German Rail/DB to withdraw all remaining sleeper trains

December 27, 2015

Written by Keith Fender, International Railway Journal

GERMAN Rail (DB) has confirmed that as part of its planned cost reductions for next year it will cease operating all overnight trains with sleeper, couchette and specially-equipped overnight seating coaches from December 15 2016.Website Insert Coach Business Class Food Service copy

DB says it has tried to “rescue” the night train network in recent years but it remains stubbornly unprofitable. DB has released figures showing its night trains were used by 1.3 million passengers over the last year (around 1% of all long distance passengers). The trains made a loss of €32m on a turnover of €90m and DB predicts similar numbers for 2016.

From December 2016 DB says it will offer a new concept for overnight travel. The company is clear that this will not include any traditional overnight trains but there will be more overnight ICE services. DB suggests that these services, together with new DB-operated international IC Bus links could maintain some of the international connections currently available through the sleeper network.

DB’s long-distance bus competitors in Germany already run a network of overnight buses using their daytime fleets.

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