The collaboration between Deutsche Bahn and Österreichische Bundesbahnen marks a significant development in transboundary train connectivity, promising faster, greener travel for millions.
- A new direct train connection from Vienna to Berlin, extending to Hamburg, from December 2023.
- Enhanced cross-border cooperation leads to more direct routes and frequent services.
- A significant increase in passenger capacity is expected by the end of 2023.
- A commitment to bolster the Nightjet service, connecting major European cities.
A Boost in Connectivity and Frequency
As the world gears towards sustainable means of transportation, the collaboration between Deutsche Bahn (DB) and the Österreichische Bundesbahnen (ÖBB) stands as a beacon of innovation and forward-thinking.
The enhanced partnership promises to bring about a significant reduction in travel time and a spike in the frequency of direct connections, making it a major boon for travelers across borders.
Targeting a Boom in Train Travel
According to Stefanie Berk, head of marketing and sales at DB Long-Distance Travel, around 21 million people traveled across borders by train in 2022, a number dwarfed by those who chose to fly – a number seven times higher.
Both companies are fervently looking to shift this trend with a schedule change in December 2023, aiming to win over a large portion of those air passengers to greener, rail-based travel.
A new route between Vienna and Berlin via Nuremberg, and an extended service to Hamburg, are set to be major steps in this direction.
Nightjet Expansion: A Focus on Overnight Travel
The Nightjet service, which is already witnessing a rise in patronage with 1.5 million annual passengers, is expected to double its ridership by the end of 2023, as stated by Sabine Stock, ÖBB’s board member for passenger transport.
The companies have ambitious plans to expand nighttime cooperation, including new connections from Berlin and Vienna to Brussels and Paris, set to start with thrice-weekly services in December 2023 and progress to daily services by autumn 2024.
A substantial investment in new sleeping and reclining cars underscores this commitment to enhancing the Nightjet service.
A Journey Towards a Sustainable Future
In the spirit of fostering a sustainable future and bridging distances, the new connection is set to embark on its maiden voyage at 6:13 AM from Vienna, reaching Berlin by 1:50 PM and Hamburg by 4:03 PM.
The return journey promises equal efficiency, marking the onset of a new era in European rail travel.
While the endeavor symbolizes a move towards a more connected and sustainable Europe, passengers transferring at Nuremberg will still face a waiting time of nearly 40 minutes, a minor hiccup in an otherwise massive leap forward.
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