Developed for almost ten years and ordered in 2018, the “Nightjet of the next generation” is about to start on its first connection: Vienna & Innsbruck to Hamburg on 10 December 2023. We had the opportunity to experience sleeping conditions under real conditions on a promotional trip from/to Vienna with stops in almost all Austrian state capitals with an overnight part between Bregenz and Klagenfurt.
The “newest” sleepers currently on track date from 2003- 2006 (“Comfortline” WLABmz 173.1) – so new rolling stock was long awaited. The pandemic and the Russian war of aggression interrupted supplies and caused an overdue delivery by almost two years. This made operations for ÖBB increasingly difficult as the trains were intended to replace old rolling stock that urgently needed to be overhauled or even scrapped.
Furthermore, this night train is more than just a modern night train. The concept realises a whole bunch of fresh ideas on how to operate night trains in the future. Let’s have a look at the main new features: