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Reports and Studies

Here we present current research results: Transport mode comparisons, economic feasibility studies, potential analyses for individual connections or entire networks. Where necessary, we classify these or supplement the state of research with our own studies.


“Towards cheaper night train tickets for people” by Back-on-Track and Transport & Environment
This paper examines the impact of track pricing and VAT on the fare of night trains in three use cases: a short-term business traveller who prefers a sleeper car, a flexible solo traveller on a budget who prefers a shared couchette car, and a family with two children seeking a private couchette car for a week-long holiday. The study includes a model of the cost components of night trains depending on the distance travelled.

Nighttrains for all: How we can achieve a pan-European long-distance train network with the “United Railways of Europe” by Bahn für alle, Germany
The concept paper of the German NGO alliance “Bahn für alle”, commissioned by the Federal Environment Agency, summarises the state of knowledge about the obstacles to cross-border night train connections and then pleads for a solution that goes beyond the well-known proposals: a public rail umbrella organisation “United Railways of Europe”. Find the German version here.


“The Global Warming Reduction Potential of Night Trains “ by Back-on-Track, Germany
This paper examines the climate effects of establishing a European night train network as outlined in prevoious research by Oui au train de nuit, France. It contains latest findings on the share of aviation in EU GHG emissions and a calculation of nigh-train specific per km emissions and some policy recommendations.

Willingness to use night trains for long-distance travel
Dutch study to find out passenger preferences in relation to a night train experience. Find it here.


“A Plea For A night Train Renaissance” by Back-on-Track, Belgium
This paper discusses key turnpoint changes since the 1880s until today as well as the political, social, economic and ecological aspects of night trains. It considers different customer profiles and the role of the European Railway Agency with recommendations for policy makers and railway operators. Finally, it discusses why Brussels is the perfect city to become a central node in the future night train network.

Map of Europe with a dense mesh of orange brs

“One in every 2 air passenger will have the option to choose overnight trains in Europe” by Oui au train de nuit, France
A top-down analysis off the night train passenger potential, using Eurocontrol air passenger data to examine relevant passenger volumes and the need for rolling stock.


Swedish report by Trafikverket
A practical report from 27.4. 2020 giving advices to Swedish and Danish governments how to re-introduce Scandinavian night trains. You may find the original here or download our machine translated unofficial English version

Passenger transport abroad by Back-on-Track Denmark
made by a group of campaigners in April 2020 to tell that it is possible with both a climate and a passenger argument to let European railways and night trains replace intra-European aviation in steps to 2050. Find the Danish version here or download the English version:


Night-Time Train Travel by Martijn Heufke Kantelaar.
A Stated-Preference study into the
Willingness to Use night trains for
European long-distance travel. Thesis at TU Delft. Find the English version here

Future of rail 2050 by Arup
This study on night trains has been developed in 2017 and has been held back by the German Ministry of Transport for two years. The study defines criteria for an economically successful night train network, not an extensive, supply-oriented and heavily subsidized network. It analyses existing studies and the information given in the night train hearings of the German parliament in 2015 and 2017. The study proves that night trains are a reasonable alternative to flying and using the own car, and it recommends public support, e. g. guarantees for rolling stock, or even providing a European car pool so that providers could lease the rolling stock.  Find it here (in German).


Mikael Thorsén: Analysis of the decline and prospects of European night train traffic. A master’s thesis at Lund Technical University

BalkanBarriers to trans-national passenger rail services in the Western Balkans


Put the night trains back on track by Oui au train de nuit, France
This case study on the potential of the French “Intercités de nuit” by the association « Oui au train de nuit » is giving a broad overview of the European situation with special focus on French night trains. It’s available in French, English and German.

Final report: Development of an attractive European night train system and potentials for night train traffic from, to and within Germany by Fraunhofer ISI et al
Study commissioned by the Federal Ministry of Transport (in German). Not available on the official website anymore, but here:

Passenger night trains in Europe:
the end of the line?
by the European Parliament Policy Department for Structural and Cohesion Policies
Paper commissioned by the TRAN committee. It presents findings on what drives the financial, economic, social
and environmental viability of services and hence decisions on whether
to operate them or subsidise them.


Review of the economic and
and organisational-technical feasibility of a of a European sleeper or hotel train concept for distances of 1000 to 2000 km
by VIEREGG – RÖSSLER for Windland
The entrepreneur Joachim Falkenhagen commissioned in 2014 a study on the feasibility of a European sleeping car and hotel train concept, which brought valuable findings and is quoted in many places. Not on web – Ask us for your private copy.


Night Trains 2.0 – New opportunities by HSR? by DB on behalf of UIC
An in-depth examination of the market potential for Very Long Distance Night Trains worldwide, focussing on Western Europe where the potential is highest. Contains detailed calculations.


The European market for night train services – An empirical analysis of demand determinants by S. Hödl
(in German Der europäische Markt für Nachtreisezugverkehre. Eine empirische Analyse der Nachfragedeterminanten. published in Verkehr, 02/2006, Schriftenheihe des Institut für Transportwirtschaft und Logistik, WU Vienna University of Economics and Business, Vienna)