Price, couchette or sleeping car, bar car or service in the place... While the government must make by the end of the summer to the Parliament a report on the future of night trains, the national Federation of transport users (Fnaut), presented Thursday, July 9 the results of a survey on the needs of travellers for this offer rail night.
Nearly 3,500 people responded to this questionnaire available online from February to April. If the investigation has not value of the survey – the sample is not representative of the population – it gives an idea of the expectations of the travelers. "The teaching is that there is an underlying demand for night trains," said Michel Quidort, a member of the national office of the Fnaut and president of the Federation of european travellers. Almost all of the lines of the night was, however, suppressed by the State in 2016, because they were deemed too expensive and too poorly attended.
Read also How the SNCF has discontinued the night train
The price, criterion number one
For 83,8 % of the respondents, the night train offers yet a gain of considerable time. "The advantage of this is the economics of a hotel for the night, and especially not to have to cut a day by public transport ", admits Michel Quidort. Another argument in favor of the night train for half of the respondents : it allows you to avoid taking the plane, more polluting. The train night can also replace the car : one in three, it allows you to avoid having to drive on a long journey.
Cleanliness and security required
Surprisingly, the comfort and intimacy are not the criteria the most sought-after by passengers in the trains at night. A third of them believes that they are important, the majority considering such criteria as " relatively important ". In the same way, a wi-fi connection and power outlets are not priority services.
cleanliness is, on the other hand, the big priority for travelers, such as safety with the ability to secure their luggage or compartment and the compartments reserved for women – that already exist in the night trains of the SNCF. The respondents also point to the need to have the space for storing of the baggage, including bikes, strollers or sports equipment.
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The possibility of transporting his car in the night train to be able to use it to its target destination without having to drive on the entire trip interested in a part of the respondents. "This is something that existed at one time, walked a lot, and that has been abandoned, pointe Michel Quidort. Yet, it is a gain for the environment, it's convenient, and it avoids road accidents. "
"It's clear that the TGV, privileged by SNCF, does not resolve everything," he says, while warning that the night train is not a magic solution in the face of the air. "It is clear that a train Paris-Berlin will not replace the capacity of the fifteen daily flights, but it can strengthen some links, or offer an alternative. "The development offers the rail of night in Europe, notably by the national railway company austrian ÖBB, is to the Fnaut the sign of a real need of the travelers, even in France. Michel Quidort assures us : "The night train may generate a request that has dried up because there was more supply in the face. "