This week in France, the return of the Paris-Nice night train was celebrated, and even the Prime Minister travelled onboard the 1st train, which attracted an incredible media coverage. He said that the ambition of the French governement was that this reopening should be the first of a long series…
“We are reopening this evening things that we had perhaps a little too quickly sacrificed”, launched Jean Castex (in the picture) while boarding the night train Paris-Nice, which left Thursday evening after more than three years of stop.
“This first night train is a strong symbol, which signifies the rebirth of this mode of transport that some considered obsolete”, launched the CEO of SNCF Jean-Pierre Farandou, before also getting on the train. The night train, “It is also the return of the ‘slow life’, we take our time and we find the taste for travel, it’s like a small cruise”, while “The health crisis has also accelerated climate awareness”, continued Jean-Pierre Farandou. “I wish with you, since this is the choice of the State and the decision of the government, that this necessary reopening calls for many others”, launched the Prime Minister, before settling in his cabin.
Passenger Eric Delasimone, a financial director travelling onboard, said he felt in the night train “a charm that you do not have in the TGV.”
“You settle in and sleep with the noise of the rails; and imagine the journey. It has a side that is poetic and very exotic.”
Travellers Nicolas Forien and Alice Billon, who are part of an association “Oui au train de nuit” (Yes to night trains), said they were delighted to be on the train but hoped in the future that trains would be better equipped.
“We are a little disappointed that the carriages have not been renovated,” said Billon.
>> See more about the event in news reports like this
French night train report finally here
The long-awaited report about the revival of night trains was also eventually published in its official version.
The report is very positive about the opportunities to redevelop night trains in France. Have a look at the four maps on pages 59 to 63, showing the projected network, with many national and international lines !The report says that 600 coaches would be needed, and that this night train network would attract 5,7 Million passengers per year ! It is a very good report, it repeats many of our arguments to defend night trains, and it agrees with most of our suggestions to improve night trains.
However, all this is only a report for the moment, and the investment is not yet decided (around 1.5 billion € would be needed to buy the rolling stock). The follow-up to this report will be debated by the Parliament later, so the battle is not yet won. But the governement seems quite optimistic, and we will push for the conclusions of this report to be implemented, as soon as possible…