A new train provider wants to shake up the European rail business — and they’re starting with cheap day trains to Paris and Berlin. Basel is also on the cards.
Say goodbye to short-haul flights when you need a new European city fix on the cheap: in 2024, you can hop on a train for as little as €10 instead.
GoVolta, a FlyWise subsidiary and owner of the night train company GreenCityTrip, wants to provide an affordable alternative to air travel, reports Treinreiziger.nl.
With the plan, the company hopes to run a service between:
- Amsterdam and Berlin once a day
- Amsterdam and Paris once a day
- Amsterdam and Basel three times a week
Cheap trains, but what’s the catch?
Alright, there’s no such thing as a free (or cheap) lunch. GoVolta offers these cheap in the same way that companies like RyanAir and FlixBus offer things for cheap: they offer a whole bunch of paid extras.
That means that while your ticket may only be €10, you’ll need to pay for luggage and choosing a seat.
Maarten Bastian, CEO of GoVolta, explains that was to make the prices comparable to a plane.
“Otherwise, the plane is the cheapest, and people don’t choose the train. We don’t want that.”
Of course, those €10 tickets are going to be limited. €50 to €60 for a return trip is more likely for Berlin, while Paris is more likely to be €80.
And that’s not all…
But before you go booking your (unreserved seat) ticket, there’s another pretty big catch: the train journey will take way longer than it does now.
Due to the trains and the timetable that GoVolta will use, the journey to both Paris and Berlin will take about eight hours.
Compare that to the Eurostar, which takes you from Amsterdam to Paris in less than three-and-a-half hours, or the current Berlin travel time of about six hours.
Plans for the future
GoVolta’s plans for rail domination don’t stop there. The company wants direct trains to Munich and Copenhagen.
They also have a plan for trains from Germany to Paris and from Antwerp or Brussels to Germany.
Timetables and expected start dates
Curious about how you can jump aboard? Here’s the lowdown:
🇩🇪 Amsterdam to Berlin
The Amsterdam — Berlin line is expected to start from May 1, 2024. The company plans to run a daily train.
🇫🇷 Amsterdam to Paris
If you’re seeking a bit of ooh-la-la, rest assured, knowing you’ll be able to chow down a real French croissant sometime in the summer of 2024. The exact date is not yet known.
🇨🇭 Amsterdam to Basel
Feeling a little more Swiss? A train to Basel is also planned for sometime in 2024, with an expected return ticket price of around €50 to €60.
Will these new train services get you off short-haul flights? Tell us in the comments below!