FOLLOWING the withdrawal of the last domestic sleeping car services in France with the December timetable change, SNCF has launched a campaign to promote overnight rail travel.

Among the strategies to tempt the 18 to 30 age range back to the rails is the Overnight Party Train, offering an all-night bar, lounges with soft lighting and a disco coach. Promoted by the iDTGV business unit, the first iDnight trains will run from Paris to Biarritz, Montpellier and Nice. They will operate at weekends during the spring and autumn, and daily in the summer, with heavily-discounted fares starting at €15.

SNCF promises that the disco car will be sound-proofed so that other passengers will still be able to get some sleep. But although it will continue to provide couchettes on a few loco-hauled services, the iDnight trains will be worked by TGV sets, so passengers will have no chance to lie down for a nap.