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But you certainly didn’t mean the plane by the Nightjet? No, definitely not.

We don’t fly anymore. No, we take the ÖBB. The Austrian Federal Railway? – Hey you really know your way around! But you do know that Austria is the wrong direction? – Hey, all roads lead to Berlin. Of course, Austria is in the wrong direction – we only drive through Germany – but we take night trains.

And in 2016, Deutsche Bahn stopped all night trains, sold the train material to the Austrians and since then ÖBB has been operating all night trains. Even those who drive through Germany. But that’s kind of crazy. The railways are state-owned and the state should actually have an interest in having a climate-friendly alternative to flying.

Well, somehow our state doesn’t go with climate protection. Allegedly, night trains in Germany cannot be operated economically, which is why Deutsche Bahn has sold them. But since the Austrians have been operating the German night trains, they have been making profits again.

Ok and where can you get with the ÖBB? – In the map you can see the ÖBB network. From Berlin and Hamburg you can at least get directly to Vienna and Zurich. From Munich you can also get to Venice, Milan, Rome and Brussels.

After all, that’s better than nothing. But isn’t it possible to get to any other place in Europe by night train? In fact, you can reach many more places than you think. Just not with the Deutsche Bahn anymore. Night trains even run as far as the Arctic Circle. You can take the Hungarian train from Berlin and Munich to Budapest.

From Munich it also goes to Croatia and the Russian train even takes you to Paris, Warsaw or Moscow. However, the trains do not run daily. – Wow, that’s more than I thought. But if we want to replace the plane Europe wide, then that’s just a drop in the ocean.

But tell me, you swore so incredibly when you booked your ticket? What was going on there? Well, I just couldn’t book the ticket online with Deutsche Bahn. Um, is it no longer possible to book tickets online in Germany? Well, the ones from Deutsche Bahn you can, but the night trains are operated by ÖBB and that doesn’t work.

And then couldn’t you have booked it online through ÖBB? – Yes, that would have been possible, but we don’t travel everything with the ÖBB either. The night train from Offenburg to Berlin, that is from the ÖBB, the feeder train from Radolfzell to Offenburg, however, is operated by Deutsche Bahn.

We still have two different train cards and that would have been too much for the ÖBB ticket system. So I would have had to book the night train from Offenburg to Berlin online via ÖBB, then the feeder trains via Deutsche Bahn, that was too stressful for me and then I just went to the ticket counter.

  • And did that work out without any problems? Yeah, it took a bit, but the exciting thing is that while the ticket system at ÖBB only offered couchette cabins, there were even sleeping cabins at the counter. And did you then also book the sleeping cabin? – Yes. We had such a cheap outward journey, there was still a bit of money in the travel budget and then I chose the sleeping cabin. That’s great, I’m happy! Because on the trip to Vienna we already took sleeping cabins and that was really fun.

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