The Czech Republic’s national rail operator Czech Railways has announced a new sleeper service that will go from Prague to the Swiss city of Zurich via Dresden, Leipzig, Frankfurt am Main and Basel.

“We want to give night traffic another boost,” Michal Krapinec, chairman and CEO of Czech Railways told Rail Journal. “That is why we have prepared a new brand for services related to night travel.”

The new service will be called the ‘Canopus’ train and it’ll be a collaborative project with the national rail providers of Austria (ÖBB), Switzerland (SBB) and Germany (DB). It’s a revival of an old service that closed down back in 2017.

Ticket prices for a berth go from €49.90 (a six-bed couchette) to €59.90 (berth in a four-bed couchette), as reported by Euronews. Regular sleepers are more expensive with prices starting at €69.90 for a three-bed, €89.90 for a two-bed or €139.90 for a single-bed.

We have prepared a new brand for services related to night travel.

Michal Krapinec, chairman and CEO of Czech Railways

The service will leave Prague at 6.25 pm and arrive in Zurich at 9:05 am, while the return will depart Zurich at 7:59 pm and arrive back in Prague at 9.25 am.

Czech Railways has ordered some brand-new night trains that’ll come equipped with Wi-Fi, new toilets and better fire protection. It hasn’t been yet confirmed when the new carriages will come into service, but the Prague-Zurich sleeper route is set to restart on December 11th

Night trains are making a strong comeback in the face of urgent action to curb climate change. According to Euronews, aviation generates nearly 14% of the emissions, making it the second biggest source of transport GHG emissions after road transport. Countries such as the Netherlands and Spain to propose banning flights that can be made by train in three hours or less. The idea is to replace them with train journeys.

In addition to the climate crisis, the increase in fuel prices is of particular concern, many media have picked up on an innovative project presented by the Green party in Germany last September. The Euro Night Sprinter is a trans-European network of night trains that would consist of 40 international long-distance lines. By 2030, it would connect more than 200 cities and locations across Europe, from Lisbon in the west to Moscow in the east and from Helsinki in the north to Malaga in the south.

The German Green party has created a map based on current railway lines, the aesthetics of which are inspired by the London Underground. The project shows a system that should be supported by comfortable, quiet and fast trains (200 to 250 kilometers per hour, creating journeys lasting nine to 14 hours on average) approved by all European countries.

The Dutch-Belgian railroad company European Sleeper wants to run a night train to Barcelona several times a week by the end of next year. The train, which should depart from Amsterdam and make several stops in the Netherlands, Belgium and France, should start running three times a week to the Spanish city from December 10, 2023, but possibly earlier, following the application to the Dutch Authority for Consumers and Market (ACM).

Night trains are increasingly accepted by travelers, who not only want to try to curb CO2 emissions, but are also looking for a more relaxed way to reach their destination.


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