FRENCH National Railways’ (SNCF) overnight service between Paris and Nice has carried over 100,000 passengers since it was relaunched on May 20 2021, with funding from a €100m government programme to develop overnight services.
Paris - Nice has the best occupancy rate of SNCF overnight services, rising to above 80% at weekends and during the holidays. One in four overnight passengers choose the Mediterranean as their destination.
SNCF says train occupancy was very good in summer 2021. This trend was confirmed during the autumn and winter, and is now continuing this summer on all SNCF overnight trains.
A programme to upgrade the overnight rolling stock and adapt fleet maintenance facilities for the Paris - Nice route is due to be completed by the end of 2022.
The Nice service route was added to SNCF’s existing network of overnight services from Paris to Toulouse, Rodez/Albi, La Tour-de-Carol/Cerbère and Briançon.
A Paris - Lourdes service was launched at the end of 2021 with government funding. It will be extended to Hendaye to serve the Basque Coast in July and August.
These domestic services were joined with the timetable change on December 12 2021 by a Paris - Vienna Nightjet service operated three nights a week by Austrian Federal Railways (ÖBB) in partnership with SNCF.
A detailed look at the resurgence of night trains across Europe appeared in the May 2021 issue of IRJ and is available here.