Trains For America

More choices for better transportation

CNN spots overnight sleeper in Europe

It’s another one of those totally off-the-wall fantasies that would never work in the hard-nosed efficient American transportation model Believe it or not, business travelers board a train in the evening, go to sleep in an area called a berth, and wake up for a full day of wheeling and dealing in the morning. Even more outrageous, they often have breakfast on the train.

Of course, that would never work here.

CNN did an outstanding report on rail transport in Europe and it was not all HSR.

Our journey this month starts on Platform 3 of Paris-Austerlitz station as we board the Elipsos Trenhotel to Barcelona. This is the European business traveller’s best kept secret. The overnight journey down is by far the most comfortable way of getting to a 9am meeting in Barcelona. We compare the alternatives both for time and cost and conclude there’s simply nothing to beat the sleeper.

One maxim of the modern railway is “4 hours or less” and we put this to the test on our next two European rail journeys. Zurich to Stuttgart and Stuttgart to Paris are both the sort of important routes that attract regular business traffic both by train and plane.

Filed under: International High Speed Rail

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October 2007


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