The first night train from Berlin to Paris in almost a decade was cheered en route before it pulled into Paris Gare de l'Est at 10.24am on the morning of December 12th, 2023. The new "Berlin link" left the German capital at 8.18pm on Monday, December 11th night, fully booked and carrying the French transport minister, Clément Beaune, who hugged his German counterpart, Volker Wissing, before departing. Local politicians gathered on the platform at Strasbourg before 6 am to wave French, German and European flags as the train passed through. The sleeper service marks a return to slow travel and cleaner options after night trains lost out to budget airlines and high-speed trains at the beginning of the century. The connection will be operated by the French and German national train operators, SNCF and Deutsche Bahn, with rolling from the Austrian train company ÖBB, whose "Nightjet" trains already cross central Europe.

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