Brussels To Vienna
Using the central European location to their advantage, Austria and more specifically ÖBB is quickly positioning itself as the night train hub of Europe. And by 2022, ÖBB plans to enhance its 27 overnight services with all new cars, that along with the usual (but enhanced) en-suite sleeper cabins, come with futuristic ‘mini-suite’ pods for couchettes, that close for added privacy, finally bringing European night train travel into the 21st century (and by 2024 — to Paris!).
The latest addition (in service as of writing) for 2020 is the Brussels to Vienna route, newly resumed (after a 17-year hiatus), running in either direction and arriving early enough for morning meetings, if one intends to travel for work.
But what makes the proposition most interesting is that Londoners and the Viennese can now travel, with ease, directly between London and Vienna with just one change. From London, simply take the Eurostar to Brussels and after an afternoon of gorging oneself on the sights and chocolates of the European capital, board the sleeper in the evening to arrive in elegant Vienna in time for a morning coffee in the city’s “public living rooms” — its grand cafes.
It’s this kind of convenience that’s at the centre of train travel. Apart from the obvious benefits to climate and as a replacement for air travel in trying times, the sleeper train offers so much that short-haul flights just cannot compete with: a chance to slow down, admire the scenery from the window, inhale the timeless romance of the railways, and travel directly to, and from, the centres of major cities, while, and this is crucial, avoiding Heathrow.