The new European train schedule for 2018 is just around the corner and will be valid from 10 December 2017. For a complete overview of night trains in all European countries have a look at the railcc website. Below I have listed the most important changes to European night trains for the 2018 schedule. The focus is on international connections and only countries where significant changes occur are listed.
The nightjet network continues to be a success. After ÖBB took over some CNL night trains from DB last year the network will remain the same this year. The only change will be the introduction of separate trains from Zurich to Berlin and Hamburg:
- nightjet Zurich – Berlin will now run via Hildesheim – Brandenburg – Potsdam and carry a portion for Hamburg.
- nightjet Zurich – Hamburg will run combined with the nightjet to Berlin until Hildesheim. In Hildesheim trains will be split, and the portion for Hamburg will continue via Hanover to Hamburg.
The night train “Metropol” from Vienna to Berlin will be withdrawn (read more in the Hungary section).
The night trains from Vienna to Krakow and Warsaw will be combined, arriving in Krakow very early and considerably later in Warsaw compared to the current schedule.
The once weekly night train from Vienna to Moscow will be withdrawn.
The once weekly night train from Nice via Milan, Vienna and Warsaw to Moscow remains but will run with completely new timings. The eastbound train will cross Austria mostly overnight, calling in Vienna at 05:xx. The westbound train will call at Vienna at 22:xx, then cross Austria overnight as well.
A new through sleeping car Vienna – Budapest – Lviv – Kyiv will be introduced, running daily.
The Zagreb – Split night train will continue to operate. As in 2017 the train will run three tims per week in the off season and daily from June to September.
The Budapest – Split and Budapest – Rijeka summer season night trains will remain, however the twice weekly through coach from Prague to Split will be withdrawn.
The through coaches from Cheb via Prague to Kosice and Humenne will be withdrawn. The Prague to Banska Bystrica through coach will also be withdrawn.
Due to the withdrawal of the Budapest to Berlin night train (see Hungary) the Prague to Budapest overnight connections will be recast. There will be two pairs for through coaches from Prague to Budapest. These will have different departure/arrival timings in Prague but will arrive/depart in Budapest at the same time. The “faster” train (later departure/earlier arrival in Prague) will offer reasonable connections to/from Berlin, while the “slower” train is intended for passengers who want to have more time to sleep on the train.
The night trains from Prague to Krakow and Warsaw will be combined (see Austria).
The Prague – Moscow night train will be retimed.
Summer season connections from Prague to Bar and Split will be withdrawn. The Prague – Kyiv through coach will be withdrawn (see Slovakia).
The night trains from Paris to Latour de Carol/Toulouse/Rodez and from Paris to Briancon will remain. Unfortunately, SNCF will withdraw the Paris to Nice service, although patronage was high. Passengers who want to arrive early in Paris or Nice now have to travel one day prior and stay in a hotel or take a plane or overnight bus service.
After the Paris to Cerbere night train was reinstated in 2017 during the summer season, chances are good that the train will resume in 2018.
The RZD night trains from Paris and Nice to Moscow will continue to run once weekly; the train from Nice will be completely retimed though.
The nightjet service from Zurich to Berlin and Hamburg will be split in Hildesheim. From Hildesheim, one portion will continue via Hanover to Hamburg while the other portion continues via Magdeburg – Brandenburg – Potsdam to Berlin. That way the timings for Berlin will be much more attractive than in 2017.
The “Metropol” night train from Budapest to Berlin (with through coaches from Vienna) will be withdrawn on the section from Prague to Berlin. There will be two night trains from Budapest to Prague (same departure/arrival times in Budapest but different departure/arrival in Prague). Rumors say that Austrian Railways will step in from June or December 2018 and resume at least the Vienna to Berlin train.
The Budapest to Krakow and Budapest night trains will be combined, calling at Krakow before continuing to Warsaw (see Austria).
The summer season night trains from Budapest to Bar, Burgas and Varna will be withdrawn. The sleeping car in the Budapest – Brasov night train will run only during the summer months (this train will also lose its dining car).
The current Budapest – Kyiv through coach will be cut back to Lviv, running only during the day (with a sleeping car though). Instead, there will be a Vienna – Budapest – Lviv – Kyiv sleeping car.
The Bratislava and Prague to Lviv and Kyiv through coaches will be withdrawn. Instead, a new service will run from Kosice to Kyiv with connections from Bratislava and Prague.
The Budapest to Berlin night train via Bratislava will be withdrawn. The Budapest to Krakow and Warsaw via Bratislava night train will be combined (see Hungary).
The Istanbul to Sofia and Bucharest night trains will resume in 2018. There are rumors about a new night train from Istanbul to Budapest in the summer season.
The new (Istanbul -) Ankara – Baku night train is supposed to start in 2018, but no official dates and timings have been announced yet.