škoda 2024

The first European Sleeper train has arrived in Praha

posted on 26th Mar 2024 13:57

On Tuesday 26 March 2024 before noon, the first European Sleeper Brussels to Praha train arrived in its destination. It is an extension of the train from Brussels to Berlin introduced last May and will run to Praha three times a week.

The premiere train consisted of 15 cars: two sleeper cars and 13 couchette cars (one of them with a compartment for bicycles), the couchette cars are also used for seated passengers. The WLABee sleepers are of the so-called P type from the mid-1950s (and later modernized). The B(o)cmh sleepers date from 1967 (Deutsche Waggon- und Maschinenfabriken with a factory in West Berlin, later Waggon Union). The cars are hired from the German companies TRI Train Rental (seating cars) and Gesellschaft für Fahrzeugtechnik (GfF, sleeping and couchette cars), and from the Slovakian WAGON SERVICE (the red and white couchette cars).

Before the departure from Praha, the ceremonial opening of the train's operation took place in the historical part of the Praha hl. n. station, with a large number of passengers who had come by train at the invitation of the EC (representatives of the participating companies, journalists), as well as other invited guests - seen in one of the pictures together are (from left to right): Daan Huisinga (Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the Czech Republic), Jurgen van Meirvenne (Ambassador of the Kingdom of Belgium to the Czech Republic), Michal Krapinec (CEO of ČD), Elmer van Buuren (founder and co-owner of ES), František Reismüller (Director of the CzechTourism agency), Corinne Miseer (Director of Dresden Marketing), Martin Dvořák (Czech Minister for European Affairs), Chris Engelsman (founder and co-owner of ES), Bohuslav Svoboda (Mayor of Praha), Jakub Skalník (Czech Ambassador to Belgium), Martin Kupka (Czech Minister of Transport).

The premiere train was hauled by the 186 291 Lineas/Railpool locomotive, which was vinyled a few days earlier in the colours of its operator and of Train Charter Services (TCS). Subcontracted by European Sleeper, the TCS acts as traction provider for the whole route and subcontracting operator in Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany, therefore the train runs in these countries under licence of TCS, which also provides driver and guard.

On Czech network, the train is operated under licence of state operator ČD, however led by drivers from the Czech branch of Die Länderbahn. The originally planned cooperation with RegioJet did not take place in the end due to different ideas in some aspects, RegioJet was also willing to provide carriages only outside the summer season (due to the operation of the train to Croatia, which in the end will not be operated this year anyway).

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