Rail Baltic global project coordinator supporting comeback of night trains

  • 2021-10-04
  • LETA/BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN - In September, representatives of the Rail Baltic joint venture and the global project coordinator RB Rail AS participated in the inaugural session of the working group about night trains to analyze possible night trains services and potential passenger traffic as part of development of the future passengers' services on the 1,435 mm gauge infrastructure.

The working group was organized by the intercity and high-speed committee of International Union of Railways (UIC) to provide an overview of the possibilities that night train operators could leverage from this greenfield project, according to RB Rail.

Over the past 30 years the night train services have diminished in Europe, however in recent years demand for this service shows an increase. Rail Baltic project representatives presented their vision about the potential for regular night lines from Tallinn and Vilnius toward Warsaw and Berlin, operated at 200 kilometers per hour.

"Additionally, possible extensions to Vienna, Prague, Budapest, Bratislava, and Amsterdam shall be analyzed, including with possible seasonal services towards winter destinations, such as Zakopane in Poland, Poprad in Slovakia, Salzburg and Innsbruck in Austria," said Jean-Marc Galimont, senior operation expert at RB Rail AS.

A rough estimate of travel time by night trains was prepared, showing that Warsaw could be reached from Tallinn in eight and half hours, whereas Berlin -- in 14 and half hours. Considering competitive travel times and the fact that night service is well adapted to habits of the Baltic citizens, it might be expected that night train services will gain popularity amongst the future passengers. Consequently, this would also contribute significantly to reduction of carbon dioxide emissions from transport sector in the Baltic states.

Working group about night trains will analyze in details commercial, operational, and technical aspects of night trains, which are in accelerated revival phase in Europe and beyond -- due to environmental policies, such as EU Green Deal and in particular relevance Rail Baltic project.

The International Union of Railways (UIC) is an international rail transport industry body grouping 194 members from railways organization across five continents.