It is Sunday evening, and you are at London St.Pancras, ready to board the EMR train back up to Nottingham after an obligatory weekend at home with your family. You falter. The board above shows a destination you have never seen before. Hidden amongst the trains to Corby and Brighton, there is a new destination. Berlin. The week ahead flashes before your eyes: falling asleep in lectures, the steep walk back from campus to Lenton Boulevard, the ‘hangxiety’ after Crisis. Instead, you picture something else. Endless museums, beautiful architecture, a wild nightlife and lots of tasty food await in Berlin. Megan Mahoney discusses how you can enjoy Berlin on the new Berlin sleeper train…
There is a new London St.Pancras to Berlin sleeper train being launched on 25th May. Although the train will not travel directly to Berlin, as there is a brief change over in Brussels, it is a step forward in alternatives to air travel.
The train will take sixteen hours, with a suggestion to leave London at 3pm, arrive in Brussels at 6pm before arriving in Berlin at 7am the following morning. This journey involves reclining seats which turn into beds, breakfast and a relaxing start to your next city break. Prices start at around 49 euros for a seat, with additional costs for the reclining seats and bike storage.
for the environmentally conscious, this is the perfect alternative to a carbon-intensive flight
When flights from London Luton airport to Berlin Brandenburg can go for as little as £28.99 and take a mere two hours on EasyJet, it may seem implausible to travel via the sleeper train. However, there are a few benefits to this new initiative.
Firstly, for the environmentally conscious, this is the perfect alternative to a carbon-intensive flight. A flight from London Luton to Berlin Brandenburg is estimated to emit 206.6kg of carbon dioxide per person, each way. Whereas this train journey is estimated to emit 29 kg of carbon dioxide per person, which is seven times less carbon dioxide. If feeling less guilty about your personal carbon footprint is paramount to your travel plans, then the European Sleeper could be the answer.
The train could also be the perfect alternative to air travel if you have aerophobia, a fear of flying. Not everyone enjoys hurtling through the air at 500 mph or a stressful airport check in. The security and check-in process at London St.Pancras is often far quicker than at an airport.
However, the length of time the sleeper train takes versus the door to door journey from a London airport to Berlin is very different. Berlin is a city perfect for a weekend break, spending 3 nights in the city is sufficient to explore everything it has to offer. But if you need to add an extra day on either side to travel via the sleeper train, this can eat into time taken off from work or studying.
Furthermore, with the cost of living crisis, going on holiday is a luxury. If you are fortunate enough to escape the bleak UK this year, every penny counts and off-peak air travel is often far cheaper than the sleeper train. There are many pros and cons to this new initiative.
For those among us who enjoy travelling by train, care particularly about carbon footprint and can spare the extended journey time, then this could prove to be revolutionary. If getting to your next city break as quickly and cheaply as possible is the aim, then the European sleeper train will chug along without you.
In-article image 1 courtesy of Megan Mahoney. Permission for use granted to Impact. No changes were made to this image.
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