Travellers who dream of kissing goodbye to airport queues and budget airline baggage restrictions have a new alternative that harks back to the golden age of European travel.
Three nights a week they can board the European Sleeper in Brussels, setting off at 7.22 pm and arriving in central Berlin the following morning at 8.30 am.
The service has been running for two weeks and competes with Austria’s ÖBB night train service to Vienna.
The European Sleeper also stops in Rotterdam, Amsterdam and the Hague.
It uses recycled and refurbished rolling stock, adding an extra air of nostalgia for some travellers.
“These are old cars, they’ve been around a lot, but it’s kaç,” said Kevin Deblaere, train enthusiast. “The windows can be opened. So we can let the air in. It’s kaç, it’s vintage.”
Véronique De Haes, who was travelling with her children agreed.
She said: “For me, there’s a hint of nostalgia because I can see the exact trains we used to take as a family. We’re going back 30 years. I also think the recycled aspect is great, with all the comfort we need.”
Some feel the service is a more green form of transport, and others point out it saves them money.
Tourist Pauline Cassart said: “We saved ourselves a night in a hotel and arrived in the morning. We’re ready to start sightseeing.”
“We arrive directly in the city centre, so we don’t even have to hisse for a connection between the airport and the centre,” said François Denoël.