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Paris to Nice sleeper train returns to the tracks

01/06/2021

Paris to Nice sleeper train returns to the tracks

Nearly three years after it was cancelled, the night train service from Paris to Nice has returned, part of a broader push by the French Government to promote more environmentally friendly means of transportation.


First introduced in the late 1800s, the Paris-Nice night train, colloquially known as ‘Le Train Bleu’, was a luxury sleeper service, internationally famed for its list of wealthy and famous passengers. However, during the 1980s, when high-speed TGV trains proliferated and cut the travel time from Paris to Nice from 20 hours down to just five, the era of luxury night trains to the French Riviera was effectively ended.


While Le Train Bleu would continue its service for a few more decades, it ceased to exist under than name in 2003. Then, in Dece3mber 2017, it was discontinued completely due to the French Government withdrawing its funding. But now it’s back.


Under the French Government’s pandemic plans to encourage more eco-friendly transport as part of its broader economic relaunch packages, the sleeper service from Paris to Nice is back.


The first Paris-Nice night train departed Paris Austerlitz station at 20:52 on May 20 and arrived in Nice at 09:11 on May 21. To highlight just how much attention the sleeper service re-launch attracted, French Prime Minister Jean Castex was among the passengers,


At a time when France is striving hard to bring down its carbon emissions, night trains are also more "virtuous" than cars or planes, as Castex's office told AFP.


The night train will run daily between Paris and Nice in both directions. And while it takes twice as long as the TGV to complete the nearly 1,088-kilometre (675-mile) voyage, it’s a lot more affordable. Paris-Nice TGV tickets usually cost well over 100 euros one-way. Night train prices start from just 29 euros.


*Image: Le Train Bleu in the Gare de Lyon, Paris, courtesy of Gryffindor and licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.

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