SIEMENS unveiled the first painted car body for a new fleet of 13 seven-car Nightjet overnight trains for Austrian Federal Railways (ÖBB) in Vienna on February 23. The first coaches will enter operation at the end of 2022 on services from Austria to Germany and Italy. 

The coaches are part of a €1.5bn framework agreement between ÖBB and Siemens placed in 2018 for up to 700 passenger coaches to be supplied by 2023, with an initial firm order for 13 seven-car trains for night services and eight nine-car trains for day services. Siemens says it expects a further 20 sets of coaches to be ordered this year, following the approval of further purchases by the Austrian government in August 2020.  

Mock-up of a Nightjet mini-suite.

Each seven-car set consists of two seating coaches, three couchette cars, and two sleeping cars. “One central feature of the trains are the innovative mini-suites, which offer passengers a private retreat,” says Mr Michael Peter, CEO of Siemens Mobility. “Newly designed lightweight bogies ensure especially smooth and quiet operation and reduce energy consumption over the train’s entire lifecycle.” 

Two-berth compartment in a Nightjet sleeping car.

Each of the standard and deluxe compartments in the sleeping cars will have a toilet and shower. The trains will have a multifunctional car with a low-floor entrance, a barrier-free couchette compartment for disabled passengers and a barrier-free toilet. Free Wi-Fi will be available throughout the train. 

“In the fight against the climate crisis, Europe needs more climate-friendly mobility,” says Ms Leonore Gewessler, Austria’s minister for climate protection. “A strong and extensive night train network is an important contribution here. That’s why we’ll be investing around €500m in the future of night trains in the coming years and can purchase 20 more Nightjets.” 

“The decision made in 2016 to enter the European night train business and steadily expand the night train network was absolutely right,” says Mr Andreas Matthä, CEO of ÖBB. “We are already the largest provider of night train services in Europe and our investment in new and ultra-modern trains will ensure that we can continue building on our pioneering role.”  

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