DEC 26, 2016
The Occitania Region has announced that it has reached an agreement with the French State to maintain the Paris-Port Bou night train. SNCF has been ordered to resume operations. The mobilization of users, trade unions and elected representatives has shown that the night train is a mode of transport of the future, climate friendly and economically efficient.
Congratulations to all for this first victory that shows that we can get results concerning the French night trains! However we need to increase the mobilization, because the use of night trains is still strongly endangered:
* The “maintained” lines (including Paris-Rodez, Paris-La Tour Carol and soon maybe Paris-Port Bou) are in trouble, with inappropriate schedules, absurd correspondences with TER, with a reduction in the number of wagons …
* Thus the Paris-Port Bou may now have its terminus 1 km before the Spain border. This would eliminate correspondence with Spanish trains. Even if its recirculation is decided, SNCF prefers to postpone it for 6 months!
* Night trains connecting the regions to each other – without passing through Paris – remain relevant, since the High Speed Lines (LGV) only circulate radially to Paris. Such night trains (including Strasbourg / Luxembourg-Port Bou / Ventimiglia) have been abolished.
* Night trains appear late at booking (often 15 days before departure). This encourages passengers to decide for other modes.
* Public transport – on road or rail – is co-financed by the taxpayers. The night train is one of those that comes closest to self-financing.
After this first victory in France, the night trains will need you in 2017 to stop the cut-backs:
* Get connections so that night trains do not stop just before the borders in Hendaye, Cerbère and Nice. On the contrary, they need to connect with neighboring countries (in Irun, Port Bou and Ventimiglia) to increase the number of travelers. Similarly, reabsorbing “absurd correspondences” will increase the number of passengers accessing night trains by connecting TER.
* Instead of restricting the number of wagons, days of traffic and raising tariffs, Sweden has succeeded in “profitability by volume”: incentive prices, more cars for more passengers, several comforts (reclining seats, Berths and private cabins), optimized schedules and a traffic throughout the week!
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