A new high-speed rail service will connect Paris and Berlin in 7 hours

Travel

Brandenburg Gate: Berlin and Paris are about to get much closer. Photo/Getty Images

Paris and Berlin will get even closer next year with the launch of high-speed rail service.

As early as December 2023, travelers could take a direct train from Paris to Berlin in just seven hours, according to French rail operator SNCF.

According to SNCF CEO Jean-Pierre Farandou, the route made sense, especially as long train journeys seem to be growing in popularity.

“It makes sense because we see that people are accepting longer and longer journeys. There are really people who are ready to spend five hours, six hours, seven hours on a train,” Farandou told AFP via Euronews.

SNCF and Deutsche Bahn, a German rail operator, currently operate high-speed train services between Paris and German cities such as Frankfurt, Stuttgart and Mannheim.

Currently, there is no direct train line from Berlin to Paris. Passengers can board a DB service, which takes around 8 hours and 20 minutes, and involves a transfer in Mannheim, Rheinmünster or Frankfurt.

The direct high-speed rail service will take approximately 7 hours to travel between Paris and Berlin.  Photo/Google Maps
The direct high-speed rail service will take approximately 7 hours to travel between Paris and Berlin. Photo/Google Maps

SNCF’s Alain Krakovitch said the success of other high-speed links from Paris to Milan and Barcelona indicated that this form of travel had a promising future.

“Paris-Milan and Paris-Barcelona have incredible occupancy rates: on Paris-Milan, capacity has doubled with the arrival of Trenitalia (an Italian high-speed rail company which started operating in France last year last), and despite that, the trains are full,” Krakovitch said.

“We should be able to have the same thing on Paris-Berlin.”

A train will run daily between Paris and Berlin in December 2023, with overnight service planned in the future.

Currently, a flight takes about 1 hour and 45 minutes, not including the time spent getting to and going through airports.

In the UK, Eurostar has also announced plans to partner with Franco-Belgian rail operator Thalys to connect London to German cities.

Swedish operator SJ will also launch a EuroNight service in September, which connects the capital Stockholm to Hamburg in Germany with a stopover in Copenhagen.

Jose P. Rogers