Proving that lovers of night trains should never lose hope, ÖBB Nightjet are set to rekindle their Paris-Berlin sleeper train after nine long years. Offering three trips per week, the new (old) service from Austria’s ÖBB will depart Berlin again from 11 December with a next-day return, building to daily trips by autumn 2024, according to reporting by AFP, Euronews and The Independent.
Timetables and tickets
The timetable is a civilised one, with Berlin’s 8.18pm departure arriving in Paris at 10.24am. For the reverse trip, those on the overnight to Berlin will leave Paris Gare de l’Est at 7.12pm in the evening and arrive at their destination at 8.26am the following morning.
Stops are programmed at Strasbourg in France and Mannheim, Erfurt and Halle in Germany along the way.
Tickets go on sale in October and price structures are anticipated to be similar to other Nightjet services, meaning a bed in a shared couchette will set you back €50.
Et dans le sens Berlin → Paris également pic.twitter.com/uTV5TtJt7m— TGV PIX (@tgvpix) August 23, 2023
The new (old) route is able to be reintroduced, according to the Independent, thanks to “popular demand”. Part of the appeal may be that, as Travel Tomorrow has reported, research shows that travelling by sleeper train is cheaper than flying, particularly where families can share carriages.
Conveniently, the business case had already been made for ÖBB, since prior to their announcement, French and German rail operators had already trailed a Paris–Berlin highspeed connection slated for 2024.
The two European nations are putting their weight behind train travel as part of a suite of carbon-lowering policies, with various travel offers, subscriptions and free international tickets made available.
Night train successes
The new line will certainly be riding the coattails of other European night train successes, such as ÖBB’s Vienna – Paris Nightjet via Salzburg and Munich, which joined its Brussels-Vienna service in 2021.
What’s more, by December 2023, Liège will be joining Brussels in having its own Berlin connection, departing Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. It will take the Vienna route to Mannheim, where it will branch to Frankfurt and Berlin.
As well as spreading a night network across northern Europe, ÖBB are spreading their reach into Italy, having added a Milan leg to their Vienna–Munich service, serving Genoa and La Spezia.
For those in the UK meanwhile, the new night trains from Paris and Brussels essentially represent the possibility of a one-change overnight journey all the way from an afternoon departure in London St Pancras – to Berlin.