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Sleeper trains — what’s old is popular again

One of the great promises of autonomous vehicles is that, one day in the future, you’ll be able to get into your car, fall asleep, and then wake up refreshed at your destination. This would be a nice luxury, and it would almost certainly reshape the geography of our cities.

But at the same time, it’s worth a reminder that “sleeper cars“, or bed carriages as they were originally called, are definitely not a new thing. Possibly the first example of a sleeper car was in England in the 1830s. Trains, of course, don’t take you exactly where you want to go like a car, but a sleeper train does allow you to travel while you sleep.

And so it is interesting to see that sleeper trains are apparently seeing a resurgence in popularity across Europe. To the point that the trains are full and rail operators can’t seem to get their hands on new carriages. I can’t recall ever travelling in a sleeper train, but I have to say that this looks like a highly civilized way to move around:

Image: ÖBB (Austria’s national rail operator)


  1. Ron O'Brien

    Hi Brandon, I read your blog every day, you actually wake me up at at 6:00 AM and love your blog! In any event I want to share a very funny story about “Sleeper Cars” and my Mother. Way back in the early 60’s she was taking the train from Toronto to Montreal to visit he sister and thought it might be a fun adventure to take the “overnight” train in a sleeper car. So, the laugh is, that boards the train at Union at 8:00 PM and sets off. After a couple of neat scotches she goes to her berth for a good rolling sleep. Funny, that she wakes up in Ajax as the Sleeper Car became detached en route.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Dragi Dodevski

    Yes they are actually. We just nearly took one of these from Zurich to Berlin. In the end timing didn’t work out, but they are great as you could book a whole cabin privately for 289€ for upto 4 people.


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