1st Victory: The Paris-Port Bou will continue in 2017!

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!


https: // ouiautraindenuit. Wordpress.com/

Night trains saved – so far – in Sweden

Swedish Tourist Association is giving this good news from the far North:

Swedish Transport Administration announced a few days ago that the two night trains will continue to go to northern Sweden until 2020. Each day, each way. This is something we have worked for and this is good news that there was listened to us.

A big thank you to you along with 57,000 other as yet signed our petition Rescue Night trains. It It is thanks to all those people that the trains are rolling on.

Now we continue to fight to save the night trains also in Jämtland. For tourism, the region and increased sustainability. The Government has appointed an investigator looking over SJ’s social mission. This has direct implications for future overnight train to Jämtland.

Merry Christmas and thank you again for your commitment!

Magnus Ling

Swedish Tourist Association

Last night on the job on CityNightLine

Holstein gets out
The German Railways no longer wants night trains. The Austrian Federal Railways take over the material, but not the people. The remaining people are such ones as train attendant Joachim Holstein. SPIEGEL was following him on the last ride before he had to get off.
>> Read the article here (in German)

img_5368Joachim Holstein as passenger on the very last CNL from Berlin to Basel SBB on the 10th. of December 2016

German leading weekly paper DIE ZEIT has published a two-page-article about the last trip of another colleague Martin Pavlik (»Pavlik stops it«). We hope it will be published on-line soon.

pavlikPicture from the DIE ZEIT article.

Night trains in Europe at the lowest level in 100 years

Presentation in Berlin before the demonstration at the Main Railway station when the last German CityNightLine departed. Presented by Poul Kattler, Denmark:

It is time to make a status from our fight.

We are an interesting mix of individuals and organisations among

  • Users
  • Recent and former railway employees
  • Climate activists
  • Railway fans

And many combinations of this.

German activists were the first to be alert and mobilized – since the early political talks of privatization of DB and the first closure of the City Night Line Berlin/Hamburg – Paris train.


Michael Cramer speaking in support of Night Trains, Berlin March 2015

The Paris line was re-opened, how nice, but just to be closed again a few years later.


Large event in Copenhagen Sunday 2.11. 2014 when last night train departed

A new wave of cuts took place in November and December 2014. It was the cross boarder lines (not Italy), which were withdrawn. France, Holland, Denmark. The event in Copenhagen 2.11. was the first true international cooperation on this field. And it was something very new. Before actions on platforms were inaugurations of new line or new trains. But transport political manifestations were never seen before. Is has now become a more regular case, as we shall witness tonight.

Already in 2014 it was clear that something was rotten with CNL and DB. Cars were old and poor maintained. Dining cars were withdrawn. Breakfast in the sleeper cars was a joke. Was this the beginning to the end? Cars were not maintained, but just left on the siding.

DB conducted a survey a year before the first wave of cut downs. The conclusion was that ¾ of the passengers would leave the train system and take the airplane or just stay at home.


It became soon clear that DB was circulating manipulated numbers

DB (and also DSB) tried constantly to manipulate figures: The pretended low passenger numbers and high deficits. They hoped to get away with it, and to maintain a story about old and nostalgic trains, left by the modern travellers. They did not expect an opposition that could qualify the wrong figures and propaganda.


DB presenting “Greenwash” with a high profiled ICE-train to Paris to COP21

DB pretended all the way to COP 21 in Paris that they were to consolidate their night train network to the most profitable lines. But that story was unmasked in Paris, where DB announced the total close down.

For sure this was the masterplan from the moment in spring 2014, where they agreed with the Danish DSB to cancel the popular night train to Copenhagen.


Who are the really bad guys?

Are the bosses at the DB tower at Potzdamer Square the bad guys? Well, despite their tendencies to incompetence, they are doing as the German politicians ask them to do: Focus on profitable busyness. Give loose to the idea of service providing, welcome to the profit centres. If daytime IC and ICE are profitable together with subsidized regional trains, leave other train products alone and cut them off. Black figures before customer satisfaction. Profit before climate.

In the present political reality long distance cross border trains in Europe are basically left to die or become a small niche somewhere. Sorry to say so. When politicians in our countries and in EU continues to allow airlines to fly with no fuel taxes, with cheap or subsidized infrastructure and without VAT it is calculated that every trip on plane in Europe is subsidized with 61 Euro compared with the train on the same route. If the pollution and climate damages of air planes were reflected in taxes the 61 Euro subsidy should be replaced with no subsidy and a tax of more than 100 Euro at each flight. What a game changer!

Also the liberalization has allowed long distance busses on the crowded European motorways. Almost no infrastructure fees make some of these awful busses a dangerous competitor to parallel railways. What a silly loss of resources and what a sad loss of comfort!

Have we lost or won?

Without us and a growing awareness of climate and support to “slow riding” among passengers, many supported the various petitions and the number of riders on night trains are increasing!


Actions at many railway stations June 2015

The Austrian Railways observed these tendencies and saw their chance to expand their business in Middle Europe. But it is not good enough; less than half of the network of night trains is saved and the network is hereby terrible weak. But it has survived so far against all odds.


Around this table who are from Germany, Sweden and Denmark, and all the other activists in Switzerland, Austria, Holland, France and Great Britain together we have made a true difference. Thanks to us, the European ambitions of a climate friendly transport sector are still alive.

Last DB motorail trains 29./30.10.2016

When the last motorail train departed Saturday 29.10. from Lörrach it was 95% full. Full German motorail trains was the tradition. But anyway they are now history.

At 16.12. will the first new private motorail train depart from Hamburg Altona to Lörrach (suburb to Basel) with BTE = BahnTouristikExpress. But no trains to/from Munich.

Read more about this event:

>> In one of the Lörrach newsletters


Picture from the last departure from Lörrach

Where do you want to make it through the night? In a bed or in a seat?

German railway company DB wants to end all services with sleeping and couchette cars. People shall travel in one of the few Austrian night trains or take a seat in an ICE train.
Are they kidding? No – they even announced this change on their trip to the COP 21 climate summit in 2015!
Nachtzug-Bleibt compared current night trains to DB’s idea of night travel.

>Watch the video about this comparison


ÖBB will fill some night train gaps after DB closures

ÖBB – the Autrian Railways – will open night train runs from Germany to Austria and Switzerland when German Railways (DB) will close all their lines. ÖBB will take over aprox. 40% of the lines.

Timetable and bookings is open.

With ÖBB night trains partly on German tracks the following will happen from the timetable change December 11, 2016.

  • EN 490/491: Hamburg – Nürnberg – Passau – Wien
  • EN 40490/40421: Düsseldorf – Frankfurt – Nürnberg – Passau – Wien
  • EN 420/421: Düsseldorf – Frankfurt – Nürnberg – Augsburg – München – Kufstein – Innsbruck
  • EN 40420/40491: Hamburg – Nürnberg – Augsburg – München – Kufstein – Innsbruck
  • EN 470/471: Zürich – Basel Bad – Frankfurt – Erfurt – Berlin – Hamburg
  • EN 294/295, EN 40463/40236, EN 40295/40235: München – Salzburg – Rom/Venedig/Mailand
  • Zürich – Prague (via Austria)

The existing ÖBB-lines Vienna-Hamburg and Vienna-Düsseldorf will be connected with the new lines Innsbruck-Hamburg and Innsbruck-Düsseldorf to an X-shaped pair of trains with exchange of cars at Nürnberg.

Put it in another way. From the DB network, what will remain, what will be changed and what will fall out?

 München-Venedig: will be taken over 1:1
 München-Rom: re-routed via Salzburg-Villach-Venedig instead of Innsbruck-Bolzano
 München-Mailand: re-routed via Salzburg-Villach-Venedig instead of Innsbruck-Bolzano
 München-Hamburg: will be extended to Innsbruck-Hamburg and drive via Nürnberg instead of via Stuttgart-Frankfurt 
 München-Amsterdam: will be extended in the south end and shortened in northwest to Innsbruck-Düsseldorf and drive via Nürnberg instead of via Stuttgart
 Zürich-Amsterdam: will fall out
 Zürich-Hamburg: re-routed between Frankfurt and Hamburg via Erfurt and Berlin instead of via Kassel and Hannover
 Zürich-Berlin: together with the train Zürich-Hamburg; the season extension to Binz on the island Rügen will fall out
 Zürich-Dresden-Prag: will fall out
 Köln-Berlin-Prag: will fall out
 Köln-Berlin-Warschau: will fall out

>> Read this blog

>> Read more in Austrian newspaper derStandard

>> Read and listen from the ÖBB announcement

German Allianz pro Schiene is now super positive toward night trains and is arguing for better business environment for night trains, read it here.

This is the proposed exterior of the new-introduced NightJet trains by ÖBB.nightjet

DB and ÖBB: What about to work together?

While we are waiting for the ÖBB night train timetable to go public, a number of German and Austrian key figures have come together and have send an open letter to the top management of DB and ÖBB.

They ask: Why not work together to the benefit of the night train services? They ask: Strange that DB can not run such a busines, but ÖBB call it a lucrative busines. What about to get inspiration from a former railway cooperation, where German, Austrian and Swiss railways worked together for night trains in the triple joint venture called DACH?

>> Offener Brief an DB und ÖBB August 2016