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European sleeper

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The Netherlands has got a new railway company: European Sleeper. The new railway company promises to introduce a night train from the Netherlands and Belgium from April 2022 that will run several times a week. If the plans goes ahead, it will be the first time since Lovers Rail (1996-1999) that a private railway company has entered the Dutch market. The new company does not want to say what the intended final destination is, it is expected to be announced in April.

Final destination
“We are talking with a renowned foreign open access railway company as a potential partner for the operation. As soon as these consultations enter the next phase, we can announce the final destination”, says co-initiator Elmer van Buuren. Together with Chris Engelsman, he is the driving force behind the initiative.

What Van Buuren already wants to reveal is that it is a popular destination for city trips, holidays and business trips and that a night train also ran there in the past. This is a destination that has been designated as a potential final destination by the Kennisinstituut voor Mobiliteitsbeleid (KiM). “Our own market research also shows that there is sufficient potential for a night train to this destination,” says Van Buuren.

European Sleeper will not compete with existing night train initiatives. Van Buuren: “It will really be an addition to the existing train network, not a land grab.” In concrete terms, this means, according to, that Copenhagen, Prague, Warsaw or Milan should be the final destination of the new sleeper train. However, the initiators do not want to confirm this. Zurich, Munich and Vienna are also seen by KiM as potential final destinations, but ÖBB and NS are already aiming for that. Turin, which is also mentioned in the report, has not been connected to the night train network from the Netherlands in recent history.

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