Amsterdam to Barcelona night train wins support from European Commission
Two international train pilot projects connecting Amsterdam with other parts of Europe will receive support from the European Union. The two projects include the European Sleeper night train service connecting Amsterdam and Barcelona, and improvements proposed by the NS and Eurostar for the service between Amsterdam and London.
The European Commission gave its backing on Tuesday to ten international train project proposals submitted by rail operators and various authorities. The pilot projects submitted are meant to help address “obstacles hindering the uptake and operation of cross-border passenger rail services, and measures to address them,” the European Commission said in a statement.
NL Times reported on the European Sleeper night train between Amsterdam and Barcelona back in June after the start-up rail operator submitted its application to operate the route to the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets. The company said it wants the route to include stops in the Netherlands at Amsterdam Centraal, The Hague HS, Rotterdam Centraal and Roosendaal.
It was proposed to run the round trip journeys three days per week, with the potential to eventually expand to a daily timetable depending on interest, capacity, and equipment availability. The company hoped to launch the Barcelona service by December 10 or sooner.
Several other projects approved by the European Commission also involve Spain, including new services between Lisbon and both Madrid and A Coruña. Another project by the regional authorities in Catalunya, Spain, and Catalonia, France aim to connect Barcelona to Toulouse and Montpellier via Figueras.
Day and night service should also link Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmo to Copenhagen, Hamburg, Berlin, Leipzig and Prague. Eventually, these routes could also expand beyond Gothenburg to Oslo.
Paris and Venice will be linked up with a new Midnight Trains night train service stopping in Milan. Rome and Milan will also connect via Munich to Vienna, Budapest, and the Romanian city of Arad. Meanwhile, Oradea, Romania will also be connected to Budapest and Vienna in an expansion of existing service.
Finally, the Flixtrain service between Munich and Zurich also won approval.
“While demand for green mobility is growing, we need the rail market to respond much better and much faster, especially for long and cross-border journeys,” said European Commissioner for Transport Adina Vălean. “This is why the European Commission now wants to help rail companies create new international train connections – by day and by night – by breaking down the many barriers to cross-border rail.”