Austria's national railway company, ÖBB, launched new Nightjet sleeper trains. These trains include unique solo 'pod' cabins. They started running on Dec. 10, traveling from Vienna to Hamburg.

New Era for Sleeper Trains as Austria Unveils Innovative Solo Pods
(Photo : Simon Tartarotti on Unsplash)

Austria Launches New Generation Sleeper Trains with Solo 'Pod' Cabins

The latest Nightjet sleeper trains in Austria are catching attention. They offer single travelers quirky 'pod'-style cabins. These new trains began serving the public on Dec. 10. The ÖBB, Austria's railway company, first showed these redesigned trains in October.

The solo cabins in these sleeper trains are ultra-modern. They have a foldable table with a mirror, coat hooks, a reading lamp, and storage for luggage and shoes. Travel expert Nonstop Eurotrip tried the new pod over 1,000km from Vienna to Hamburg. He called it the most innovative change in sleeper trains in over 100 years.

According to MSN, the new sleeper trains are not just for solo travelers. They also have redesigned sleeping cars for one to two people and couchettes for up to four. These cars offer private bathrooms with showers and a seating area. This setup lets travelers work, read, or eat comfortably.

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In addition to the solo pods, these trains have more. They include accessible couchette compartments for wheelchair users. There's also a low-floor entrance and a barrier-free toilet. For those who love cycling, there are six bicycle parking spaces. Plus, extra room for luggage, strollers, and sports gear is available.

The trains can carry 254 passengers in seven-carriage formations. They connect various European cities, like Vienna, Paris, and Berlin. 

Climate-conscious travelers appreciate these sleeper trains. They offer a more time-effective and eco-friendly travel than daytime trips or flights. 

Austria's Minister for Climate Action, Leonore Gewessler, highlighted the climate benefits of train travel. Aside from Gewessler, ÖBB CEO Andreas Matthä also emphasized the focus on passenger needs with these new trains.

New Sleeper Trains Launching Across Europe

Europe is welcoming more overnight sleeper trains this year. This week, three new routes are starting. They connect Berlin to Paris, Berlin to Brussels, and Paris to Aurillac.

In 2024, sleeper trains are gaining popularity again in Europe. They had almost vanished a decade ago. But now, they are back and thriving. Many of these trains are run by state-owned companies. People are happy to see this classic form of travel return.

Forbes reported that they have a smaller carbon footprint than short flights. This is important for travelers who care about the environment. Sleeper trains offer a relaxing way to travel. They save the cost of a hotel room. You can work, sleep, or enjoy the view. They also avoid airport hassles.

ÖBB Nightjet, Austria's national railway, is leading the way. They have modern trains with wifi and private showers. This week, they are launching two new routes. The Berlin to Paris route was stopped nine years ago. Now it's back, running three times a week. It will likely become a daily service next fall. The Berlin to Brussels route is also new. It starts with three weekly trips.

SNCF, the French railway, is also starting a new route. The Paris to Aurillac service was stopped nearly 20 years ago. Now it's returning, and the trains will connect Paris with the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region. This includes ongoing connections to Cantal.

These new sleeper trains show Europe's commitment to eco-friendly travel. They are a comfortable and efficient way to see the whole continent.

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