International overnight services

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International overnight services
Posted by blue streak 1 on Friday, July 3, 2020 5:42 AM

The below link is from before the Covid-19 pandemic had started.  Several locations in Europe have or shortyl starting or restoring overnight trains.  Am requesting any posters that come across internation overnight services to post here.  This is to give some traction to overnight service here in the USA.

https://www.railwaygazette.com/comment-jumping-on-the-night-train/54382.article 

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Posted by blue streak 1 on Friday, July 3, 2020 5:46 AM
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Posted by blue streak 1 on Friday, July 10, 2020 6:43 AM

Alpen - Sylt overnight service started July 6

https://www.railjournal.com/regions/europe/alpen-sylt-night-train-begins-operation/ 

Hungarian operator request some 22 older sleeper and couchettes for overnight international service.  Planned to start sometime in 2021.

https://www.railjournal.com/rolling-stock/mav-start-tenders-for-22-cross-border-sleeping-and-couchette-coaches/

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Posted by blue streak 1 on Monday, July 13, 2020 8:51 PM

Rapid increase of overnight services by state owned RRs has some private operators complaining.

https://www.railwaygazette.com/passenger/independent-operators-raise-night-train-competition-concerns/56944.article 

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Posted by Memma on Thursday, July 16, 2020 10:17 PM

It's so sad that whilst Europe is going forward with overnight trains the US seems to be taking a step back in the post COVID world reducing long distance trains to thrice weekly... 

 

https://trainreview.com/news/amtrak-to-reduce-long-distance-trains-to-thrice-weekly

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Posted by Memma on Sunday, July 19, 2020 6:24 PM
RegioJet's service was so popular they increased the frequency to daily - a good sign!
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Posted by blue streak 1 on Tuesday, July 28, 2020 1:26 PM

European article about night train possible expansions.  Also several links at end for more info.

https://theconversation.com/could-sleeper-trains-replace-international-air-travel-130334 

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Posted by blue streak 1 on Tuesday, July 28, 2020 4:35 PM

Another article on overnight sleeper service in Europe.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/jul/27/covid-19-reawakens-europe-sleeper-trains 

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Posted by CMStPnP on Wednesday, July 29, 2020 7:46 AM

Chicago to Toronto

and

Chicago to Duluth

Are both good overnight candidates.    Both trains are on the list of potential new trains by Amtrak with so far undefined schedules but from what I hear Minnesota wants St. Paul to Duluth to be during daylight hours.     So that means originating in St. Paul or an overnight run from Chicago.

The problem your going to run into is Amtrak Midwest does not like to initiate new trains that leave CUS after 9:00 p.m. I was told by WisDOT.     So you might have to change that WTH business paradigm on the part of Amtrak Midwest or have the train depart prior to 9:00 p.m.    I do not understand some of Amtrak's hangups and I am not sure any of them have a basis in any rational business reason.

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Posted by MidlandMike on Wednesday, July 29, 2020 9:49 PM

Chicago-Toronto used to be run by Amtrak/VIA easily in daylight, so I don't see much need for an overnight train.  Plus a likely customs inspection in the middle of the night.

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Posted by Overmod on Thursday, July 30, 2020 4:09 AM

If I remember correctly the current 'possible' route is not as direct, and may be considerably slower; the idea would be to eliminate the perception of trip time by having much of it be 'overnight'.  Which is inherent in much of what this thread is ultimately about.

MidlandMike
Plus a likely customs inspection in the middle of the night.
This would be a significant problem.  Perhaps it could be overcome with pre-inspection of sleepers at the boarding points, and some paperwork improvements, but there are so many prospective security holes now that I don't see a practicable solution.  What is CMStP&P's proposed answer to address this?  An expanded or customized version of something like  TSA Pre-Check?

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Posted by BaltACD on Thursday, July 30, 2020 8:06 AM

Overmod
If I remember correctly the current 'possible' route is not as direct, and may be considerably slower; the idea would be to eliminate the perception of trip time by having much of it be 'overnight'.  Which is inherent in much of what this thread is ultimately about. 
MidlandMike
Plus a likely customs inspection in the middle of the night. 

This would be a significant problem.  Perhaps it could be overcome with pre-inspection of sleepers at the boarding points, and some paperwork improvements, but there are so many prospective security holes now that I don't see a practicable solution.  What is CMStP&P's proposed answer to address this?  An expanded or customized version of something like  TSA Pre-Check?

Hasn't the creation of the EU eliminated customs and border inspections when traveling between the EU countries?

Admittedly in the present day USA, for a variety of reasons, border crossings between countries have become something akin to crossing the borders between armed combatants.

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Posted by charlie hebdo on Thursday, July 30, 2020 8:02 PM

They were referring to crossing from Michigan to Ontario (in non-covid-19 times),  not EU. 

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Posted by 54light15 on Thursday, July 30, 2020 9:58 PM

Even before covid 19 it was getting pretty unpleasant to cross the border because of 9/11. Even before that, taking the Maple Leaf from Toronto to New York at the border you were not treated very well. The customs guys would stand behind you so you had to turn around in your seat and be uncomfortable while answering their questions while they searched the train. One time, when I was married and returning to the States, they asked us "What are you bringing back?" I said, "Some books and some records." "Oh, and some T-shirts." The guy said, "You didn't say that before" I said, " I didn't think of it before." He repeated himself. What the hell did he want me to say? He eventually backed off. I think he was suspicious as my wife was dressed all in black, sorta punkish so that made him suspect us as obvious criminals.

By car it used to be easy, it isn't anymore. Crossing the border is not something I plan to do anytime soon. Maybe when the new civil war is over. Sorry, didn't mean to be political. 

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Posted by Gramp on Monday, August 3, 2020 11:42 AM
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Posted by blue streak 1 on Tuesday, August 11, 2020 1:26 PM

OBB  ( Austria )  is ordering 13 new 7 car night Jet trains.  Will give a total of 231 sleeping cars, coachettes, and seated cars.   Demand must be there so why has Amtrak not studied this more and tried to book the 10 new V-2s that are now on site in Miami ?

https://www.railjournal.com/passenger/main-line/obb-to-order-more-nightjet-trains/

Here is a link compiling all announce new night train operations and proposals.

https://www.railjournal.com/tag/night-trains/ 

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Posted by BaltACD on Tuesday, August 11, 2020 4:46 PM

blue streak 1
Demand must be there so why has Amtrak not studied this more and tried to book the 10 new V-2s that are now on site in Miami ?

Expanding service while trying to end it, is a difficult task.

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Posted by CMStPnP on Tuesday, August 11, 2020 10:27 PM

MidlandMike
Chicago-Toronto used to be run by Amtrak/VIA easily in daylight, so I don't see much need for an overnight train.  Plus a likely customs inspection in the middle of the night.

Yet, on the Vancouver to Seattle run, customs are handled in Vancouver and not at the border.   And the train is fenced off at the station in Vancouver so nobody can just hop aboard there.    So not necessarily likely, rather it was done that way in the past, in Michigan without looking at other solutions.

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Posted by CMStPnP on Tuesday, August 11, 2020 10:33 PM

BaltACD
Admittedly in the present day USA, for a variety of reasons, border crossings between countries have become something akin to crossing the borders between armed combatants.

The border crossings between New York and Detroit are problematic because they are on known smuggling routes between Canada and United States.    I think it has to do with Liquor and Cigarette Taxes but I am not sure.    I don't think Washington State has ths same issue but again not sure and I would reather not spend time looking it up.    In the upper portion of the Michigan lower part of Michigan they are pretty paranoid on the U.S. portion of the Great Lakes shore as well due to smuggling.....I was told this when I worked at GM in Detroit.....be careful up there.

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Posted by MidlandMike on Tuesday, August 11, 2020 11:21 PM

CMStPnP

 

 
MidlandMike
Chicago-Toronto used to be run by Amtrak/VIA easily in daylight, so I don't see much need for an overnight train.  Plus a likely customs inspection in the middle of the night.

 

Yet, on the Vancouver to Seattle run, customs are handled in Vancouver and not at the border.   And the train is fenced off at the station in Vancouver so nobody can just hop aboard there.    So not necessarily likely, rather it was done that way in the past, in Michigan without looking at other solutions.

 

Vancouver and Montreal are different, in that it is a short distance to the border, and there are no intermediate stops.  On the Chicago-Toronto run, the border is at the midpoint, with lots of intermediate stations on each side, so you could not seal the train.  I took the daytime ATK/VIA Chicago-Toronto train a couple of times in the 90s, and there was a rigorous customs inspection at the border.  

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Posted by blue streak 1 on Wednesday, August 12, 2020 2:35 AM

Here is a review of the New Caledonian Sleeper train.  Loundon to Inverness with 16 cars that split to 3 destinations going north.  The biggest downer seems to be that the cars are built by CAF ( oh gosh  V-2 sleeper builder ) with many faults including no hot water for shower twice. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0AZPfYnRR-4 

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Posted by CMStPnP on Wednesday, August 12, 2020 9:40 AM

MidlandMike
Vancouver and Montreal are different, in that it is a short distance to the border, and there are no intermediate stops.  On the Chicago-Toronto run, the border is at the midpoint, with lots of intermediate stations on each side, so you could not seal the train.  I took the daytime ATK/VIA Chicago-Toronto train a couple of times in the 90s, and there was a rigorous customs inspection at the border.  

H-m-m-m-m-m, now I seem to remember the Hannover to Berlin, DB train that ran across East Germany.    Customs was handled after boarding, they stopped the train at the border to search underneath and inspect the conductor manifest.....but did not board the train nor did they disturb the sleeping passengers.    They did seal the train between the East German border and West Berlin which they inspected as the train crawled past the border checkpoint into West Berlin.    So I have seen it done in much more adverse border conditions than you have in the United States.  

There is precedent and it's done with frieght cars on a regular basis between terminals just within the United States.   Little paperclip type wire with lead seal.    If it is broken someone exited or entered the car or tampered with the seal, you know the contents of the car are probably suspect.     Also, if a late overnight train I am not sure why you would want to stop in the very early a.m. at stops in Toronto......that are probably easy driving distance into Toronto at a later time in the morning on the Eastbound run.    Westbound run to Chicago not sure those little bergs in Toronto would be providing much traffic to Chicago.....why would you stop the train there.    Granted private railroads did it in the past because they probably needed to make the stop for mail or packages AND Amtrak probably blindly followed the practice or had to do so via a partnership with VIA.

Also, there is a benefit of cutting out all those little towns in Ontario before Toronto, in that you do not need to share in the fixed costs at the depots you do not use and the train would either run faster or have more padding available in it's schedule.

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Posted by charlie hebdo on Wednesday, August 12, 2020 11:24 AM

I think the only stops in Canada for the Chicago-Toronto trains were Sarnia (border)  and London (population almost 400,000, Branford (100,000) and Strathroy (20,000). Since the train would be run in cooperation with VIA,  the US should not dictate stops in Canada. 

The example of Interzone trains in the DDR seems irrelevant to this. 

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Posted by 54light15 on Wednesday, August 12, 2020 1:45 PM

When I went from Paris to Florence on an Italian sleeper train in 2004, I had to give my passport to the porter to show to Swiss customs as we crossed the border. Passengers weren't disturbed, at least I wasn't. I recall travelling in Europe by train in the 1970s, customs agents would board the train a stop before the border and check every passport and then get off the train at a station beyond the border for a return trip. It worked well and was a lot more efficient than the process I endured when taking the Maple Leaf to New York. 

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Posted by BaltACD on Wednesday, August 12, 2020 4:53 PM

54light15
When I went from Paris to Florence on an Italian sleeper train in 2004, I had to give my passport to the porter to show to Swiss customs as we crossed the border. Passengers weren't disturbed, at least I wasn't. I recall travelling in Europe by train in the 1970s, customs agents would board the train a stop before the border and check every passport and then get off the train at a station beyond the border for a return trip. It worked well and was a lot more efficient than the process I endured when taking the Maple Leaf to New York. 

Wasn't a big part of the formation of the EU about reducing all the red tape and other impediments to people and goods moving freely within the confines of the EU.

Imagine having to 'show your papers' every time you crossed a state line in the USA.

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Posted by charlie hebdo on Wednesday, August 12, 2020 5:25 PM

1. Switzerland is not in the EU.  2. The customs checks within the EU nations ceased after the 1970's but even before then was very smooth.

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Posted by BaltACD on Wednesday, August 12, 2020 5:58 PM

charlie hebdo
1. Switzerland is not in the EU.  2. The customs checks within the EU nations ceased after the 1970's but even before then was very smooth.

Wasn't aware that Switzerland, being surrounded by EU countries wasn't a member.  I guess being a member would have made it harder for 'crooks' to hide their ill gotten gaines in numbered Swiss bank accounts.

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Posted by 54light15 on Wednesday, August 12, 2020 7:08 PM

The Swiss were never part of the EU, I am well aware of that. The customs checks in the 1970s weren't much.They looked at your passport and that was all. No luggage checks, nothing like that. That was even when I crossed Switzerland from Germany to Italy. The inspection was minimal. There was a custom check from Germany to the Czech republic when I was there in 2005 but there again, it was a minimal inspection and that is no longer done. 

One thing I sure remember about Switzerland in the 1970s were the amazing "Krokodile" electric locomotives- they were amazing! 

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Posted by charlie hebdo on Wednesday, August 12, 2020 7:51 PM

The various Swiss railroads range from amazing to breathtaking.

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Posted by CMStPnP on Wednesday, August 12, 2020 7:56 PM

BaltACD
Imagine having to 'show your papers' every time you crossed a state line in the USA. Add Quote to your Post

It was more involved in that.    They asked for your passport in the 1980's and 1990's once you checked into a hotel and I believe the local police were notified where you were staying.    If you needed your passport during your stay you would have to ask for it back from the front desk clerk and you had to tell them of your plans.    While it is true there wasn't really a customs check you still had to go through customs at the border of each European Country in 1984-1985.   I think what Charlie Hebdo is referring to is you were not asked to declare anything and they did not generally search your luggage.    They just checked your passport and matched it's picture to your face and asked a question or two.    It was more an effort to catch terrorists.    They had an agreement with the Armed Forces in that all they needed for a subset of NATO aligned countries was an Army ID Card to cross the border..........passport not needed.

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