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Sunweb aims to offer night trains to winter and summer destinations in France

European Sleeper trains
10:10 13/06/2022

Dutch tour operator Sunweb is hoping to introduce night trains to French destinations that are popular for both ski resorts and beach holidays, with routes that depart from Amsterdam and stop to pick up passengers in Brussels.  

The company is cooperating with European Sleeper, a new Dutch-Belgian railway company dedicated to night trains, and they hope to be able to offer the first route as early as next winter. 

“The plans of Sunweb Group fit perfectly with European Sleeper's ambitions to build a network of night trains from the Netherlands and Belgium,” the companies explained in a press release.

“In addition to the already planned night train from Brussels and Amsterdam to Berlin and Prague, a new night train to France is now being prepared. To be able to grow further in the future, European Sleeper will also invest in new sleeping cars.”

After rolling out the first night trains to the French Alps this winter, the next step will be an overnight train that takes travellers in summer to the beach in southern France without having to change trains.

The exact destinations haven’t yet been confirmed, says European Sleeper co-founder Chris Engelsman. The companies are still sorting out which ski resorts and beaches are the most attractive and must also take into account the capacity of specific railroad lines. 

“We're trying to get on track as soon as possible,” said Engelsman. “We are in talks with the rail infrastructure managers, subcontractors to carry it out and suppliers of carriage.”

Beach destinations could include Côte d'Azur, or trains could head more towards Perpignan to the west, but the priority is to offer a night train service.

“The night train in particular has many advantages for the customers of Sunweb Group – the journey is sustainable and safe, while being an experience in itself, ” the company said.

“Because you sleep while travelling, the longer travel time is not an issue. You arrive at your destination well-rested, and the holiday can start right away. For the winter sports holiday, this means that you can ski for almost eight full days.”

They plan to offer “many boarding stations in the Netherlands and Belgium and one can get off the trains close to the resorts.”

Photo: European Sleeper

Written by Helen Lyons