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The night train - green travel dream?

Olga Kuck 20 Mar 2023 0 comments

In view of the clear effects of climate change, the transport turnaround is part of a necessary strategy to reduce CO2 emissions worldwide. The concepts also include getting more travelers off the roads and onto the rails. Rail is not just an alternative to the car. Night trains can be used to cover distances that would otherwise require a flight. The idea of the night train is tempting: cover longer inner-European distances overnight and reach the destination in your sleep, and with a comparably low carbon footprint.

Picture: A train car of the SBB.

Night trains are so ecological

Traveling by night train is an environmentally friendly alternative to airplanes or cars because night trains have a much lower CO2 footprint. Just how green the use of night trains is has already been calculated, at least in Switzerland. Even the current service saves the emission of 50,000 tons of CO2. This is equivalent to the use of 30,000 cars. At the same time, the night train connections currently offered in Switzerland are not even particularly lavish. Even before 2010, numerous night trains were mothballed, and in Germany and Austria, the reduction of comfortable night connections was even more drastic.

Image: A journey through the night.

What night trains offer

Night trains offer a relaxing travel experience. Of course, you can also have normally equipped trains running overnight, but for a pleasant journey you need carriages with comfortable reclining seats - or even real sleeping cars. The latter offer compartments with fold-out beds, washbasins and privacy, and often the dining car is not far away either. If you plan smart, you can cover several destinations without spending time and money on extra nights in hotels.

Image: Full speed ahead!

Discover Switzerland

Switzerland offers a variety of night train routes. For example, the GlacierExpress is a scenic route that runs from Zermatt to St. Moritz and travels through the Swiss Alps. During the journey you can enjoy the breathtaking scenery and visit small towns and villages along the route. Another recommendation is the Cisalpino route, which runs from Zurich to Milan and passes through various stations in Lombardy. On this route you can visit some of the most famous cities in Northern Italy - for example Como, Bergamo and Brescia.

Image: Awake when the clouds are purple again.

Night trains are on the rise

A clear argument in favor of overnight trains was the worldwide airport chaos in the summer of 2022, when not only thousands of suitcases but also many travelers were left stranded, despite hours of lead time on arrival. Anyone who has experienced this travel misery will be happy to switch to rail. Traveling by overnight train in Switzerland offers a sustainable and relaxing way to explore the country. It is an environmentally friendly alternative that can connect different routes, cities and regions.

Are you a night train traveler? Tell us about your experience!  

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