French startup company launches night train business as part of addressing climate change. They plan to make sleeper trains passengers feel as if they stay in a sophisticated hotel. Especially, they seem to be concerned about security, privacy and bed comfort, reflecting the survey of passengers. The trains will start from Paris Gare du Nord to famous capitals such as Madrid, Lisbon, Porto, Milan, Venezia, Firenze, Rome, Wien, Praha, Budapest, Berlin, Hamburg, Copenhagen and even Edinburgh. They consider low-cost airlines and long-distance buses to be competitors and expect them to have an advantage in terms of CO2 emissions.
Moreover, ÖBB (Austrian railway), DB (German railway), SNCF (Franch railway) and SBB (Swiss railway) announce that they will cooperate to build a network of night trains. What a surprise, the TEE (Trans-Europe Express) is back!
I never thought that the momentum to reduce greenhouse gas emissions would trigger the revival of night trains. Global warming has been a problem for a long time since United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in 1992, and it has not worsened rapidly in the last few years. If they were concerned about the global environment in the first place, there would have been no need to decimate night trains, and I suspect that from a different angle they just want to use the carbon-neutral image in their advertising phrases.
Whatever the reason, I am very glad that the great night trains network will remain. I don’t care much about privacy, as a second class couchette is enough for me, but they believe that they need to increase the number of business passengers on weekdays to be profitable, which may be why they are so particular about the quality of their trains.