Following the European Sleeper announcement of a new Brussels-Berlin night train, another new train service has now been announced by Belgian company Moonlight Express. The second new night service will connect the Belgian and German capitals via Liège, with a journey time of between 12 and 13 hours, and plans to launch in April 2022.
Moonlight Express is run by two Belgian entrepreneurs, Mr Louis Lammertyn a transport and renewable energy consultant and Mr Louis De Jaeger an agricultural consultant. The pair, who hope to “bring back the magic in responsible and pleasant travelling”, first founded the company a year ago aiming to create “magical travel experiences with the night train.” De Jaeger explains, “We actually see a night train as a time machine.”
Speaking with IRJ, De Jaeger explained Moonlight Express will be a service integrator and have its own personnel onboard the train, and thats the company is in discussions with multiple partners to operate the services. He also said that the service plans to compete with the European Sleeper service by offering different operating hours, as well as targeting the British market by timing services to link with Eurostar trains between Brussels and London. In addition to this there are also plans to connect Belgium with the south of France and Barcelona.
Speaking about the new train services De Jaeger said, “We believe that the market is big enough to connect Belgium and Berlin with two night trains. “The market is growing and more people want an alternative travel mode, so we believe it is possible. There are a lot of caveats, and it’s not like starting a bus company, it’s much more complicated than that. But we have this feeling that it’s the perfect timing to do this.”
The pair behind Moonlight Express said they felt that existing modes of transport were not in line with their ecological commitment. “The train offers a great alternative for people who want to travel with a clear conscience and above all it should not be boring,” De Jaeger says. “Instead of competing purely on speed or price for transport from A to B, we focus on affordable and quality travel time. Tickets for a bed in a shared compartment will start at €49 per person.