French railway company SNCF German railway company Deutsche Bahn says that from 2023, high-speed train services will start between Berlin and Paris.
Rail companies plan to provide a daily round trip between Paris and Berlin via Frankfurt, Germany, as a fast direct connection between the two capitals makes sense.
“The high-speed traffic between Germany and France is an outstanding example of how attractive connections support cross-border rail traffic,” said Lutz. “I firmly believe in the great potential of railways in Europe. Our new direct link, planned between the hearts of our two capitals, will encourage even more people to travel by train.”
SNCF President Jean-Pierre Farandou stated that people are increasingly taking the train for longer routes. “Some people are willing to sit on a train for five, six, seven hours,” he said, adding that Paris-Berlin is a seven-hour journey.
“A few years ago we thought that was a long time and we were afraid we wouldn't be able to get anyone excited about it,” Farandou said. He described the occupancy rates on the Paris-Milan and Paris-Barcelona trains today as "astonishing".
Austrian rail company ÖBB has previously announced that it will operate a Paris-Berlin night train from the end of 2023, and talks are also underway about higher-speed connections between Germany and destinations in the south of France.
Lutz and Farandou attended the ceremony to mark the 15th anniversary of existing high-speed connections between Germany and France, noting that the country's partnership has benefited nearly 15 million passengers over the past 25 years.
Today, six trains run daily between Frankfurt and Paris, and five trains between Stuttgart and Paris, one of which runs to and from Munich. A train has been running between Frankfurt and Marseille every day for 10 years.