It’s official: the Thalys brand is no more. But rest assured that this legendary passenger service isn’t going to disappear from the European railway industry.
A year after the end of the European Year of Rail, the European Commission has announced that it will support ten pilot projects in international train travel to make the sector more efficient, quicker and more affordable for travellers.
This new railway is supposed to link up the port of Mombasa on the Kenyan coast with central Uganda.
After the arrival of Trenitalia on the Paris-Lyon line at the end of 2021, this time Renfe – the historic Spanish operator – is also making moves in France
As it had announced in 2022, SNCF, the French national rail operator, increased train ticket prices on January 10 2023.
Since Laos has been involved in China’s new Silk Road initiatives, for better or worse, things have changed.
Clearly referring to the mythical route that transcontinental salesmen used in centuries gone by, it is essentially a vast web of commercial rail and sea links that will allow the country to transport goods to Europe and Africa.
SNCF, for example, has launched a service known as Flexy, which can carry up to 14 passengers on lines where trains can travel between 10 and 30 kilometres an hour.
When railway services restarted between Russia and North Korea in early November 2022, the first train that travelled from one country to another was in fact a convoy filled with… 30 horses: five stallions and 25 mares.
Having run an inaugural trip between Madrid and Valencia on November 21 2022, Iryo aims to run 16 return journeys daily between the Spanish capital and the city of Barcelona.
Gulf Railway, a project that aims to link up the various member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council.
On the initiative of Gérard Leseul, the Socialist MP for Seine-Maritime's 5th constituency, this sum was based on figures from se Réseau Action Climat
The trip took around 45 minutes, at an average speed of between 30 and 35 kilometres per hour.
A column by a group of 15 regional leaders in the newspaper Le Monde. In it, these men and women from across the political spectrum called on the national government to launch a new railway deal worth €100 billion between 2023 and 2033.
At a time when the protection of the planet is an absolute necessity, the modernisation of the railway network in a country known for being flat is no less honourable or important. Let’s dig a little deeper.
Named KTX, for Korea Train Express, the trains are a symbol of the country’s cutting-edge technology and a very popular means of transport for locals. Let’s take a short trip.
Having arrived in Canada at the age of 20, Georges Stephen was one of the principal architects of the railway industry in this part of the world, and was the first Canadian to be ennobled. Quite a character, in other words.
The Vanderbilts is a modest family, descended from Dutch immigrants, would become both rich and incredibly divisive.
They may not be as well known as the other two, but this clan produced two real pioneers of the railways: Edward and his son Joseph.
James in the second instalment of our series on the great families of the European and US rail industry.
In November 2018, Morocco inaugurated something really rather special: a high-speed railway line connecting Tangier, Kenitra and Casablanca.
Emile and Isaac were both born in Bordeaux, on December 3 1800 and 25 November 1806. They were brought up in a Jewish family who had to flee first Spain and then Portugal, and were grandsons of Jacob Rodrigue Pereire, a pioneer of education for deaf and mute children.
The story of the British railways starts with carriages mounted on tracks made of wood, then metal, and pulled by horses.
The railways were taken into the hands of the state in 1937 but not in a single stage. In fact, it was the result of various interventionist moves that are very closely tied to the political history
It’s a rather unusual case, as the country was for a long time very behind when it came to the development of the railways, and would soon go through an extended period of political instability, what with the Spanish civil war and Francisco Franco’s dictatorship.
We’re launching a new series on the great nationalisations in European rail, starting with the one that took place in Italy between 1903 and 1915.
The opening up of passenger transport stems from the EU’s adoption of its fourth major package of rail reforms in 2016. This essentially divided the sector into two main categories.
The idea of opening up passenger rail transport in Europe isn’t a new one. The first discussions between the member states of the European Union in fact took place in the 1970s.
Because while trains may usually be considered a means to get humans from one place to another, they are clearly also a way of conveying goods too. So let’s climb aboard and slot ourselves in besides the factory products and girders.
The most significant moments in the privatisation of the railways. In this first episode, we’ll be taking a look at British Rail, first created thanks to the nationalisation of four big private railway firms.
Deutsche Bahn’s City Night Line. Adored by passengers across Germany and its neighbouring countries, these sleepers ran for two decades across Austria, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Denmark, France, the Czech Republic and Italy.
Running between Paris, Milan and Venice, the operator Thello allowed people to travel from Italy’s fashion capital to La Serenissima without having to pass through airport security and baggage checks (and with a far lower carbon footprint too).
These trains essentially aimed to be trains and hotels at the same time. In other words, they would allow passengers to spend the night in a well laid out, comfortable train, with excellent on-board service.
For this fourth episode, we’ll be focusing on this project that aims to create a new night-train network linking several northern and central European countries, by joining up several existing services.
Far from being a worldly socialite like his Belgian counterpart, Pullman came from a very working-class background. Throughout his life, he strived to observe, analyse and question existing structures and grabbed all opportunities that presented themselves to him – sometimes even going beyond the limits of the acceptable.
Like Midnight Trains, but with ideas very different to our ‘hotels on rails’, this business is among those that set out to conquer the railways since they were privatised here in France. In this third part, we’ll be focusing on Speed’s plans for super-regular high-speed services between Paris and the surrounding region.
If there’s one main reason that we’ve spoken about it so regularly, it’s no doubt that the train’s creator, Georges Nagelmackers, had very similar intentions to us here at Midnight Trains: he sought to make the sleeper-train journey an actually pleasant experience, filled with modern comforts.
In this second episode, we’ll be singing the praises of a business that aims to bring high-speed travel to the most poorly connected of France’s regions.
After three seasons in which roamed the corridors of a business like Midnight Trains, we’re launching a new four-part article series introducing you to the big new actors in the European rail industry.
In a railway sector where responsibilities are fragmented, manufacturers legion and with a growing need for interoperability, what manufacturing rules must trains respect and how can you ensure they are compatible with the existing infrastructure?
Having told you about the huge regulatory changes that have taken place in the rail industry over the past decades, now we’ll be tackling the specifics of the trains themselves.
Since European railway space was created, there’s no need to be a historic operator to run rail services on the Continent. But what authorisations do you have to obtain first?
This season aims to help you better understand railway regulation in Europe, and thus everything Midnight Trains is having to reckon with before we can welcome you on board our trains from early 2024. So in the rail sector, does the exception prove the rule?
We’ve just signed a major partnership with TravelPerk. And we’re chuffed: TravelPerk is the world’s number-one travel management platform for businesses. That means they’re the guys organisations have the most faith in when it comes to planning business trips for their employees.
That’s the subject of our final instalment: materials and colours. Last time, we made a lot of references to the fact that senses are all-important when it comes to the impression we want to give passengers: the way things look and feel (or even smell) is key.
We’re moving onto the next stage: how to go about integrating all the functional and technical elements required on board. We’re going to imagine the practical needs of passengers on our trains, the potential points of friction, and attempt to offer some solutions too.
After a first season dedicated to how you go about buying trains, this time we are exploring how to design trains, in five main instalments (though no doubt we will return to the subject, since design will play such a huge part in our mission to reinvent the sleeper train).
We’re going to make sure that inventory fits within the limited space of the train, assuring both comfort and optimal use of square footage, in order to define the layout of the carriages.
Before going about buying trains, there are a number of key steps related to design that are essential because they’ll allow you to analyse the compatibility of the material as it is and to work out the costs of renovation, or to prepare the list of costs once you’ve consulted with manufacturers.
We’ve now come to what is probably the juiciest subject of the lot: how do you finance all this stuff? When you’re a newcomer in the rail sector, there are two possibilities.
Having explained last week how and why a new rail operator might go about purchasing used material, this week we’ll be focusing on new equipment – both its advantages and disadvantages.
We take you behind the scenes of Midnight Trains HQ. And so why not start from the very top? Right now we’re going to explain how exactly we’re going about buying our trains.