In a setback for European night train enthusiasts, the eagerly anticipated Berlin-Paris night train service, inaugurated amidst much fanfare just last December, is set to face a significant hiatus starting August 12, 2024.

The pause, expected to last until October 26, 2024, comes as both French and German railway authorities undertake critical maintenance work along key segments of their respective networks.


SNCF Réseau, France’s state-owned railway operator, has announced extensive repair plans for the Epernay – Château-Thierry section in France. These repairs are deemed necessary to ensure the long-term reliability of the rail infrastructure, albeit at the cost of disrupting optimal night train operations.

Simultaneously, in Germany, maintenance efforts will focus on the Berlin-Mannheim line, particularly between Halle and Eisenach, potentially necessitating detours and longer travel times.

The night train service reintroduced with governmental support and hailed as a milestone for both European integration and environmental sustainability, faced premature suspension following the departure of key proponents from government roles.

Former Prime Minister Jean Castex, then-Minister for European Affairs, and now Minister for Transportation Clément Beaune championed the service as a symbol of European unity and eco-friendly travel.

Operated under the Nightjet brand by Austria’s ÖBB, the Berlin-Paris route, along with connections to Vienna and Brussels, will remain inactive during the maintenance period. Fortunately, no tickets had been sold for these affected trains, sparing passengers the inconvenience of refunds.

Despite the setback, rail operators remain optimistic about the future of night train travel in Europe. SNCF, along with partners ÖBB, Deutsche Bahn (DB), and SNCB, reaffirmed their commitment to resuming operations once the necessary infrastructure improvements are completed.


“There is a strong demand for night train travel in Europe,” emphasized SNCF, underscoring ÖBB’s ongoing investments in newer, higher-capacity trains to meet this demand.

However, challenges persist for cross-border night train services, acknowledged by SNCF, which highlighted the complexities involved in ensuring seamless operations across multiple national rail networks.

The suspension of services has also impacted smaller players in the market, such as start-up Midnight Trains, which recently announced its decision to discontinue operations, citing similar operational challenges.

As European railways navigate these hurdles, proponents of sustainable travel and cross-border connectivity are hopeful that the temporary pause in night train services will pave the way for a more robust and resilient network in the future.

Despite the current setback, the vision of efficient, low-carbon travel across Europe remains a driving force for railway operators and policymakers alike.

In conclusion, while the interruption of the Berlin-Paris night train service underscores the operational complexities faced by European railways, it also highlights ongoing efforts to strengthen and expand night train offerings across the continent.

As maintenance progresses, passengers and industry observers alike await the return of this iconic service, eager to once again embrace the convenience and environmental benefits of nocturnal rail travel in Europe.


This article was created using automation technology and was thoroughly edited and fact-checked by one of our editorial staff members