THE Alpen-Sylt Night Express from northern Germany to Switzerland and Austria has been cancelled mid-season, as a lack of rolling stock and rising operating costs have made the service uneconomical. The service was launched by the German subsidiary of Railroad Development Corporation (RDC), United States, in June 2020.

“Unfortunately, we have to inform you that it is with a heavy heart that we have decided to end the season of the Alpen-Sylt Night Express earlier and to cancel all trips from July 29 2022,” the company announced on its website. “All previous trips, including the trip on July 23, are taking place as planned.

“We were very much looking forward to welcoming you again this summer onboard our Alpen-Sylt Night Express. Unfortunately, we are currently being confronted with circumstances that no longer allow us to offer our night train with the quality and reliability that you are entitled to expect from us.”

The company launched its 2022 season on May 20, with weekly services departing from Basel and Salzburg on Friday evenings. The two trains join south of Gemünden (Main), operating as a single service through to Sylt, with the return journey departing Sylt on Saturday evenings. Each train offers sleeping, couchette and seats coaches.

Alpen-Sylt says it had planned on continuing to operate through the challenging situation it faced, but “the unprecedented and unavoidable supply chain disruptions in the railway industry have now reached us, so that numerous additional passenger coaches planned for the high season are not delivered on time.”

Cost increases, including the “unchecked multiplication of electricity prices,” also had a negative impact on operating costs.

“Since in Germany, unlike in many other countries in Europe, night trains are not subsidised, the operation of the Alpen-Sylt Night Express in the current environment is no longer economically responsible, even with good bookings,” the company says.

All tickets that have already been booked will be automatically refunded, and the company plans to continue to operate night trains in future “with different framework conditions.”