Readers who have read our many reports on night trains cannot have failed to notice the enthusiasm being shown by Austria’s OEBB.

Its Nightjets are considered the finest sleeper trains in mainland Europe and last week we brought you news of additional rolling stock on order.

Now comes news of a further capacity increase for Nightjet.

But this time the accommodation will be in the form of couchettes rather than more comfortable sleeping accommodation.

OEBB is converting 22 daytime intercity carriages for this purpose.

As you will read in our night train feature in the September / October issue of Business Traveller there are several ‘paper’ operators wishing to launch night trains in this Year of European Rail.

Readers may wonder why it’s couchettes for Nightjet rather than sleeping cars.

I suspect the answer lies in speed (conversion time is a lot less) and complexity.

To manufacture new sleeping cars takes a long time (four years in the case of OEBB’s new order) and it is complex as plumbing and other fittings have to be installed.

New Caledonian Sleeper carriages get off to bumpy start

Look at our Caledonian Sleeper and its new rolling stock. Back in 2019 there were many passengers complaints regarding teething issues.