Switzerland is an environmentally conscious nation, and as readers will have seen we recently reported that it is expanding its international rail.

Now comes news from nzz.ch that Swiss rail operator SBB wants to increase the number of night trains.

There is already a number of night trains running from Switzerland and these are in the hands of Austria’s OEBB.

It may seem odd that another nation’s rail operator would be operating night trains. But as we have reported before OEBB in the only mainland European operator with faith in these trains.

Germany’s DB has axed all night trains while France’s SNCF operates just a handful and these are aimed at the leisure market.

The new trains from Switzerland are planned to run to Copenhagen, Rome and Barcelona.

They would offer possibilities of also travelling to Amsterdam, Dresden and Florence.

There is also hope that a through night train from Zurich to Paris and London could be started.

However the keenest of rail fans will admit this desirable option is impossible at present, owing to strict Tunnel rules which specify the rolling stock and locomotives which can transit.

Another major issue is the funding for the new trains and their timescale.

It is hoped Parliament could release funds under the “climate crisis.”

The other issue concerns the rolling stock. SBB admits it would take four to six years if it were to tender for new rolling stock.

In the meantime SBB is investigating whether existing rolling can be acquired.

Austria’s OEBB has commissioned a new fleet of night trains, and it recently extended its Nightjet service from Vienna to Brussels.