Paris-Berlin high-speed train planned – Business Traveller

This is an important development in a high-speed (HS) daytime rail and yet the news was hidden in yesterday’s statement by Deutsche Bahn (DB).

This planned direct Paris-Berlin HS service was announced in Strasbourg by Richard Lutz, the CEO of Deutsche Bahn, and SNCF president Jean-Pierre Farandou.

Both signed an agreement which would see their existing JV (joint-venture) service extended to Berlin. Both rail bosses stressed their successful JV co-operation over the past 15 years has seen around 15 million travelers board their TGVs and ICEs.

Despite strong airline competition both rail companies operate a total of 12 HS trains daily to Frankfurt, Stuttgart and Munich.

One point to note is that all these trains use Paris Est and HS line LGV Est. Those trains running from Paris to Cologne/Dusseldorf are operated by Thalys, depart from Paris Nord and take a different HS line via Brussels.

No date was given as to when the proposed Paris-Berlin daytime service would launch.

Germany’s transport minister Dr Volker Wissing says:

β€œIn view of the great challenges of climate change, rail must also play a greater role in intra-Europe transport. For 15 years now the cooperation between DB and SNCF has shown how it can work.

As might be expected the fact that two state incumbents should monopolise these important routes does not sit well with All Rail which represents new rail entrants.

It has a point. Just look at how cross-border HS rail travel has developed between Paris and Milan since Trenitalia was allowed to compete with SNCF or how the Spanish domestic market has developed since Ouigo ES appeared.

Finally, note that above I refer to β€œdaytime” trains. This is because France wants to launch comfortable night trains between Paris and Berlin in the future.

sncf.com ; bahn.com

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