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Train in Czech Republic
Photograph: Jan Orlowski / Shutterstock.com

This spectacular new night train will take you from Prague to Germany and Switzerland

Czech national rail operator ČD is reviving a sleeper route between some of central Europe’s most fascinating cultural hotspots

Ed Cunningham
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Ed Cunningham
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Europe’s train revival is one of the most exciting shake-ups to travel on the continent in decades. From new mega-cheap high-speed routes to an increasingly huge night train network, Europe is showing that trains are an affordable, convenient and environmentally-friendly alternative to air travel. 

And now another rail company is getting in on the act. The Czech Republic’s national rail operator Czech Railways (České dráhy or ČD) has announced a new sleeper service that will go from Prague to the Swiss city of Zurich via Dresden, Leipzig, Frankfurt am Main and Basel.

The new service will be called the ‘Canopus’ train and it’ll be a collaborative project with the national rail providers of Austria (ÖBB), Switzerland (SBB) and Germany (DB). It’s a revival of an old service that closed down back in 2017. 

The trains themselves will consist of several seating classes, with couchette tickets starting at €69 (£60, $69) and fares for sleeping car compartments starting from €89 (£78, $89). The service will leave Prague at 6.25pm and arrive in Zurich at 9:05am, while the return will depart Zurich at 7:59pm and arrive back in Prague at 9.25am.

And that’s not all that ČD is doing to improve Czech sleeper services. The operator has ordered some brand-new night trains that’ll come equipped with Wi-Fi, new loos and better fire protection. In other words, some of Europe’s finest sleeper routes could soon boast seriously swanky carriages.

It hasn’t been confirmed when the new carriages will come into service, but the Prague-Zurich sleeper route is set to restart on December 11. There’s never been a better time to plan a night train jaunt around Europe, so here’s our handy guide to all the continent’s new sleeper routes.

Did you see that young people could soon get even cheaper train travel in Europe?

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