June 18, 2021
Five good reasons to discover Europe sustainably by night train
Find out in the interview with Tim Euler, the founder of Nachtzug-Urlaub.de, why the sleeping car comes back to life at the right time.
Hello Tim, I am very happy that our interview went so quickly and that you will tell us today about the great, sustainable “night train” type of travel. In times when the issue of climate protection is becoming more and more important, the train is by far the most environmentally friendly form of transport compared to the car and plane.
Please introduce yourself briefly to the readers and tell them how Nachtzug-Urlaub.de came about?
Hi, my name is Tim Euler and i am living in Hamburg since five years. I have been dealing with the subject of night trains for a long time and it struck me again and again that it is very difficult to find information. There are six providers on the German market, each with its own website and booking facility. Then I got the idea that it would be much easier for travelers to have a portal where all information about night trains can be found. In January I started the project as a part-time job and the websitewent online in April 2021.
The subject of night trains is certainly not only something extraordinary for me, but I am sure that not many people even consider the night train as an option to travel. What are your experiences with the night train and which memory was the best?
Even if my experience with night trains is small compared to many of our website visitors, I have great memories of them. For example, I recently took the night train from Hamburg to Copenhagen. I still fondly remember how I was welcomed early in the morning at the train station in Copenhagen by a friend and we were able to start the sightseeing tour straight away. For me, the journey on the night train is something very special every time. You fall asleep in your hometown and wake up on vacation – it’s an unbelievable feeling.
In your opinion, what are the advantages of a night train?
From my point of view, night trains really offer many advantages. They make it possible to experience Europe in an environmentally friendly way and, for example, to replace air travel. Another advantage of the night train is that you can save yourself the night in an accommodation. A trip on the night train is particularly suitable if you are planning a city trip. Since city trips are usually planned over a weekend and so the time period on site is usually quite short, you arrive at your destination well rested with the night train and can make perfect use of the time on site.
As a mother, of course, I ask myself whether a trip on the night train is also family-friendly? What do you think Tim, for whom is a night train journey suitable and for which travelers possibly less?
From my point of view, night trains are suitable for many travelers. Families can travel in their own compartment and single travelers benefit from low prices in shared compartments. The destinations offered are also extremely varied. In addition to many European metropolises, there are destinations by the sea and of course great destinations for nature lovers and active vacationers. Families can travel undisturbed in their own sleeping car compartment. Many travelers appreciate having their own compartment in which the children can move around freely and the luggage is safely stowed away.
How can I imagine a trip on the night train? Is it possible to lie down or is it like in a car or airplane that I sleep sitting down? And how expensive is it to travel by night train?
That depends on the class booked on the night train. Seated carriages offer the same level of comfort that you know from classic trains. Here at least the backrests of the seats can be folded back a little. The couchette coaches offer greater comfort and there are four or six-person compartments in which you can fold down the seat to a couch surface at night and sleep. For those who want it to be even more comfortable, there is the third class sleeping car. Here you actually travel in a full bed in your own compartments. Just as the convenience of the travel options varies, so do the prices. Depending on the operator, booked classes and occupancy, the prices are higher or lower. In general, as just described, there are seated, couchette and sleeping cars and thus a good offer for every budget. There are even offers for less than 10 euros in the seated car. The more comfortable couchette and sleeping cars are significantly more expensive.
Finally, I would like to come back to the topic of sustainability? Are there statistics that show that the night train as a means of travel is more environmentally friendly than other types of travel, such as the plane or the car?
Night trains cause significantly less CO2 than the use of comparable means of transport, such as airplanes or private cars, and are therefore a really sustainable alternative. The Federal Environment Agency has published figures according to which rail emissions are 29 grams per person-kilometer *. In comparison, emissions from cars are 143 grams and aircraft at 214 grams. So traveling by train can really help reduce emissions. (*g / PKM = grams per person-kilometer, incl. emissions from the provision and conversion of energy sources into electricity, gasoline, diesel and kerosene)
Tim, at the end of our conversation, do you have a tip for everyone who is planning a trip on the night train in the near future? What should you look out for or consider when making a booking?
When traveling by night train, as with other offers, you get the cheapest deals the earlier you book. By planning well in advance, travelers can save money here. With little tricks you can make the journey on board even more comfortable. For a comfortable sleep on board, I recommend taking earplugs with you, for example. A neck pouch in which you can safely stow your valuables, or a pair of sleeping glasses, can also be useful. If you want to travel in an uncomplicated way, it is best to travel with a backpack. It can be easily stowed anywhere and does not cause any problems when getting in and out quickly. And if you can’t sleep at all, then I recommend the book “Around the World in 80 Trains”.
Thank you Tim for the detailed discussion and all the information about the night train.
Do you also feel like traveling by night train? Are you planning your next city trip and want to arrive relaxed and sustainable?
Then find out more about the numerous connections atwww.nachtzug-urlaub.de and book your somewhat different trip directly and conveniently!