ERA has signed the first authorisation for the new generation of sleeper trains, an important step in the revival of night trains in Europe. Siemens trains for OBB Nightjet have been authorised.
On 24 November, the European Union’s Railway Agency (ERA) marked an important milestone by officially authorising the first batch of new-generation sleeper trains, which are being built by Siemens Mobility for ÖBB’s Nightjet sleeper service. These trains represent the first new sleeping car design in Europe, signalling a long-awaited breakthrough from decades of stagnation in sleeping car development.
Siemens trains for OBB Nightjet have been authorised
The vehicle authorisation covers 10 vehicle types representing 10 different wagons from Siemens Mobility. These will be operated by ÖBB for day and night traffic and represent the most visible sign of the return of night rail travel and a step forward in the revival of this type of travel, believes ERA. The availability of modern, well-equipped rolling stock is essential for seamless cross-border services, and the absence of suitable rolling stock could hinder their introduction.
The authorisation granted today allows operation in the DACHI area (Germany, Italy, Austria and Switzerland) for day and night traffic, and the different vehicle types are each authorised as individual vehicles within predefined train formations. The trains are designed for long-distance travel in Central Europe and are based on the latest technology.
“The new wave of night trains has great potential to become a key player in the future reality of multimodal transport. Where there are good rail connections and where the right rolling stock is available, longer overnight trains can offer a compelling alternative to early morning flights. The authorisation signed today demonstrates that demand for long-distance cross-border rail passenger transport, including night trains, is growing rapidly and that such services can be operated in a commercially viable and open-access way. We are pleased that ERA is contributing to this transformation, helping the rail sector to be agile and competitive and paving the way for the revival of night trains, while advancing the creation of a functional single European railway area,” says Josef Doppelbauer, ERA’s Executive Director.