Nightjet Paris-Vienna – The Orient Express is back!

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Night train fans take note. Since timetable change 2021/22 there is again a very special connection in Europe. After 12 years of standstill, the Orient Express is coming back (in part) in the form of the Nightjet Paris – Vienna. Where it stops, what options are available and what it’s like on board, you’ll find out here in the next few minutes. Let’s roll!

Nightjet Paris – part of TEE 2.0

In the year of rail, a few new night train connections were announced. The first two are Zurich – Amsterdam and Vienna – Paris. They will be followed by Zurich – Rome next year and Berlin – Brussels – Paris the year after. I am especially looking forward to the latter connection, as it runs almost on my doorstep.

Overview of the new Nightjet lines

A small note: A night train from Brussels to Berlin (and on to Prague) will be offered by European Sleeper as early as spring 2022. How competitive the product will be against ÖBB, we will of course clarify here on the blog.

DB has no discernible connection to this TEE2.0 project for me as a passenger. An earlier press release once said

:

  • Locomotives+drivers: ÖBB Vienna-Karlsruhe, SNCF Karlsruhe-Paris
  • Carriage material: ÖBB
  • Train attendant: DB

For me, the train conductors were clearly from ÖBB. The only component of DB: You can now buy Nightjet tickets via Bahn.de. Our ex-Bundesbenzinkanister has there probably what wrongly communicated

carriage / locomotive material for the NJ 468. Source: Twitter

Nightjet Paris – the journey begins!

But enough rambling. Let’s get to the actual field report. It’s the fourth weekend of Advent, afternoon, an overcast cold winter day in Paris. The Eiffel Tower hides a little in the clouds, the swarms of “Good Price, good Price” sellers unfortunately not

We sit on a park bench, eat our crêpe and so slowly begin our beautiful Nightjet Paris trip. We take the metro once again across the Seine past the 130 year old climbing frame towards Gare de L’est.

An hour before departure, we arrive at the bustling Christmas-decorated East Station. Lots of crowds for a Sunday evening. We grab some snacks and drinks and wander a bit between TGV, ICE and French regional trains.

40 minutes before departure, the departure track is displayed on one of the countless screens and we can hardly wait to get into our warm cozy private compartment after a long day and many steps.

At the very end of the station, our rolling hotel is ready for us. Pulled in by the SNCF locomotive foiled especially for this pair of trains.

We had the great fortune to be able to book the tickets shortly before the public announcement of ÖBB (coincidence + the right Twitter contacts). So we were able to secure the Double Deluxe compartment with private bathroom for just 189 €. For two people, that’s a killer price!

And now we want to enjoy it to the fullest, so off to car 410, tickets presented and off into the train. The compartment is still in the day configuration. Three seats, a large table and two Nightjet goodie bags await us. What’s inside?

  • Slippers
  • sleeping mask
  • Earplugs
  • snacks
  • small towel
  • Frhpiece order card
  • Ballpoint pen
  • Water

We settle in, sort our clothes a bit and fill out our breakfast order card.

Punctually, 19:57 o’clock we roll out of the Paris train station. Au revoir Paris, it was nice to see you again! The train attendant immediately comes to us, gives us a welcome drink, takes our breakfast order and time and sets our alarm clock. He would still convert us the compartment to the night configuration but we do that later ourselves. We make ourselves comfortable, watch a Christmas movie while outside already the Paris outskirts pass by.

Around 21:00 o’clock we build us our night camp and go still shower. It is already somehow strange in a moving train to shower. Just cool What’s even cooler? To lie with the pillow at the window and to watch passing cities. Somewhere in the middle of France we fall asleep. The night is surprisingly quiet. The tracks seem to be dead straight with no switches or curves, virtually no oncoming traffic, and the engineer gently brakes and pulls away. So, I have never spent such a quiet night on a train.

In Freilassing the night is over again. Good morning Germany – but before I am sitting properly we are already in Salzburg.

The journey is almost over. A highlight is still waiting for us. Around 9:00 a.m. our friendly train attendant arrives with two wonderfully arranged breakfast trays. A worthy conclusion to a great trip!

Now another good hour and we have reached Vienna Central Station.

What should be better in the future:

  • WLAN: Does not exist. Even the old IC wagons of the DB and the (then) even older first Flixtrains had WLAN. So it can’t be that complicated.
  • For a triple compartment there is only one socket. I knew that before and had a multiple plug with me. Still, that should definitely be increased in future modernizations.

Moving pictures = better impression

Of course, I took a few cameras on the train again and captured impressions. Hope you like it. Do me a favor, open the video on Youtube, leave a thumbs up, subscribe to the channel and comment what you liked or disliked. That would really help me a lot!

The timetable

The comfort classes on the night train

On the Nightjet Paris – Vienna, as on all other Nightjets, there are three comfort categories.

  • Seat car: A six-seater compartment where you can push the seats together to create a large reclining area. I once spent a night in a similar compartment with 15. It was great, but I don’t plan to repeat the experience as an adult.
  • Couchette: The slightly better option. You get a compartment with six folding couches – simple flat pillow, wool blanket. You have to cover and uncover everything yourself. We spent two nights in the ÖBB couchette car in summer (Berlin – Zurich / Venice – Munich). Is in orderng, but also not very comfortable. Breakfast is included. Thanks to the rather sparse space available, however, this is not such a great experience.
  • Sleeping car: The royal class of the night trains! The beds are comfortable, you have thicker pillows, get breakfast and for about 40 € extra charge a private bathroom. Here you can see the simple version of the sleeping car (video). You can see the deluxe version with bathroom in this post.

ÖBB

Nightjet Paris Vienna Prices

The

same applies to the Nightjet Paris as everywhere else: The earlier you book, the cheaper the trip. Seat cars are available from €49.90 for the full route, sleeper cars for €134.90 if you book two months in advance. But hurry! The sleeper cars are always gone quickly and then there are only the inferior couchette cars for a similar or even higher price.

Tickets are best bought directly here through ÖBB.

Unfortunately, the night train is still quite expensive. Sure, you combine here transport + hotel and save a lot of CO² by a supposedly saved flight. But honestly, the night train is still more what for environmental enthusiasts and train geeks. The masses will continue to run into the arms of Ryanair, Easyjet and Co. Advantages and disadvantages….

The conclusion on the new Orient Express

Oui, oui, oui! The Nightjet Paris – Vienna is simply a great product. Comfortable, clean and for a night train, 14 hours is simply an ideal travel time. Long enough to spend a relaxing evening, a restful night and a beautiful morning on the train, and short enough not to get bored.

Nightjet Paris at destination in Vienna

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Disclaimer

This report describes my own experience only. Tickets were all paid for out of my own pocket. ÖBB or SNCF had nothing to do with it and I did not receive any discounts

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