Railteam Alliance of High Speed European Train
White Plains, NY, July 10, 2007 - Seven European operators of high-speed trains in France, Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, Austria, Switzerland and the UK announced the launch last week of Railteam. Styled like an airline alliance, the goal of Railteam is to make international high-speed rail travel easier, faster and more seamless, providing a true alternative to intra-European air travel.
Railteam partners include Eurostar UK, the French National Railroads (SNCF), German Railroads (Deutsche Bahn), Belgian National Railways (SNCB), Netherlands Hispeed (NS Hispeed), Austrian National Railroads (OBB), and Swiss Federal Railways (SBB).
Europe's high-speed rail networks currently serves more than 100 major destinations with over 3,100 miles of high-speed track built today, a total of 4,717 miles scheduled to be in operation in 2010 and by 2020 a total of 9,543 miles.
Faster, easier, more enjoyable high-speed train travel
"Despite the fact that high-speed trains have been in use in Europe for 26 years, relatively few North American travelers are aware of this great alternative to flying," noted Fabrice Morel, President and CEO of Rail Europe, a subsidiary of SNCF and SBB and the largest North American distributor of European rail tickets and railpasses. "High-speed trains going downtown-to-downtown are frequent, comfortable and convenient, eliminating the hassle and expense of getting to and from the airport as well as all the delays and lengthy check-in times that air travelers have to put up with these days.
"While North Americans have been able to book rail journeys that connect multiple countries through Rail Europe for decades, we're very pleased about the cooperation among Railteam's high-speed operators, because this will mean that train journeys will become significantly faster, easier and more enjoyable for all travelers --particularly English-speakers," said Morel. "We see the launch of Railteam as something of a validation of Rail Europe's pioneering marketing strategies to simplify European train travel. As early as 10 years ago, we created the term 'Premier Trains' to designate the type of trains that Railteam offers, and we recently streamlined the pricing structure of train tickets, creating four categories to make it easier to understand."
Railteam benefits to travelers
- Starting today, if a traveler misses a connection between international high-speed trains on the Railteam network, Railteam will ensure they can hop on the next train, regardless of the type of ticket they have.
- Connecting departure/arrival times between Railteam partner services will be coordinated to shrink travel times.
- Multi-lingual staff onboard trains and in stations will ensure that international travelers know where, when and how to connect to other train services.
- Railteam information points have been installed at major stations in Brussels, Lille, Cologne, Frankfurt and Stuttgart and will soon be available in London, Paris, Strasbourg and Amsterdam.
For more information or to book individual or group travel on high-speed, scenic or regional trains in more than 30 countries across Europe and the UK, consult a travel agent or log on to Rail Europe's Web site, om or call Rail Europe at 1-888-382-7245 (U.S.) or 1-800-361-7245 (Canada).