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The alleged phase-out model is fully booked

The Plan seems deceptively simple: a short trip to Hamburg, walking on the beach of the Elbe river, one or two-Astra fish sandwiches, and drink in the hill district, the port, St. Pauli. The arrival: by sleeping-car from Zurich main station. Without the arduous security checks, relaxing and eco-friendly. To get tickets for the night train, should be no Problem. Finally, this is considered to be a discontinued model, due to lack of demand. This x-times repeated message has impressed in the last few years, even if you regretted it.

But the Plan fails due to a surprising fact: The night train to Hamburg is chronically sold out. You want to travel in April, the second in his sleep, is almost impossible. 98 percent of the beds are fully booked, only three data are still available – and, of course, there are not a week, such as a TA-data analysis of the offers on the SBB Website from the end of March. That would be with the plane otherwise.

Also, anyone who plans only in the summer, a trip for two to Hamburg, is for the night train is almost to late. By the end of June, around 80 percent of all sleep are fully booked car on weekends it has only on a Friday and a Saturday course. Until the end of August, 60 percent of the days are fully booked and 80 percent of weekend links.

Rather older Semester

Shortly before 20 clock at the Zurich main train station, the dark blue painted train on Track 15 is filled on this evening – although it is during the week, outside school holidays. It is about moving climate protesters get on, but rather older Semester. Some have already booked in December to secure a place, the other in January. Lack Of Demand? "Because!", makes it clear a woman who settles down just matter-of-factly in the compartment for the almost twelve hour journey. "The misery is: It has to Hamburg only a single night's sleep." This means that 36 beds. Add to this the well-100 trays in two sun-car. The Rest Of The Seats.

"Yes, I'm sorry we are fully booked" confirms the friendly conductor with the impressive moustache, a proud representative of the Austrian Federal Railways (ÖBB). These operate the night train from Zürich to Hamburg, after the Deutsche Bahn (DB) has placed your City Night Line in 2016 – 30 million Swiss francs deficit, the speech was at the time. The SBB increased number of years from the business. The end came as little surprise. Already around the turn of the Millennium, the business with the night trains, was in deficit. The Cheap flights are booming, because it is not only faster, but also cheaper. The night train towards the South were cancelled one after the other. In December 2012, left for the last time in a hotel train with the name Pau Casals, the Zurich HB in the direction of the South. The Goal: Barcelona.

number of passengers increases

It didn't help that Swiss transport and environment organisations against the night trains protested and signatures collected. SBB-Chairman of the Board Monika Ribar said by 2017, "time": "So I like to ride the train, but if there is today this cheap flights, then we are not night trains competitive." The Railways could compete on an international scale only if the trip takes place during the day and not longer than six hours takes. "A good night train, with a spacious compartment, a dining car, in which I have something to eat and a glass of wine you can drink – is a dream, however, is priceless."

The night train to Hamburg is no Velvet thick rod-Orient-Express, but functional and clean.

The ÖBB night train to Hamburg is a dream on wheels, no velvet thick rod-Orient-Express, but functional and clean. The conductor distributed just order form for Breakfast, and suggests the Present, lying on the bed: "Here you have Prosecco is all inclusive." The two older women not have expected to traveling together to Hamburg. That their choice fell on the train, had practical reasons: "I don't fly simply because I have the jitters." The climate was also a Consideration. "Flying would probably be cheaper." In the ÖBB night train to Hamburg, the simple travel cost without discount 220 to 300 Swiss francs, depending on whether you want the compartment, alone or with others.

the residents of Zurich are not able to go from the HB to the Nightjet only to Hamburg, but also to Vienna, Graz, Berlin, Prague, Zagreb and Budapest. For the ÖBB, the business seems to work. "The Connections from and to Zurich can be booked from our passengers is very good," says a spokesman. Passenger numbers gave every reason for satisfaction. Specifically, this means: The ÖBB managed last year to increase the number of passengers in the Nightjet in Europe from 1.4 million to 1.6 million.

policy press

"Particularly strong demand in the sleeping car, which is often used by business travellers – for example, between Zurich and Vienna," says the ÖBB speaker. How high is the utilisation of individual lines is, he does not want to betray, from "competitive reasons". The TA analysis shows that the trains are booked up to Vienna or Berlin to be less strong than those to Hamburg. However, in April, already about 70 percent of all the sleeping-car offers for a joint tour are sold out, according to Berlin there are about 60 percent.

Although the climate could lead to debate so that the people rethink their travel behaviour, the SBB is currently of no interest, back to the night train business. They support the ÖBB in Switzerland, for example, in Marketing, train personnel, or to the Maneuvering of the compositions. The Greens want to change that. Together with the climate of the strike movement they have put together in March, a proposal package. Part of the requirement for SBB-night trains. The green liberals are submitted in the national Council a procedural request. You want answers from the Federal Council on whether or not the SBB provide in its new strategy, night trains and whether they have clarified the need for it. No plans to do so, would be the green-liberal those who want to claim with a mandatory Motion.

(editing Tamedia)

Created: 07.04.2019, 21:11 PM

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