French night train cancellations (Intercités de nuit)

The French government, which owns the national rail operator SNCF, has announced the withdrawal of the majority of its Intercités de nuit (night train) services. High running costs and low occupancy are blamed for the cancellation.

Since 1 October 2016, all but a few of France's sleeper trains ceased to run. The following services have been withdrawn:

  • Paris to the Savoie region (Saint-Gervais and Bourg-Saint-Maurice)
  • Paris/Luxembourg to Nice/Port Bou
  • Strasbourg to Nice/Port Bou
Two other lines will receive a reprieve:
  • Paris to Hendaye/Irun (calling at Tarbes, Lourdes, Pau, Biarritz, Hendaye and Irun) will be maintained until 1 July 2017
  • Paris to Toulouse will be maintained until summer 2017 (end-date not confirmed)
  • Paris to Nice will be maintained until 1 October 2017
Two services will be maintained:
  • Paris to Briançon in the French Alps
  • Paris to Latour de Carol (via Toulouse)
This decision aims to reduce financial losses overnight trains, that carry only 3% of travellers but account for a quarter of losses (at least EUR €400 million losses expected this year). The Secretary of State for Transport revealed at a press conference that the government remains opens to any takeover bid or "third-party financing".

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