A new low(ish) cost train service offers the opportunity, with a change at Brussels for an overnight train trip between London and Berlin.

Berlin – by Stefan Widua on Unsplash

The new service, set up by a couple of entrepreneurs, Elmer van Buuren of Train2EU and Chris Engelsman of Noord West Express, has been in planning for several years, with an initial fundraising effort in 2021 and since then they’ve been raising the rest of the money and looking for the sleeping cars for the train service.

The new Belgian-Dutch company will start offering overnight sleeper trains between Brussels and Berlin from 25th May, with plans to expand to Dresden and Prague at the end of next year.

What’s tantalising is that the predicted times for the service means that it would be possible to catch a Eurostar from London to Brussels, for example, leaving London on Friday at 3pm, arriving in Brussels for 6pm. Time to stretch legs and then catch the overnight to Berlin at 7:22pm.

The train arrives in Berlin just before 7am on Saturday morning.

Although the journey time is longer than flying, as you’re asleep for most of it, that’s not really an issue, and of course, it’s a lot greener than flying.

Returns from Berlin depart just before 11pm on Sunday, arriving in Brussels for 9:30am, and if you’re quick swapping between trains, you can be back in London by 10:45am.

Ideal for a long weekend.

Prices for the Brussels-Berlin leg start from €49 for a seat in a 6-person compartment, from €79 for a couchette bed in a 6-person compartment, and from €109 for a bed. Those are one-way prices.

Eurostar isn’t showing prices for May yet, but sample prices in April for a Friday out, Monday return at the above times are currently just £78 (£39 each way).

So from about £160 return from London to Berlin, which is cheaper than British Airways and comparable to Ryanair at the moment.

Ticket sales will start on 20th February 2023 from here. Remember you need to add a separate Eurostar ticket to get to Brussels.


Be the first to know what's on in London, and the latest news published on ianVisits.

You can unsubscribe at any time from my weekly emails.

Tagged with:

This website has been running now for over a decade, and while advertising revenue contributes to funding the website, it doesn't cover the costs. That is why I have set up a facility with DonorBox where you can contribute to the costs of the website and time invested in writing and research for the news articles.

It's very similar to the way The Guardian and many smaller websites are now seeking to generate an income in the face of rising costs and declining advertising.

Whether it's a one-off donation or a regular giver, every additional support goes a long way to covering the running costs of this website, and keeping you regularly topped up doses of Londony news and facts.

If you like what you read on here, then please support the website here.

Thank you

  1. Chris says:

    12 hours, seated, in a six seat cabin, overnite, or death?
    I choose death.
    Even in a bed, how much actual sleep you think you can get?
    Having suffered three times, 12 hour, overnite, in a 4 bed, trains in Ukraine this summer, I can tell you, I would rather have flown, and taken my chances.
    The fourth train was “first class” seated, overnite, and that was beyond miserable. It was physically agonising.
    We don’t need sleeper services to the EU. We need direct high speed trains. London to Berlin/Prague in four hours would be nice.

    • ianVisits says:

      You took trains through an actual war zone – of course they won’t be as quiet and comfortable as trains between Brussels and Berlin.

    • Mat Smith says:

      Bizarre comment. In November I took a sleeper from Ivano-Frankivsk to Chernivitsi and it was absolutely fine; really comfortable cheap and slept well in the warmth. But this is not exactly a sensible comparison is it?

    • Fabio says:

      You right chris

  2. Kai Chung says:

    I’d rather just book a competitive price ATOL Protected BA package of flights & hotel to Berlin, simpler without faffing around and faster too. Of course you get the sheer fun of flying with it too.

    • Matt Sawyer says:

      Ah yes…the being squashed into a row of three narrow seats, paying a fortune for tiny portions of food and drink, arriving two hours early, being searched and putting your phone in one tray and your passport in another, taking out a mortgage to buy toiletries after security, being stuck on the tarmac without a toilet, trying to find somewhere to sit in the airport and queuing at a Wetherspoons style pub in a crowded terminal…yeah I LOVE flying

  3. MilesT says:

    A stop in Rotterdam (at 21:21 towards Berlin) means that you can combine the service with the ferry from Harwich (day boat 9am UK arriving 17:15 in the Hook, night boat would give you around 12 hours sightseeing in Rotterdam/The Hague/Delft before joining the train); similar layovers towards Harwich (sightseeing possible on the way back)

  4. Marc Ricketts says:

    Thats a bit of Good News. But what would be nice. And what would be good if there was a Direct Train Service from London to Berlin in the future.

  5. Preksh says:

    Can you take the Berlin train from Amsterdam?

  6. Nigel Hamilton says:

    Eurostar tickets are available for May. It’ll cost you £74.50 out at 3pm on the 26th May but you wouldn’t make it back to London till Monday tea time currently.

  7. J says:

    why would anybody in their right mind do that when you can get direct to berlin in less than 2 hours.

  8. David says:

    Great idea, I want to travel on the Berlin steam train and this is a good way to get there. Anyone know where to find details of the Berlin steam train in English?

  9. Chris Rogers says:

    The sad story of the Nightstar – the sleeper version of Eurostar – comes to mind. Few realise this was even discussed, but a consortium of European train companies got as far as commissioning special coaches and publicising routes. The Belgians pulled out early and the service never even started due to insoluable technical, financial and other issues. The trains were sold to Canadian railways.

  10. Michael says:

    In the UK we are stuck in the dark ages.
    When are we going to get DIRECT TRAINS to German destinations,but it has to be at competing prices with Air
    Meanwhile I will continue to fly to Berlin as its time saving. EUROSTAR to Amsterdam is a good start but why not continue to Germany?

  11. Petra Abendroth says:

    You will need a sleeper. I did a Berlin-Budapest round trip in a train, sitting up, in the mid 80ies. Total Agony!! The next year took the”cot version” , not bed. Easy-peasy. It’s a 1000km, same as London Berlin.

Home >> News >> Transport News