DUTCH start-up European Sleeper is inviting small private investors to buy company bonds as it seeks to raise around €500,000 in capital to establish sales, marketing and customer service operations for its future overnight cross-border rail service.

The company announced plans to launch international night train services between Brussels, Amsterdam, Berlin and Prague in cooperation with Czech private operator RegioJet last month. The funding will not be used to purchase rolling stock, which RegioJet is set to provide.

The company has set three tiers for prospective investors: Fans, with a starting investment of €250; Ambassadors, for investments of €5000 and above; and Founding Investors, for investments of €100,000 and above. Entry into the latter two categories will establish investors as members of a cooperative, granting access to the shareholder’s general assembly and the right to vote at European Sleeper’s shareholders meeting.

European Sleeper is planning to launch its inaugural service on April 22 2022. The train will run from Oostende, Belgium, and Prague, Czech Republic, with intermediate calls at Brussels, Antwerp, Rotterdam, Amsterdam, Hannover and Berlin. Tickets start from €59 one-way for a berth in a couchette, with seats in a conventional coach slightly cheaper. European Sleeper plans to offer connecting buses from Oostende to destinations in France and London.

In addition, European Sleeper and RegioJet are planning to launch a joint overnight service from Belgium and the Netherlands via Berlin to the Polish capital Warsaw in December 2022 or earlier if possible. An application for track access has already been submitted to Polish rail regulator UTK.

RegioJet is already set to launch a Prague - Ostrava - Katowice - Krakau - Przemyśl overnight service later this year in addition to its Prague - Bratislava - Rijeka - Split summer season service and daily Prague - Ostrava - Košice night train.

The May 2021 edition of IRJ includes a detailed round-up of the burgeoning European Sleeper market. See page 18 of the magazine or click here for the digital edition.