Yesterday the German rail company Deutsche Bahn ended sleeper train service between Berlin and Paris. Once a mainstay of continental travel, the overnight route ran for nearly eighty years. Demand for the night train, which took 12 hours on the Paris-Berlin route, has dropped dramatically due to competition from budget airlines. The flight from berlin to Paris is only two hours and typically costs about €15 less than the night train’s least expensive couchette ticket.
I, for one, am sad to see the service end. And plans are for most rail companies to end many of the intercity sleepers within the next few years. Truly, the end of an era in civilized travel. Although, truth be told, I usually don’t spring for a sleeper car, and just make do with a regular seat.