However, it is a more financially complex story about sleeper trains. Since wagons have to pass through many countries, with a relatively large number of staff on board, ticket prices are much higher than those for regular train journeys.
Then there is the discussion about subsidies. The NS sleeper train between Amsterdam and Vienna is sponsored annually by millions of euros, while this does not apply to other sleeper train initiatives. Partly for this reason, a number of carriers have created a Procedure against NS. The two companies said they did not have a fair chance to compete for the Vienna night train franchise.
Dutch railways don’t want to say much about subsidies. “It is not up to us to judge who will or will not receive the subsidy, and that is what the government decides.” The carrier says its next sleeper train, bound for Zurich, will not be supported.
Despite the support issue, both NS and Green City Trip are positive about more sleeper trains in the future. Although they do not want to anticipate possible European destinations.
Sleepy foreign train carriers are not always keen to keep arriving in the Netherlands, due to its geographical location, according to NS. “We are always the starting or ending point. For a transit route, the Netherlands doesn’t make much sense, as in Germany, for example.”
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