High-Speed Rail News: Eurostar and SNCF, A New Eurostar

Eurostar Train

The SNCF launches new campaign to target the million-plus fare dodgers each year. Plus, giving Eurostar a little competition and rail cards saving Brits a bit of quid – all in this weeks Fast Track news.

Not Feelin’ Fine: A third of fines handed out by the SNCF each year go unpaid, at a cost of €31m per year. Now the rail operator is looking at new ways to get passengers to pay up. Hmm, pay a small fine or face up to six months in the slammer?

Getting the Green Light: The European Commission has given the go-ahead to Eurostar parent company London & Continental Railways and France’s SNCF to form a “new Eurostar”. The new company has assured that it would open up new routes for competiton.

Travel on the Cheap: Millions are using railcards to save money. According to ATOC, there’s been a 40% ride in journeys made using a railcard, saving passengers an estimated £230m each year. A record 70 million journeys have been made using a railcard during the last year – a rise of over 40% when compared with five years ago. The three main railcards appeal to specific groups: The Senior Railcard for anyone over 60, the 16-25 railcard and a Family and Friends railcard for adults traveling with children ages five to 15.

By providing passengers with discounted travel, the hope is more people will get together in person, rather than talking via email or by phone – including video chat.

Because hugging a pixelated flat screen doesn’t feel so good.

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