Comfort, efficiency, and an enticing travel experience – modern high-speed trains in Europe offer all this. With them, traveling by train has long lost the reputation for being slow and expensive, but instead has a growing number of people who prefer it over any other way of transportation, and new trains bring us into the future of modern travels.
No relic from the past
The charm of train travel has always captivated people. With the arrival of new high-speed rail networks like the ICE in Germany, Nightjets in Austria, and TGV in France, European countries are striving to create a more enticing travel experience on the tracks. These trains provide a unique and unforgettable journey to marvel at Europe’s stunning landscapes, shaping the future of travel in Europe.
This remarkable combination of benefits is making it easier and more appealing for increasing numbers of holiday-goers to choose train travel over other modes of transportation. With the latest technology and luxurious amenities aboard these ingenious machines, travelers can sit back, relax, and marvel at some of the continent’s most stunning landscapes as they embark on a truly unique and unforgettable journey of a lifetime. Whether you’re on a romantic getaway, a family vacation, or a solo adventure, these innovative trains are undoubtedly shaping the future of European travel and providing another reason to explore its diverse corners by rail.
Deutsche Bahn and the new ICE
In an effort to encourage more people to switch from cars to trains, Deutsche Bahn aims to have around 450 ICE trains operating throughout Germany by 2030, an increase of approximately 100 compared to the end of this year. The company plans to invest over 19 billion euros in new trains by 2039, as announced by CEO Richard Lutz. The funds will flow into the new models ICE 3neo and ICE L.
By the end of 2029, 73 new ICE 3neo trains are expected to be running on Germany’s tracks, providing an additional 32,000 seats daily. The first ICE 3neo trains are set to be in operation by December 2022, initially connecting NRW and southern Germany via the high-speed route between Cologne and the Rhine/Main region. These trains are designed to reach maximum speeds of 320 kilometers per hour, offering passengers a fast and efficient mode of transportation while working to reduce the overall carbon footprint.
The Austrian Nightjet
The Austrian Federal Railways (Österreichischen Bundesbahnen) is stepping up its game in terms of traveler-friendly night trains, introducing a new generation of 33 Nightjets that will connect European cities at speeds of up to 230 kilometers per hour. These high-speed trains are designed with a modern aesthetic to make overnight travel more appealing and enjoyable for passengers.
The updated sleeping and reclining cars will offer enhanced comfort and increased privacy, featuring double compartments in the sleeping cars and four-person compartments in the reclining ones. This thoughtful design aims to cater to the needs of various types of travelers, ensuring a pleasant and restful journey through the European landscapes.
The first trains will already come into use in summer 2023 between Austria and Germany to Italy. Over the following two years, other cities in Switzerland and the Netherlands will also be included into the Nightjet plan.
Spain: A new intercity train
A new rival is set to grace the tracks of Spain as Iryo, a Spanish train operator, prepares to launch its high-speed services in November 2022. With 16 trains scheduled to operate daily, Iryo aims to build connections between the country’s two largest cities, Barcelona and Madrid, while also making a stop in Zaragoza. Amidst the competition posed by the state-owned Renfe and French provider Ouigo, this addition to the railway ecosystem could come as a great benefit for the customers.
Notably, the ticket prices for the 505-kilometer distance covered by the existing operators range between €7 and €9. However, Iryo is set to introduce fares starting at €18, offering passengers a choice between four different categories as they travel amidst the bustling Spanish landscape.
The TGV from France
Picture yourself embarking on a dream European vacation, traveling from the bustling metropolis of Paris to the shimmering shores of the French Riviera in just four and a half hours. This is no longer a figment of your imagination, but a reality thanks to the new double-decker TGV M, a collaborative effort of the French railway company SNCF and train manufacturer Alstom.
The TGV M matches its previous generation’s top speed of 350 kilometers per hour, enabling travelers to effortlessly journey from the City of Lights to the sun-kissed coast. Interestingly, the swift travel times have managed to substantially reduce domestic air travel within France, making the TGV M not only an impressive feat of engineering, but also a game-changer in the nation’s transportation landscape.
The Midnight Train
The charming allure of night train journeys is making a grand comeback in Europe, and the French start-up, ‘Midnight Trains,’ is here to ensure travelers experience the trend in ultimate luxury. Set to launch in 2024, these lavish sleepers will whisk passengers away to over ten dreamlike destinations across the continent, with pit stops in mesmerizing cities like Paris, Copenhagen, Milan, Rome, Florence, Barcelona, Madrid, and Porto.
Even Germany will be incorporated into the picturesque panorama, making stopovers in both Hamburg and Berlin. The Midnight Trains promise to redefine rail travel by providing the elegance and comfort of a hotel on wheels. Envision high-end private suites with personal bathrooms, an exquisite menu featuring intricate cocktails, and even room service, as reported by “Executive Traveller.” Midnight Trains is set to transform European rail travel, one luxurious journey at a time.
The future of traveling
Traveling by train combines many benefits, not only for your own experience, but also for the environment. New trains and more railroads all throughout Europe promise a growing number of fascinating options for your next holiday.