škoda 2024

Nightjet service between Wien and Brussels with one Vectron

posted on 26th Mar 2024 11:01

Since mid-March, nightjet trains on the route Wien - Brussels and back have been operated without change of the locomotive. Until now, the Vectron of ÖBB (leased from ELL) was replaced by the Class 18 SNCB Eurosprinter at Aachen Hbf, the last station before the Belgian border. For the through international haulage there were training runs of the SNCB drivers on the Vectrons, mostly on the cross-border section Aachen - Welkenraedt and once (on 20 February) as far as Schaarbeek in the Brussels conurbation, where there is a depot for depositing and cleaning train rakes.

The nightjet service from Wien to Brussels and back is operated under the numbers 40468/40425, with carriages incorporated in trains 468/469 Wien - Paris and 424/425 Berlin - Brussels, whose groups are changing at Mannheim. This is a new arrangement of these trains as a result of the newly introduced nightjet services between Berlin and Paris and Brussels respectively at the start of the 2024 timetable. However, SNCB did not manage to train their drivers for the Vectrons in time, and some administrative issues had to be sorted out, so the direct service between Wien and Brussels was not introduced immediately from December 2023.

However, Vectrons are not allowed to operate on the Liége - Leuven HSL in Belgium, so not only during the above-mentioned training run, but also in normal operation, it was or is necessary to use the conventional line between these cities. The direct service was planned to start with a train arriving in Brussels on 12 March 2024, but this was cancelled due to a rail strike in Germany, so the premiere took place two days later (the train runs three times a week). For the service to Belgium, ÖBB initially had locomotives 193 961 and 962, hired from ELL, and in nightjet livery, to which 193 598 was added.

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