New night train proposed for Amsterdam-Barcelona route

A new night train route is in the works that would take passengers between Amsterdam and Barcelona, Spain. The new journey was proposed by overnight rail startup European Sleeper and could launch by 10 December 2023, or sooner, according to an application the company submitted to the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) earlier this month.

When the new night train is launched it could include several stops in the Netherlands. The route would include Amsterdam Centraal, The Hague HS, Rotterdam Centraal, and Roosendaal.

The service could run round trips three days per week, with the possibility of expanding to a daily schedule. The timetable would ultimately be determined by capacity and equipment availability.

“We are indeed looking into preparing an overnight train to Barcelona! But if you want to start a new train service, we must report it to ACM in time,” European Sleeper said on social media this week after newswire ANP broke the story. There was still a great deal of uncertainty. “So whether we will start in December 2023 and where we will stop is not set yet.”

The Dutch-Belgian company launched last year to fill the demand for more night trains crisscrossing European borders as an alternative option to flying. Their first route is expected to launch from Brussels, with stops in Amsterdam and Berlin on the way to Prague. European Sleeper also announced a partnership with tour operator Sunweb to connect the Netherlands with the French Alps in time for the upcoming ski season.

The prospect of an expanded night train network began to pick up speed several years ago, but development stalled during the coronavirus pandemic. Nightjet currently runs a service from Amsterdam, Utrecht, and Arnhem to Frankfurt, where passengers can continue on to Basel, Zurich, Munich, Innsbruck, or Vienna.

GreenCityTrip also offers bookings between cities in the Netherlands and locations in Austria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Italy, and Sweden. The company runs promotions with tour operator Tui.

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