PLANS have been unveiled for a trans-European "night sprinter" rail network connecting Glasgow and Edinburgh with major EU cities by 2030.

Germany’s Green Party has launched proposals for the overnight service spanning from the Portuguese capital of Lisbon to as far East as Istanbul and St Petersburg in a bid to curb the number of flights.

The Alliance 90/Greens published a map showcasing how the system would operate ahead of the country’s elections on September 26.

It proposes a continental network with Scotland's largest cities connected to Europe via a connection in London, with the rail going on to reach every major European capital.

German Green MEP Terry Reintke praised the proposals today on Twitter.

Alongside a map of the proposed network, she wrote: "What a dream: A night train from Frankfurt to Edinburgh."

"The German Greens have proposed a map for possible night train routes for Europe. There is a lot to discover. I love it."

Reintke later told The National: "Bringing people together is one of the main aims of the European project. The next years will be crucial for investing in a European rail network.

"We want to create a climate-friendly, comfortable, affordable and accessible train network across Europe. That is why the European Commission and the member states have to step up the efforts to build a European network for night trains. The next German government can play a crucial role in this."

Lorna Slater, the Scottish Greens co-leader and Scottish Government minister for green skills, circular economy and biodiversity also praised the proposals.

She tweeted: "See how cool the future can be? There's no need to go back to how things were, we can make things better."

Among the services are Glasgow to Bordeaux with Scotland's largest city also connected to Brussels, Amsterdam and Berlin.

Edinburgh would be similarly connected to Munich, Brussels and Warsaw among many other cities.

German Greens leader Annalena Baerbock previously suggested her party would slash tax subsidies for airlines and increase the frequency of long-distance and nighttime rail travel as an alternative.

In their plans, the party stated “fair competition” between air and rail travel must be introduced to tackle the climate crisis, adding: “Those who travel a little longer to protect the climate should not have to pay extra.

“At present, international air traffic enjoys enormous tax advantages: airlines do not pay any tax on kerosene - railways do pay tax on diesel - and international airline tickets are even exempt from VAT.

“These distortions of competition must be corrected urgently. We need low-cost rail tickets that can compete with airfares.

“We can make night trains more attractive in terms of price by offering suitable products for every budget.”

In June, French startup Midnight Trains unveiled tentative proposals for a ‘luxury hotel on wheels’ connecting Edinburgh with Paris by 2024.