Online actions

October 2014
Deutsche Bahn and their partners in Denmark, the Netherlands, France, Switzerland and Czech Republic have decided to close down the following night train routes by the end of 2014:
Amsterdam- Copenhagen
Copenhagen-Prague
Prague-Amsterdam
Basel-Copenhagen
Berlin-Paris
Hamburg-Paris
Paris-Munich

This is unacceptable, and a large blow to European night train services! Rail is the most climate friendly way to travel in Europe. Night trains are the time saving alternative to air traffic. Keep Europe together – on the tracks.

Many email actions and signature lists were organised to put pressure on Deutsche Bahn and the other companies. Here is a list with some of these:

Rädda de europeiska nattågen! Swedish campaign page
savethenighttrain.eu
http://www.petitions24.com/save_the_night_train_from_denmark_to_europe
https://www.change.org/p/dr-r%C3%BCdiger-grube-nein-zur-streichung-der-nachtzugverbindung-non-%C3%A0-la-suppression-du-train-de-nuit-berlin-paris
http://www.nachtzug-bleibt.eu/
This page also contains a declaration in 10 languages.
http://petities.nl/petitie/red-de-nachttrein-naar-kopenhagen-praag-en-warschau#signature_form
http://www.change.org/p/deutsche-bahn-deutsche-bahn-autozug-retten-umwelt-und-stra%C3%9Fe-schonen

Update March 2015: Most of the petitions have now finished. Information on night train issues and further campaigns can be found at:
http://www.nachtzug-bleibt.eu/
http://www.worldcarfree.net/projects/back-on-track/index.php
http://www.back-on-track.eu/
A new campaign will soon be announced here.

 

Background
Deutsche Bahn in cooperation with the national train companies in Denmark, The Netherlands, Czech Republic and Switzerland cooperate with the night train concept City Night Line. This is an ambitious timetable running since many years connecting many big cities in north, south, west and central Europe.

But all of this can soon be history. All the following night train connections are threatened and will disappear in the end of 2014 if plans are not changed.
– Amsterdam- Copenhagen
– Copenhagen-Prague
– Prague-Amsterdam
– Basel-Copenhagen
– Berlin-Paris
– Hamburg-Paris
– Paris-Munich
All routes also include night trains in the opposite direction.

Most connections will stop from December 14th, the night trains from Copenhagen already on November 2nd 2014. The Amsterdam to Prague and Warsaw sleeper will be cut back to run from Cologne to Warsaw and Prague.

The train operators excuse the changes with declining passenger numbers, caused by low-price airlines. Since the year 2000, train services have had to pay track access charges as they cross borders. In many countries train companies pay taxes from which airline operators are exempted.

Trains are the most environmental friendly way to travel through Europe. A train journey causes less than ten percent of the carbon emissions from a flight on the same distance. To travel by train through Europe is of course time consuming. Night sleepers compensate for this and make it possible to travel through many countries in Europe from one day to another instead of two or three days. One example: Today it is possible to travel from Stockholm to Barcelona in two days, if the night trains disappear this travel will take up to four days.

Is it too late to save the night trains?
The aim of this e mail campaign is to put pressure on Deutsche Bahn and other train operators to halt or postpone the closure of the City Night Rail.

As many other actors we realized this threat just recently and time is running out. With your help we can try to mobilize as many Europeans as possible in this protest.

If the connections would close down in December, we will continue our work. An actual closure will give the case better media coverage and hopefully make more people protest. In any case we will continue to put pressure on rail companies and governments to rebuild an even better night train concept for Europe. This is necessary in the climate scenario that will be discussed in the important Climate summit in Paris 2015.

If the night trains cease in December we will try to put pressure on operators and politicians to restart the connections again before the summer. Hundreds of thousands of passengers use these trains in summer.

All of this will be much harder without strong opposition now. Whether we win or not in December, the strength of this and other reactions can determine the future of the night trains in Europe.

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