France scraps most night trains

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NicholasNCE

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As is the trend in Europe at the moment, the government announced this morning that they would not longer be funding the current night train network from the 1st July. Service will be limited to Paris - Briançon/Rodez/La Tour de Carol sleepers, the main loss being the former "Train Bleu" Paris - Nice service.
However, the government is open to any proposals by private operators to operate the shut-down services, it appears as open-access operators (ie. no subsidies). This is quite significant in itself as these could be the first privately operated domestic services in France.

Source (in French): http://abonnes.lemonde.fr/economie-...t-appel-a-la-concurrence_4868562_1656968.html
 
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southern442

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No, Austerlitz is still the departure point for trains on routes to Orleans, Tours, Vierzon, Bourges, Montlucon, Limoges, Toulouse, Vendome etc

I also forgot that there will be a few TGV services at the station from 2020 onwards too.
 

30907

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I presume the services retained are as much for political/tourism reasons as actual patronage - the destinations being well off the TGV network (and not electrified) . The Albi and La Tour services will presumably be combined as far as Brive.
 

Gordon

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I presume the services retained are as much for political/tourism reasons as actual patronage - the destinations being well off the TGV network (and not electrified) .

I agree with your statement - except that

(a) in a sense Briancon and La Tour are not that far off the TGV network (Valence and Toulouse being the TGV railheads , with only one change of train required) but the lines from the TGV railheads are in both cases long and mountainous; and

(b) La Tour de Carol is electrified




.
 

Groningen

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Under a second tranche of reforms, the government is developing ‘a new business model’ for the remaining overnight trains, noting that these represent 25% of the losses of the TET network and carry just 3% of its passengers. The ministry estimated the average subsidy to be around €100 per ticket sold.

In light of these statistics, the government would only continue to support overnight trains where there is a ‘an absence of viable transport alternatives’, namely the sleeper trains linking Paris with Rodez/Latour de Carol and Briançon. SNCF is reported to be considering the use of up to 20 new Siemens-built RIC sleeping cars leased from Russian Railways.

The ministry intends to withdraw funding for the remaining overnight trains, noting that ‘other parts of the country already benefit from alternative transport options or will soon gain from the opening of new high speed rail infrastructure’. However, it was open to train operators ‘proposing their own innovative operating models for night trains to be run at their own risk’. A request for expressions of interest to this effect is to be issued shortly, and the results of this market testing exercise will be revealed in July.

Source: Railway Gazette
 

Bletchleyite

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Interesting that they are considering the return of the sleeping car on the remaining services. I'd say it was key to attract high-value business custom to the service or it will never make money.
 

Mikey C

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The UK seems to be the only place in Europe to be buying new sleeper stock at the moment, I guess that's a result of the lack of high speed rail to Scotland.
 

skyhigh

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It's a bit sad for me really, I went interrailing a couple of years ago and used a fair few sleeper trains around Europe. It seems that quite a few of the ones I used no longer run, it probably won't be possible to do what I did again. Mind you, at least I made the most of it while I could!
 

Groningen

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I'd imagine so. That and political will to subsidise.

There is also National Express with busses from London to Scotland (Inverness) in the night for a starting price of 22 pounds.
 

deltic

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The UK seems to be the only place in Europe to be buying new sleeper stock at the moment, I guess that's a result of the lack of high speed rail to Scotland.

That is one of the benefits/disbenefits of franchising - Govt is rarely prepared to take responsibility for withdrawing services which in the past it would have just said was BR's decision.

If BR had remained I cant see new sleeper stock ever having been ordered.
 

Mikey C

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I'd imagine so. That and political will to subsidise.

Ironic really, considering we have a "private" railway and a government who are (allegedly) slashing expenditure :D
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
It's a bit sad for me really, I went interrailing a couple of years ago and used a fair few sleeper trains around Europe. It seems that quite a few of the ones I used no longer run, it probably won't be possible to do what I did again. Mind you, at least I made the most of it while I could!

I have happy memories of nights with fitful sleep on board European couchettes 20 years ago! Back then couchettes took you everywhere in Europe
 

furnessvale

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It's a bit sad for me really, I went interrailing a couple of years ago and used a fair few sleeper trains around Europe. It seems that quite a few of the ones I used no longer run, it probably won't be possible to do what I did again. Mind you, at least I made the most of it while I could!

A friend of mine used to travel round Europe using the sleepers instead of hotels, reckoning it was cheaper.
 

30907

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(b) La Tour de Carol is electrified

Oops, sorry, memory lapse! Was electric when I was last there in 1972...and long before.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Under a second tranche of reforms, the government is developing ‘a new business model’ for the remaining overnight trains, noting that these represent 25% of the losses of the TET network and carry just 3% of its passengers. The ministry estimated the average subsidy to be around €100 per ticket sold.

In light of these statistics, the government would only continue to support overnight trains where there is a ‘an absence of viable transport alternatives’, namely the sleeper trains linking Paris with Rodez/Latour de Carol and Briançon. SNCF is reported to be considering the use of up to 20 new Siemens-built RIC sleeping cars leased from Russian Railways.

Makes sense. SNCF only withdrew their sleepers because they were life expired. RZD seem to have a surplus of relatively recent if not brand new cars, I think some have gone to Slovakia.
 

southern442

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The UK seems to be the only place in Europe to be buying new sleeper stock at the moment, I guess that's a result of the lack of high speed rail to Scotland.

[PEDANTIC] There are 2 high speed lines into Scotland [/PEDANTIC]

If the railway becomes nationalized then at least the Caledonian Sleeper will have new coaching stock to keep it going for a while. It's just when it needs investment then it will become a bit of a problem. I think the main reason why we are undertaking this 'renewal' if you like of our sleeper services is because they are in high demand and it's not the Government's problem.
 

Gordon

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[PEDANTIC] There are 2 high speed lines into Scotland [/PEDANTIC]

Not as in the generally accepted modern term for High Speed Line, which is a dedicated TGV/Shinkensen/Neubaustrecke type line built for speeds of over 250 km/h




.
 

Mikey C

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[PEDANTIC] There are 2 high speed lines into Scotland [/PEDANTIC]

If the railway becomes nationalized then at least the Caledonian Sleeper will have new coaching stock to keep it going for a while. It's just when it needs investment then it will become a bit of a problem. I think the main reason why we are undertaking this 'renewal' if you like of our sleeper services is because they are in high demand and it's not the Government's problem.

I very much doubt that the sleepers make money. Ultimately the UK taxpayer is subsidising many such services, money which could be used elsewhere on the Network...

UK politics plays a big part. Imagine how the SNP would react if the sleepers to Scotland were abolished
 

JohnR

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I very much doubt that the sleepers make money. Ultimately the UK taxpayer is subsidising many such services, money which could be used elsewhere on the Network...

UK politics plays a big part. Imagine how the SNP would react if the sleepers to Scotland were abolished

The Caledonian Sleeper Franchise is solely the responsibility of the Scottish Government. Until recently it was an integrated part of the ScotRail franchise.
 

deltic

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The Scottish ones don't, but isn't it the case that GWR are operating the Cornish one commercially as it wasn't part of the franchise spec?

Not sure why this keeps coming up - the GWR franchise spec clearly states the sleeper is part of the spec and it loses a shed load of money
 
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