The Anonymous Widower

‘Sleeper Trains’ London To Berlin And Prague A New Possibility

The title of this post, is the same as the title of this article on Rail Technology Magazine.

This is the introductory paragraph.

For those who have grown a travel bug during lockdown, the truth is that flying looks like it won’t be a viable option as a global pandemic persists. However, for those who dream to travel again, there might be some hope. With growing new interest, there are ambitious plans to take overnight ‘Sleeper trains’ services through the channel tunnel from London to cities around Europe .

I regularly use sleeper trains to Scotland, as they deliver me North of the Border for an early start or are ideal for coming back ;ate after a busy day.

As I can sleep with no trouble on a train and generally book a few days in advance, it generally works out that the cost of the sleeper one way is good value, as it avoids paying for a hotel.

Certainly, in the UK, if you use sleeper trains properly and have a rail-card, I find them convenient and good value. A couple of times, there’s also been a party in the lounge car.

It appears that the first sleeper trains will start from Brussels.

  • NightJet already run a service between Brussels and Vienna.
  • A route of Brussels and Prague via Amsterdam, Berlin and Dresden is suggested.
  • These routes could be extended to London, at some time in the future.

But if they were timed appropriately, you could take an afternoon or evening Eurostar to Brussels and have supper before you get the sleeper, either on Eurostar or in Brussels.

With sleeper trains popping up in several places in Europe and becoming more fashionable with better rolling stock, I’m sure that this sleeper train would work.

Brussels and Berlin is currently seven hours with a change, so a sleeper train without a change could probably take you to Berlin for eight in the morning, if it left Brussels at about yen at night.

April 19, 2021 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , | 8 Comments

Hydrogen Train Operation Planned

The title of this post is the same as that of this article on the Railway Gazette.

This is the first paragraph.

The Länder of Brandenburg and Berlin are planning the joint award of a contract for the development and operation of hydrogen fuel cell powered trains on the RB27 Heidekrautbahn route.

According to Wikipedia, the Heidekrautbahn looks to be an interesting rail line, which is used a lot for leisure and museum (heritage) trains.

Wikipedia also says this about the hydrogen trains.

At the end of 2017, considerations were presented for a pilot project to deploy four Coradia iLint vehicles manufactured by Alstom on the heather track, switching part of the rail service from diesel to hydrogen . This would take about 165 tons of hydrogen, reduce diesel consumption by about 552,000 liters and thus reduce the emission of CO 2 by about 2.5 million kg per year. In the case of a grant commitment, use from 2020 would be conceivable.

Note that this was translated by Google from the Wikipedia entry, which was in German.

The Railway Gazette article states that the trains will run from 2022.

So it looks like the Germans will be making haste slowly on this project.




November 23, 2018 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , | Leave a comment

Don’t Stay In The Metro One Hotel By The Hauptbahnhof In Berlin!

The only thing to recommend it, is the distance from the station, but I found it totally unfit for my purpose as I wrote in A Hotel To Avoid.

I will not be taking any chances in future and will avoid Metro One hotels.

February 17, 2018 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , | Leave a comment

Pizza Again Last Night

It’s not often, I’ve ate pizza two nights running, but last night I went to Pizzesco after Cielo di Berlino in Berlin.

Both were gluten-free and washed done with Lammsbrau gluten-free beer.

If you give Pizza Express 7 out of 10, then Berlin would be 8 and Munich 9 or 10.

The only trouble with Pizzesco is that it gets busier every time I go.

February 14, 2018 Posted by | Food | , , , , | 1 Comment

From Berlin To Munich In Four Hours By Train

The length of the East Coast Main Line between London Kings Cross and Edinburgh is 632 kilometres.

Deutsche Bahn have recently completed an upgraded High Speed Line between Berlin and Munich, which has a length of 623 kilometres.

Both lines are not the very fastest of High Speed Lines, but lines where a consistent two hundred kilometres per hour is possible.

The East Coast Main Line was built in Victorian times and services typically take around twenty minutes over four hours, with nine -car InterCity 225 trains running twice an hour.

The Berlin-Munich route was originally built over two centuries ago, but the Germans have spent twenty-five years and many billions of euros punching a new route between Berlin and Nuremberg, through the difficult countryside of Thuringen Forest.

The route may allow the Germans to travel from Berlin to Munich in three hours fifty-five minutes, but at present you can only do it three times a day in a six-car train.

I took the lunchtime train and sat in First Class for a hundred and fourteen euros.

These are some of the pictures, that I took.

We were on time in Munich! Although reading an article in the February 2018 Edition of Modern Railways and talking to other passengers, the introduction of the service had been far from smooth, due to signalling issues.

Just as British Rail’s four-hour service took passengers from the airlines, Deutsche Bahn’s intention is to do the same.

But they will have to improve things.

Service Frequency

Three six-car trains every day in under four hours is just not enough trains, to compete with the airlines.

The plans for the London to Edinburgh route include an all-day frequency of a train every thirty minutes and when the new Class 801 trains are running under control of modern signalling, then many of these trains will do the journey in under four hours.

Route Capacity

The trains need to offer more capacity to provide a service to compete with the airlines.

Customer Service

In my four-hour journey, I was offered just one hot drink! I took a cup of hot chocolate and I had to pay a few euros for it.

I’m sure, Virgin Trains East Coast offer a better service on the East Coast route.


Properly developed, this route can become one of Europe’s main trunk rail routes.

The Modern Railways article compares the service with the new Paris-Bordeaux High Speed Line.

Howeer, DB’s initial offering seems rather timid – 17 trains each way (compare this to the service between Paris and Bordeaux after opening of a new line in July 2017 – 27 trains each way daily!).

The article finishes with this paragraph.

When the Berlin to Nuremberg plan was being developed in the mid-1990s both the Government and DB assumed up to 137 trains each way would use the new line. It was expected the majority would be freight, with at least 20 ICE services each way as well as slower semi-fast services. Currently 35 ICE services use the full line with 18 regional services using the 20 km. section too. Freight traffic has not yet begun and seems unlikely to for several more years, if at all.

Deutsche Bahn has a lot of work to do.

If they get this service right, it must open up a lot of possibilities for new business and leisure services.

As an example, I’ve come across many Americans, Canadians and others on East Coast Main Line services, who’ve flown into Scotland and after visiting Edinburgh, London and possibly Paris, will fly back West.

Berlin to Munich must surely open up similar possibilities in Germany.


February 13, 2018 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , | 2 Comments

A Quick Visit To The German Museum Of Technology

I had time before my train left for Munich to have a quick visit to the German Museum of Technology.

As I do in most museums of this sort, I ended up in the printing section.

February 13, 2018 Posted by | World | , , , | Leave a comment

Adding Insult To Injury

I still couldn’t get BBC World, but to add insult to injury, I could get a porn channel! Not that I’m bothered about this level of porn, but it wasn’t what I wanted to watch. Although, I did find it funny, that a guy kept his hat on, whilst on the job. It wasn’t because he was cold either, as the sun was blazing away!

February 13, 2018 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , | 1 Comment

Projekt U5

Projekt U5 is Berlin’s latest extension to the U-Bahn network.

In the excellent project description on this Internet, it is described as a Gap Closure.

The project “gap closure U5” connects the traditional line U5 from Hönow to Alexanderplatz with the U55 between Alexanderplatz and Brandenburger Tor. It includes the construction of a 2.2 kilometer tunnel stretch and three new underground stations: Rotes Rathaus, Museumsinsel and Unter den Linden.
It looks like it is about the same size of London’s Northern Line Extension.
  • Berlin U5 Missing Gap – 3 stations – – 3.22 km.- €525 million
  • Northern Line Extension – 2 stations – 2.2 km. – £560 million

Both projects are for completion in 2020.

The Berlin U5 seems to have better hoardings.



February 12, 2018 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , | Leave a comment

Walking Around Berlin’s Museum Quarter

I took these pictures as I walked around Berlin’s Museum Quarter.

There is a lot of construction going on.

I spent about an hour in the Historical Museum finding about my Jewish ancestor, who  Ibelieve came from Konigsberg.

February 12, 2018 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , | Leave a comment

A Trip To The Berlin Olympic Stadium

My father hated both extreme-right and extreme-left politics with a vengeance and I can honestly say, that I never heard him tell a racist joke.

My father also liked his sport and always claimed he’d first been driven to White Hart Lane in a pony and trap, before the First Wold War. He said, that you used to give a kid, a shilling to hold the horse’s head during the match.

He also used to like his athletics and one day told me with great joy, how the black American athlete Jesse Owens had annoyed Hitler by wining three gold medals.

So as I was in Berlin, I had to visit the Berlin Olympic Stadium.

I arrived at the S-bahn station and walked through to the U-bahn station from where I returned to Central Berlin.

These are some of the npictures that I took.

It was a cold walk, but would be very pleasant in the sun.

February 12, 2018 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , | 3 Comments