GERMAN private operator FlixTrain has announced plans to introduce a raft of new services, including an overnight service from Munich via Berlin to Hamburg.

FlixTrain will restart its Berlin - Cologne and Hamburg - Cologne routes with up to four services a day from May 20, followed by a new Hamburg - Berlin - Leipzig service with up to four trains a day on May 27. Munich, where FlixTrain’s parent company FlixMobility is based, will be connected to the network with the introduction of a twice daily Munich - Augsburg - Würzburg- Aschaffenburg - Hanau - Frankfurt connection from June 18.

The overnight Hamburg - Berlin - Munich service is due to begin on June 17. The Berlin - Stuttgart service is due to restart at some point in June with up to four trains a day. FlixTrain says the new services will add 16 new cities and towns to its network, taking the total to around 40.

FlixTrain operated three long-distance routes connecting Berlin - Cologne, Cologne - Hamburg and Berlin - Stuttgart prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, but these were suspended on March 20 2020. FlixTrain resumed operation on July 23, but again suspended all services in October 2020 due to the second wave of the pandemic.

FlixTrain had previously partnered with RDC Germany for the routes from Cologne to Berlin and Hamburg, and Leo Express for the Stuttgart - Berlin routes, but parted ways with both operators last year. The Cologne - Berlin service will continue to be operated by Stuttgart-based operator SVG, while the other trains will be operated by Hersbruck-based operator IGE. Talbot Services, based in Aachen, Germany, will continue to supply the rolling stock.

The introduction of the Hamburg - Berlin service will connect two of Germany’s biggest cities. “Our trains are about as fast as our competitor’s ICEs on this route,” says FlixMobility founder and CEO, Mr André Schwämmlein. “We are putting additional trains on the tracks and want to send a clear signal: train travel must be possible for everyone. People have a choice as to which train they want to take. So it’s all the nicer that we offer an excellent alternative with modern trains, affordable prices and fast travel times.”

The FlixTrain fleet has been overhauled while services were suspended due to the Covid-19 pandemic, with new seats, power sockets, modernised toilets and Wi-Fi installed. All FlixTrain services are powered by green electricity, and the operator says it guarantees every passenger a seat. Tickets are available online from €4.99. FlixTrain will use the same coaches for its day and overnight services.

“We need to convince as many people as possible of sustainable means of transport,” Schwämmlein says. “For this, healthy competition is crucial: attractive offers only emerge when several providers compete for passengers and keep improving themselves. We do this because FlixTrain is environmentally friendly, affordable, comfortable and modern. Travellers throughout Germany are now benefiting from this.”