Sleeper train revival in Europe

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I travelled overnight in a Renaissance Coach once on the Ocean when the sleepers were sold out. I really liked the option of having a single seat in the 2+1 layout and found the seats just fine. Instead of the usual reclining seat where the seatback encroached into your neighbor's space behind.....the Ren seat slides forward and unlike a 'Dayniter' there is no leg rest but there is a footrest.

I haven't ridden in those seats, but I am trying to imagine doing so...
While the "recline" mechanism doesn't infringe on those behind you, it would seem to me that it would limit you extending your legs forward. It would certainly bring your knees closer to the seat in front of you...
I guess I will just have to try them to really know....
 

jis

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Europe seems to have almost universally gone for the base slide forward recline on their trains. Of course an extreme case of it are the lie flat seats in the airline business and first classes.

Actually how much you can recline a seat depends inherently on the available seat pitch. The budget airline seat pitch is really not sufficient to allow any recline at all, even though they may pretend to provide a 1" recline :D
 

jiml

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I haven't ridden in those seats, but I am trying to imagine doing so...
While the "recline" mechanism doesn't infringe on those behind you, it would seem to me that it would limit you extending your legs forward. It would certainly bring your knees closer to the seat in front of you...
I guess I will just have to try them to really know....
They're a lot like the newest coach airline seats on AA and others.
 

Ziv

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"If you build it, they will come."
James Earl Jones channeling Ray Kinsella with regards to Mailliw's thoughts on sleeper trains.

Ok, I mangled the quote, but it sounded good if you didn't know the original.
Seriously, though, just about any inexpensive sleeper option would probably go over fairly well, whether it is an intermediate Lay Flat at an Angle or a modernized Slumbercoach.

Well, Americans are OK with communal sleeping arrangements in seated coaches, bus, and airplanes. I think there are enough Americans, particularly Gens Y & Z, who'd go for sleeping in a curtained bunk or pod. At least on 1 night trips. It'd basically be the same as a hostel or capsule hotel. Just ensure the upper berths have windows, everyone has outlets galore, and the fares are cheap. Allowing for the ADA bedroom you could fit about 32 berths in an open section arrangement for an overall capacity of 34 passengers.
 

Willbridge

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Perhaps reported elsewhere but SNCF has announced an innovation! They are planning to introduce an overnight Paris<>Nice train on the route of the former Le Train Blue.

Here's the news link.

IRL bulletin - SNCF to run overnight

Here's a cleaned up Google translate of the video showing the two sections that ran the last night in December 2017.

The start of 2018 was fatal to many things.

The biggest change is of course the disappearance of the mythical night train which linked Paris Austerlitz to Nice. (ex Blue Train).

It all started in 1883 when the train was launched by the CIWL (Wagon-Lits) and linked Calais to Rome and then Ventimiglia the following year, it was also called "Calais Mediterranean Express". In 1922, it took the name "Blue Train" like the sleeping cars that made up this train. In the 1960s, the train was now limited to the Paris / Ventimiglia route, a route that lasted until the 2000s.

Subsequently, the train loses the name "Train Bleu" and takes the classic name of all French night trains, "Corail Lunéa" then "Lunéa" thereafter.

In the following years, the train is limited to Nice. it is also twinned with Lunéa "Val de Durance" Paris / Briançon. From 2008, T2 sleeping cars are withdrawn from service, there are only couchette cars left. Then, the Lunéa trains, become "Intercités de Nuit". Since summer 2016, RZD (Russian) couchette cars have been put on the train to improve 1st class service.

In this video you will see the last "Blue Train" 5773 Paris / Nice and the penultimate 5776 Nice / Paris on the night of December 8 to 9, 2017.

The SNCF wants to eventually eliminate all these night trains, supposedly unprofitable .. and prefers to put night TGVs like Paris / Bourg St Maurice this winter .. but why not maintain the links to the beaches in summer and the connections to the Alps in winter? Let's take advantage of our night trains, before it's too late!

"Last" run of the Paris>Riviera night train.
 

caravanman

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Meanwhile in France.
Interesting to read that Russian sleeper coaches are now seen as better than existing French stock: "Comfortable
sleeper coaches might be rented
from the Austrians or the Russians, in order to offer a comfort level in line with the new modern European standards..." I always have a romanticised image of old Russian trains, with wisps of steam rising and fierce attendants! (I was also disappointed to find Americans don't all drive around these days in pink Cadillacs…) :D
 

Willbridge

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Interesting to read that Russian sleeper coaches are now seen as better than existing French stock: "Comfortable sleeper coaches might be rented from the Austrians or the Russians, in order to offer a comfort level in line with the new modern European standards..." I always have a romanticised image of old Russian trains, with wisps of steam rising and fierce attendants! (I was also disappointed to find Americans don't all drive around these days in pink Cadillacs…) :D
In the middle of this brief video - set up at a perfect spot...

RZD leased cars on Le Train Bleu

The provodnik failed to conform to the old stereotype.

2010 Russia 034k b-w.jpg
 

Seaboard92

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I'm surprised to see that RZD was leasing out rolling stock to SNCF but it does go to prove my point. They have some of the best and most modern sleepers in the European market. That and they are happy to do just about anything for a client.
 

Mailliw

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It's no surprise there; night trains never went out of fashion in Russia. Presumably the French would be leasing kupe cars like the Siemens ones on the Paris to Moscow line. They look really nice and versatile.
 

Willbridge

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It's no surprise there; night trains never went out of fashion in Russia. Presumably the French would be leasing kupe cars like the Siemens ones on the Paris to Moscow line. They look really nice and versatile.
The French commentary referred to 1st Class in couchette format. In 1971 I was assigned to a 1st class couchette on the Train Militaire from Berlin to Strasburg and it was the same layout as a Russian coupe - 4 berths.
 

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It's no surprise there; night trains never went out of fashion in Russia. Presumably the French would be leasing kupe cars like the Siemens ones on the Paris to Moscow line. They look really nice and versatile.
The most competitive sleeping car market in the world is Moscow-Saint Petersburg. Russian Railways operates at least six trains per day including the flagship the Red Arrow, Grand Express RU operates one train, and Tver Express fields one train. That is an insane amount of competition for a market where the fastest day train can accomplish the route is 3:30. Not to mention the 36 daily flights between the two cities.

I would assume the cars Siemens built will eventually get bumped to secondary status in a few years because in order to be a premium train you have to upgrade your rolling stock every 10 years. Unlike Amtrak which will run the wheels off a car for 40-50 years on premium services the Russians downgrade 10 year old cars then run the wheels off of them for 40-50 years while replacing the premium trains with new equipment.
 

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Nightjet's new sleeper exhibited. Photos of private room mock-ups included.

700 car order projected

“The decision made in 2016 to enter the European night train business and steadily expand the night train network was absolutely right,” says Mr Andreas Matthä, CEO of ÖBB. “We are already the largest provider of night train services in Europe and our investment in new and ultra-modern trains will ensure that we can continue building on our pioneering role.” Take that, big brother DB!
 

Just-Thinking-51

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Each seven-car set consists of two seating coaches, three couchette cars, and two sleeping cars.
13 NightJet sets consist of the above 7 cars.
 

Mailliw

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Have any floorplans of the new Nightjets been released yet? I'm curious what the capacities are, especially of the new couchette cars. Also wondering what the difference between the standard and deluxe sleeping compartments is since apparently they both have ensuites.
 

Just-Thinking-51

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Nothing yet, individual rooms are design level picture, art work type stuff. I know the model railroad companies are try to release at the same timeframe. However no floor plans yet.
 

Exvalley

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I will believe it when I see it, but I really like the idea of an overnight train from Amsterdam to Prague. Amsterdam needs more overnight service, so this is encouraging to see.
 

caravanman

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I will believe it when I see it, but I really like the idea of an overnight train from Amsterdam to Prague. Amsterdam needs more overnight service, so this is encouraging to see.
It does sound a bit like an amateur enthusiasts project, but fingers crossed for it.
I enjoyed a nice overnight sleeper ride from Amsterdam to Copenhagen a few years ago, nice journey, then to Koln overnight from Copenhagen, and then on to.... Those were the days when one did not need a hotel overnight at all!
 

Willbridge

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Just-Thinking-51

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A lot of spare equipment available in Europe. With NightJet buying new, there old stuff is hitting the market.



Does not take much effort, just time and money to start a night train. It’s a niche market with some serious issues, but you too can be a PTOC Passenger Train Operation Company.

 
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Seaboard92

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A lot of spare equipment available in Europe. With NightJet buying new, there old stuff is hitting the market.


Does not take much effort, just time and money to start a night train. It’s a niche market with some serious issues, but you too can be a PTOC Passenger Train Operation Company.

Maybe everyone here can contribute a thousand dollars and we can create our own night train :)
 

Just-Thinking-51

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I am in, but my last rail venture “Locomore” did not turn out too good. Sure I have a nice coffee mug, and a model passenger car, and yes the service is still present in a form, but a complete lost of investment did occur. Just like the funds I will commit to these guys, pretty sure I will never see any return.
 
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