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Imagine travelling through the spectacular European countryside with lush greenery and snow-capped mountains, and crossing boundaries with such breathtaking views speeding past you. Reminds us of all those Agatha Christie stories set in trains.
Several paths like the Vienna-Brussels route, Trans-Siberian routes, train routes connecting Russia and Germany have opened up and are gaining momentum. Austrian national railway ÖBB is intending to invest in more night train lines and has bought 20 new trains for 500 million euros. Sweden too is preparing to open direct daily routes between Stockholm-Hamburg and Malmö-Brussels by summer 2022. The Malmö-Brussels trip would take eight hours, and the plan is to make the connection every night.
Policymakers across Europe are paying attention to market demands. In France, president Emmanuel Macron announced in July that he is looking into redeveloping night trains as well as rail cargo transport and short lines.
People (and mostly the young) are no longer keen on flying. Slow travel is making a comeback. And today's younger generation would rather opt for a greener mode of transport. Being able to soak up the beauty of the landscape is a bonus.
International routes include a large Austrian network, with routes from key hubs including Vienna, Salzburg and Innsbruck to destinations as far afield as Brussels, Düsseldorf, Hamburg, Berlin, Warsaw, Budapest, Zagreb, Rijeka, Rome, Pisa, Venice, Zurich, Milan and Frankfurt, as well as intermediate stations en route.
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