2023 >> MORE HIGH SPEED TRAINS + MORE NIGHT TRAINS MEANS MORE AND BETTER CONNECTIONS ACROSS EUROPE

Some of you may have come across the Euronews website. In case you missed this, they recently published a bulletin listing lots of news about new and improved services which will be running across many European countries this year. As well as lots of information, there are also some useful links to Traveller blogs- for example – 14 days around Italy and a rail trip across 9 different countries. There is even one by a seasoned rail campaigner who during 2 months last summer took 150 trains across 28 different countries in the European Economic area. See: https://www.euronews.com/travel/2022/12/28/flight-free-travel-europes-new-long-distance-train-routes-for-2022 And see also: https://www.euronews.com/travel/2022/07/22/meet-the-man-battling-to-fix-europe-s-trains-via-an-epic-40-day-journey

THROUGH TICKETING ACROSS EUROPE?

Before the Channel Tunnel opened in 1995, you could always buy a paper train ticket from most UK stations to most destinations all over Europe. Since the start of Eurostar services from London, it has become harder to buy a through ticket to many destinations beyond France, Belgium & The Netherlands. An easy connection at Brussels onto Germany is complicated by the fact that a Deutsche Bahn ticket for Germany is not valid on a Thalys (now part of Eurostar) service to Cologne. Thanks to rail campaigners all over Europe there is finally some hope on the horizon. Back in October, a formal agreement was announced by all main train operators across Europe that they will adapt their ticketing systems

RECENT OPINION POLL CONFIRMS PREFERENCE FOR RAIL

HS1 Ltd who are the owners of the High Speed Rail Link from London to the Channel Tunnel recently conducted market research into how business people would prefer to travel to and from key European destinations. Their research concluded that an overwhelming majority of around 80 % would consider travel by train if a suitably attractive offer was available compared to air. They also concluded that people wanted to take the train to a greater range of destinations than are possible at the moment, whether for leisure or business purposes. Bordeaux, Frankfurt and Prague were suggested as destinations that can be easily reached from London using HS1 and the High Speed Network across Europe. For further information see a recent

LOW-CARBON GATEWAY TO EUROPE IS BEING UNDERUSED

Our campaign got more publicity this month in the letters page of Rail Magazine – here is the text of our letter which was printed in full: The special report from HS1 Ltd published in Rail 938 could be seen as a load of “Greenwash”. They publish a lot of sustainability statistics for 2020-21 which look good on paper but do nothing for the modal shift they claim to want to achieve. For example, the 14% reduction in electricity use is hardly surprising given the reduced number of Eurostar and Javelin trains using the line due to the Covid pandemic. While they are clearly doing a lot of charitable work with other organizations, none of this is likely to result