The Austrian Federal Railways (ÖBB) and Siemens Mobility have unveiled the first painted car body and exterior design of the new Nightjet overnight passenger trains in Vienna, Austria.

Expected to commence services by the end of next year, the new trains will initially be used on rail routes from Austria and Germany to Italy.

In a framework agreement with Siemens Mobility, ÖBB has already called up the first 13 trainsets. The other 20 trains are expected to be called up this year.

Austrian Minister for Climate Protection Leonore Gewessler said: “In the fight against the climate crisis, Europe needs more climate-friendly mobility. A strong and extensive night train network is an important contribution here. That’s why we’ll be investing around €500m in the future of night trains in the coming years and can purchase 20 more Nightjets produced with Austrian added value.

“This not only means additional cars for our fleet but also more destinations and more night train lines. The Nightjet is the best option for travelling between major European cities. Austria is, and will continue to be, the trendsetter for this service in the EU.”

ÖBB CEO Andreas Matthä said: “The decision made in 2016 to enter the European night train business and steadily expand the night train network was absolutely right. We are already the largest provider of night train service in Europe and our investment in new and ultra-modern trains will ensure that we can continue building on our pioneering role. By providing greater comfort and privacy, our new, state-of-the-art Nightjets will clearly and convincingly focus on meeting the needs of passengers.”

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Siemens Mobility CEO Michael Peter said: “The new Nightjet impresses with its greater passenger comfort as well as its sustainability and flexibility and will be the global benchmark for years to come. One central feature of the trains is the innovative mini-suites, which offer passengers a private retreat. Newly designed lightweight bogies ensure especially smooth and quiet operation and reduce energy consumption over the train’s entire lifecycle. Our Nightjet will play a central role when it comes to providing eco-friendly connections between European cities and will make rail travel even more attractive.”

The seven-car Nightjet will comprise two coaches, three couchette cars and two sleeping cars.

These railcars have been designed to combine ultra-modern elements with an even higher level of passenger comfort.

The new couchette car concept has favoured single travellers by offering additional mini-suites.

Each of the standard and deluxe compartments will have its own toilet and shower.

The formerly offered regular compartments will still be available with a new design.

The new trains will also offer its free WLAN service, which was formerly only available on long-distance Railjet trains.

Nightjet passengers will also have the option to surf the Web on the ÖBB Railnet, as well as stream content and access digital newspapers and magazines for free.

In addition, barrier-free overnight travel will also be possible on the new Nightjets, as each locomotive will have a multifunctional car with a low-floor entrance and barrier-free couchette compartment and toilet.