Disappointing news was released this week from the start-up Midnight Trains, who have confirmed that their plans no longer include a sleeper train from Edinburgh to Paris.

The company plans to offer travellers a new ‘hotel on rails’ service around Europe, serving a dozen destinations to and from Paris.

midnight trains

No Edinburgh-Paris service

The company has pulled out of their ambitious plans to link Scotland with France to concentrate on core routes that are easier to get off the ground.

The Edinburgh route was always on the boundary of what would be possible, given that it would require new trains built to fit through smaller tunnels, bridges and platforms in the UK and to meet the precise fire regulations required by the Channel Tunnel.

A ‘hotel on rails’

Other destinations also dropped

It’s not the only route that carries complications for Midnight Trains. Services to Madrid will require trains with gauge-changing capability, so that they can run rail gauges in Spain and Portugal that are wider than standard European tracks.

Competition from European Sleeper – another new overnight train service – has also led Midnight Trains to drop Berlin and Copenhagen from their original list of destinations.

Instead the company will focus on Mediterranean destinations, including Venice, Rome, Florence, Barcelona, Madrid and Nice.

The original route map for Midnight Trains

The original route map for Midnight Trains