Five Game-Changing New Overnight Train Routes In Europe

All aboard the unstoppable rise of the sleeper train. We’ve packed our overnight bag for a sustainable stay on one of the next-gen trains pulling into stations across Europe

to check the arrivals board: a host of new-look sleeper
trains are in development across the continent, from Parisian “hotel on wheels” concepts to
luxurious alpine shuttle services that will whisk you away to the
snowy slopes in serious style. Here’s our pick of the new sleeper
trains to get excited about (and one old-school favourite that has
kept the romance of train travel alive, too).

All aboard: five European overnight train services to book

European Sleeper


European Sleeper

Whizzing your way from Brussels to Berlin used to be a long slog during the day. From May
this year, though, Dutch-Belgian company European Sleeper will be
offering an overnight rail route between the two cities, with stops
at Rotterdam, Amsterdam and Deventer en route. Judging by its
name, The Good Night Train will be all about ensuring a smooth
journey from B to B, with carriages separated into typical sleeper
train ticket categories. Book a private cabin (up to three beds,
plus a washbasin), stick to old-school couchette carriages (seats
that switch into bunks come nightfall) or keep it cheap in one of
the seated carriages. The train starts at Brussels Midi, which is
the same terminal as the Eurostar stop, so you’ll now be able to
travel from London to Berlin by rail in 24 hours.

What it costs: Couchettes from

Midnight Trains


Midnight Trains

Touting itself as a “hotel on wheels”, the French startup
Midnight Trains has grabbed our attention with a sneak peek of some
seriously good-looking private cabins – set to be rolling around
Europe by 2024. Forget slumming it in a too-small, rocky bunk bed.
MIdnight Trains says it will offer all private rooms (with shower
en-suites) dressed up in interiors inspired by the golden age of
rail travel, with space for singles, doubles and even families. A
restaurant carriage will serve cocktails, craft beers and a menu of
seasonal food in a moody, low-lit dining space, and you’ll also be
able to order to your cabin. Co-founders Adrien Aumont and Romain
Payet are hoping to launch with a Paris-Milan-Venice route, but
have ambitious plans to send their rolling rooms to Brussels,
Berlin, Copenhagen, Rome and even Madrid.

What it costs: TBC

Venice Simplon-Orient-Express

Paris-French Alps

Venice Simplon-Orient-Express

One for powder hounds. Belmond’s Venice Simplon-Orient-Express
service has announced four new winter journeys to whisk skiers out
of central Paris’ grey Hausmann streets and into the snow-capped
scenery of the French Alps. Starting in December 2023, those iconic
navy carriages (manned by dapperly dressed staff) will transport
travellers to Albertville, Moûtiers and Bourg-Saint-Maurice in
cabins worthy of an Agatha Christie tale (think art deco-inspired
lacquered panelling, marble en-suites with mosaic flooring, and
jewel-toned velvet furnishings). Not that you’ll see much of them;
in the words of one staff member we spoke to, “this train wasn’t
built for sleeping. It’s for partying”. Get a head start on the
après-ski with live music throughout the journey, a bar car pouring
classic cocktails, and three restored 1920s restaurant carriages
serving up an ultra-luxe menu from Top Chef winner Jean Imbert.
Expect fellow guests to wear Gucci: options on the caviar menu
start from a cool £390.

What it costs: From £3,300pp, including
dinner, breakfast, brunch and soft drinks

hamburg-copenhagen Night Train
Photo credit: Tommy Alven /


EuroNight trains

Struggling with flygskam? Banish flight shame by hopping on this
Scandinavian sleeper next time you’re heading to Stockholm. As if
rail travel wasn’t sustainable enough, the Swedish rail operator
SJ’s Hamburg-Copenhagen-Stockholm sleeper trains run on 100 per
cent renewable energy sourced from hydropower and wind turbines.
Interiors aren’t quite Copenhagen Design Week level, but they’re
still sleek and the brand-new carriages include first-class
sleeping compartments (with private showers and loos), as well as
six-bunk sharing couchettes.

What it costs: From £75pp for a shared
couchette compartment

Caledonian Sleeper Train
Photo credit: Lucy Knott Photography


Caledonian Sleeper

The Scots were a step ahead when they relaunched the Caledonian
Sleeper services between London Euston and Scottish stations
including Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Inverness in 2019, and
the fresh-out-the-box cabins (revamped for an eye-watering
£150million) glide up the West Coast Main Line each night from
Sunday to Friday, the trusty navy carriages trundling through dusky
moorlands and under the industrial pyramids of the Forth Bridge.
Though technically not new, a raft of teething problems (let’s not
talk about the three-hour delay on the debut journey) has meant
that travellers heading across the border have only recently had a
smooth journey. Cabins, designed by Scottish interiors maestro Ian
Smith, have tartan touches that don’t feel too kitsch. Instead, the
palette reflects the changing landscapes beyond the window (all
rusty oranges, taupes and greys), with bonnie extras, like Scottish
toiletries and Mackie’s of Scotland chocolates, provided during the

What it costs: From £225pp for a classic

Royal Scotsman, Scotland

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