France waves goodbye to sleeper trains

SNCF blames the demise of night trains on high costs as it announces plans to end services from Paris

France is set to say au revoir to the couchette, as the country’s department of transport prepares to withdraw overnight train routes from Paris.

The French government, which owns the national rail operator SNCF, has said sleeper trains are too expensive to run; it has withdrawn financial support and invited bids to run the services. But unless a proposal is received by July 1 all but three of the dozen or so overnight services will be axed. The only remaining Intercités de Nuit will be from Paris to Briancon, Rodez and Latour de Carol, routes deemed socially necessary, according to rail website The Man in Seat Sixty-one.

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