they sleep,” the company says.

At the end of May 2021, European Sleeper had raised EUR 500,000 in starting capital within three months by selling shares to over 350 small investors from various countries in Europe
and beyond. In 2022, EUR 2 million in shares were sold which has created an enthusiastic community, involved in the development of the business.

Share on: