We live in a super-connected world, detailing our every move with tweets, status updates and check-ins. So it only makes sense that this connectivity moves at the speed of rail. Both Eurostar and RENFE have added WiFi hookups to their fleet, making it easier to share your itinerary, potential delays or even the mundane (“Look, there’s a guy next to me wearing wooden clogs!”) Read more about these developments, plus the latest city-to-city shortcuts thanks to new fast tracks.
- Channeling Information: Eurostar recently awarded contracts for on board information systems and WiFi services to help address some criticisms made during weather service disruptions last year. These new systems will allow Eurostar to give their passengers travel updates, as well as destination information and seat reservation statuses, while WiFi keeps travelers connected with the world around them. Read more about this service improvement.
- Do the Dos y Media: Two-and-a-half hours. That’s all it now takes to travel between Catalan-capital Barcelona to country-capital Madrid. Thanks to the European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS), a common navigation system for high-speed trains throughout Europe, eight-minutes has been shaved off this journey. Why is this short amount of time so important?
- Flying by Rail: Lufthansa no longer flies from Frankfurt to Cologne, instead, the company runs 13 high-speed trains a day in each direction for international connecting passengers. With AIRail, board a high-speed ICE train, leaving your carry-on luggage with a porter, which will be returned upon arrival in Cologne. And the best part… ?
- I’ve Been Working on the Railroad: In an effort to help the economy and boost ridership on longer routes, Spanish-owned RENFE just rolled out free WiFi on its trains, following in the footsteps of the city of Madrid which had become the first city in the world to offer free WiFi on its transportation lines. By courting passengers who work while commuting, RENFE hopes to compete with low-cost airlines who already offer free WiFi. Read how this will help Spain’s economy.