It is entirely possible to run night trains between Oslo and Copenhagen. It says a new report. But is it wise to do so?
Imagine being able to fall asleep on Oslo S, be transported in a climate-friendly way and wake up the next morning at the Central Station in Kongens by! But we are not there now.
This is what Minister of Transport Jon-Ivar Nygård (Labor Party) says.
One of the last things his predecessor Knut Arild Hareide (KrF) did was to order a report on a possible return for night trains to Copenhagen.
Deputy CEO Gro Bakstad applauded the initiative.
– We want to be a part of this. We want to connect Norway more closely to the continent’s railway network, Bakstad said.
The report is now available from the Norwegian Railway Directorate.
It concludes with:
- It is technically and legally possible to run night trains to Copenhagen.
- There is also likely to be a market base.
- It is possible to start such an offer towards the end of 2024.
- The most time-critical thing is to get enough sleeping and sleeping prams.
- Night trains 6–7 nights a week, in each direction, will require a public subsidy of 20–40 mill. yearly.
- Departure can be from Oslo 21.30, with arrival Copenhagen 06.30.
- This can fit with morning trains on to Hamburg.
Holger Schlaupitz of the Nature Conservation Association has believed in the project.
– Today, a train ride between Oslo and Copenhagen requires a train change in Gothenburg. The night train will make the train journey to Copenhagen attractive. Sleeping on the train is a good use of time. It will be possible to have a whole day in Copenhagen without spending the night in the city, he says to Aftenposten.
– This can also be attractive for business travelers, says Schlaupitz.
Therefore, the night trains disappeared
– Business travelers get a full working day after arrival, whether it is in Copenhagen or Oslo, says Holger Schlaupitz.
In February, Aftenposten wrote about night routes that were in Europe on their way to Amsterdam, Vienna, Munich and Paris. While Oslo was not included.
It was the planes that for over 20 years ago broke the night train to Copenhagen. Flights went faster. But now the trend has reversed.
– It is clear all over Europe. Fewer people travel by plane, more people want to travel by train. The trend is driven by an increased awareness of climate, politics and greener travel habits, said Vy CEO Bakstad in September.
Nevertheless, Jon-Ivar Nygård confirms that it is a while until the night train is in place. He will find out how many are actually going to take together. And whether it is social economy in night trains to Copenhagen.
The Norwegian Railway Directorate will now find out about this, before, according to Nygård, a final decision is made on the night train.
Night trains to Copenhagen have a long history. The first ran in 1892.
Drove night trains Oslo-Hamburg until 1993
According to Holger Schlaupitz, an offer was in place with a so-called “through carriage” between Oslo and Copenhagen in 1892. In 1909, the train went all the way to Germany.
– In recent times, there were night trains between Oslo and Hamburg until 1993, while the offer to Copenhagen ended in 2000. In the period 2005–2010, SJ tried night trains, but only in the summer, between Oslo and Malmö, says Schlaupitz.
He wants more than just a night train to Copenhagen:
– In the Nature Conservation Association, we propose that night trains from Oslo all the way to Hamburg be investigated. How to get carriages from Oslo on the night train from Stockholm to Hamburg. This can be done in 2022.
– A night train to Hamburg will improve the travel opportunities to the continent. But it will also have to leave Oslo earlier in the evening and pass Copenhagen at night. So there will probably be a weight markedly dropped, he says.