"Midnight Trains, halte mein Bier": German Green Party proposes London to Warsaw, London to Rome sleeper

StephenHunter

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https://www.zeit.de/mobilitaet/2021...sicht?utm_referrer=https://groups.google.com/

Now and then it does happen that the Greens, the Union and the SPD, basically agree on a transport policy issue. There should be no general ban on climate-damaging short-haul flights. What does not seem to be ideal for climate protection may make sense in terms of election tactics: Bans are not so well received in election campaigns. Setting incentives that enable voluntary behavioral changes is probably more innocuous. So the Greens also assure themselves to work for a heavy rail traffic, which should make short air journeys superfluous.


A group of green politicians has now presented specific proposals for expanding European rail traffic and has shown which major European cities and holiday destinations, which are still mainly accessible by plane today, could be more conveniently reached by train in the future. The Greens want to work for a night train network that connects more than 200 destinations with around 40 international lines. This emerges from a concept paper that several members of the Bundestag around parliamentary group leader Anton Hofreiter have developed and ZEIT ONLINE is available. According to this, even holiday islands like Mallorca should be accessible by train and ferry in the future.
The Greens have a strong chance of being in the next German government too.
 
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NSEFAN

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Besides the money for rolling stock and the operations thereof, what is currently preventing an international sleeper running on HS1 out of St Pancras? If freight can run overnight on HS1 then surely a sleeper can too?
 

Aictos

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Besides the money for rolling stock and the operations thereof, what is currently preventing an international sleeper running on HS1 out of St Pancras? If freight can run overnight on HS1 then surely a sleeper can too?
Are you not forgetting the most pressing issue of passport control eg where are the checks done because if the service comes from Warsaw or Rome there are no passport controls between EU countries so those checks would have be done at station of origin and be a sealed train eg nobody could join it or depart it after departing said station, turf everyone off at Lille at 3am or 4am to do them or do them at St Pancras.
 

Bald Rick

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Besides the money for rolling stock and the operations thereof, what is currently preventing an international sleeper running on HS1 out of St Pancras? If freight can run overnight on HS1 then surely a sleeper can too?

The lack of someone wanting to lose tens of millions a year on such an operation.

Also, whilst HS1 is open at the times a sleeper would conceivably use it, LGV Nord isn’t, so it’s classic lines in Europe.
 

Vespa

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Gauge change at the Belarus border for one thing.
Multi gauge trains can be used with change of gauge sheds to switch from one to the other, of course that cost money and political will to do so.

It's been done before in Spain, Sweden/Finland, Poland into Ukraine and Lithuania.
 

43096

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The lack of someone wanting to lose tens of millions a year on such an operation.
To paraphrase the old saying, you can make a small fortune out of running a sleeper service, but only if you start with a very large fortune.
 

Roast Veg

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The lack of someone wanting to lose tens of millions a year on such an operation.

Also, whilst HS1 is open at the times a sleeper would conceivably use it, LGV Nord isn’t, so it’s classic lines in Europe.
Does that include Lille Europe station too? I think I can identify junctions either side of the station itself onto classic lines. You'd want to leave it as late as possible for the poor saps before turfing them out of bed for passport checks!
 

JonasB

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Besides the money for rolling stock and the operations thereof, what is currently preventing an international sleeper running on HS1 out of St Pancras? If freight can run overnight on HS1 then surely a sleeper can too?
Immigration checks and tunnel security.
 

AlbertBeale

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Gauge change at the Belarus border for one thing.

I've been on a through sleeper Tallinn-Warsaw with change of gauge on the Belarus-Poland border ... which took quite a while (though that was in more technologically primitive days). I used the time productively, in the middle of the night, to argue with the Belarus border guards about whether or not I should have had a transit visa. My pocket Russian dictionary got a bit of use.

But seriously, sleepers across borders where off-train (or lengthy and detailed on-train) security and border checks are insisted on [as is the case in and out of the UK] add enough extra time to the journey that many people would find them a deterrent (unless it's a very long journey anyway, where the extra time is only a small proportion of the total). And in the case of the Channel Tunnel route, where it seems unlikely that on-board checks would be allowed, the hassle factor adds more deterrent to the time factor.

Personally, I'd appreciate sleepers from London to other parts of Europe, and would be likely to use them. But the best that might be achievable in the foreseeable future is an expansion of the network of overnight routes from, say, Brussels (and maybe from Hook of Holland again!), combined with through ticketing and reliable connections from this side of the Channel. Evening trains from London to Brussels, connecting at the same station with sleepers to various parts of central and eastern Europe is a bit less appealing than a through train, but would do the trick for now.
 

Aictos

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I've been on a through sleeper Tallinn-Warsaw with change of gauge on the Belarus-Poland border ... which took quite a while (though that was in more technologically primitive days). I used the time productively, in the middle of the night, to argue with the Belarus border guards about whether or not I should have had a transit visa. My pocket Russian dictionary got a bit of use.

But seriously, sleepers across borders where off-train (or lengthy and detailed on-train) security and border checks are insisted on [as is the case in and out of the UK] add enough extra time to the journey that many people would find them a deterrent (unless it's a very long journey anyway, where the extra time is only a small proportion of the total). And in the case of the Channel Tunnel route, where it seems unlikely that on-board checks would be allowed, the hassle factor adds more deterrent to the time factor.

Personally, I'd appreciate sleepers from London to other parts of Europe, and would be likely to use them. But the best that might be achievable in the foreseeable future is an expansion of the network of overnight routes from, say, Brussels (and maybe from Hook of Holland again!), combined with through ticketing and reliable connections from this side of the Channel. Evening trains from London to Brussels, connecting at the same station with sleepers to various parts of central and eastern Europe is a bit less appealing than a through train, but would do the trick for now.
You've got a point there, what could be done is have Brussels and Vienna as the sleeper hubs with sleeper services leaving Vienna and Brussels for different parts of the EU with connections being made off day time services.

That would be made possible by further extending OBB sleeper services as they could be maintained under contract in Brussels by SNCB and in Vienna by OBB themselves which would be a more likely outcome then direct London to EU sleepers.
 

DanielB

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But the best that might be achievable in the foreseeable future is an expansion of the network of overnight routes from, say, Brussels (and maybe from Hook of Holland again!), combined with through ticketing and reliable connections from this side of the Channel.
From Hook of Holland is highly unlikely now that line is converted to metro. There is a link between the RET and ProRail networks at Schiedam, but the additional track (to avoid cargo trains from colliding with the platforms) only runs till Vlaardingen.

But a ferry to a harbour with bus connection to a nearby station could certainly be an option for cross-Channel travels.
The port in IJmuiden, where the ferry from Newcastle arrives, is relatively close to Beverwijk station for example. And Beverwijk had quite a lot of space with much more platforms than you'd expect based on the services calling there.
(Or easier: extend the 382 bus serving IJmuiden aan Zee from Amsterdam Sloterdijk to Central at relevant times and you've already got a link between boat and night trains.
 

43096

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Assuming that’s the length requirement in the tunnel, was it ever actually a restriction? Because the Regional Eurostar sets operated through the tunnel in passenger service and they were only around 320m length, including power cars.
 

Roast Veg

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I believe so.
So the sleeper parks up in Brussels station in the early hours of the morning, and everybody gets detrained and retrained there. Lovely!

At least in the opposite direction all the faff is done before boarding. Perhaps the service could run ECS from Calais in the westbound direction only, in the same vein as the first Eurostar Amsterdam services?
 

HSTEd

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Given that this is a German political party they likely assume the uppity British will fall in line and join Schengen.
 

RT4038

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I know it's a joke but you can do it in 2 changes anway. One at Paris and one at Moscow - at least before covid you could
I don't think that is quite so simple - the trains depart from different stations in Moscow and some metro travelling would be required to get between them!
 

Roast Veg

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I don't think that is quite so simple - the trains depart from different stations in Moscow and some metro travelling would be required to get between them!
If a 1.25 hour walk is too much for you (as it is indeed to long for most) - metro line 5 or tram 7 (slower) are direct between Moscow Belorussky and Yaroslavskiy.
 

AlbertBeale

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I don't think that is quite so simple - the trains depart from different stations in Moscow and some metro travelling would be required to get between them!

And also different stations in Paris - but Nord and Est are almost next door to one another, so walkable in a very few minutes. Probably an easier interchange than it is now at New Street.....

(Though if they get away with the full extent of the plans to rebuild Nord, that won't be true ... it'll be like an airport, where you have to go through a shopping centre to get to and from platforms.)
 

Aictos

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And also different stations in Paris - but Nord and Est are almost next door to one another, so walkable in a very few minutes. Probably an easier interchange than it is now at New Street.....
However Birmingham New Street and Birmingham Moor Street are a lot more closer then Paris's Gare Du Nord and Gare Du Est which I wouldn't say the two Paris stations are almost next door to each other more like London Euston to London Kings Cross, also the two Birmingham stations are very very easy to interchange at.
 

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