Swiss Railways train in Zurich Station
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 by 2025, so that “passengers will have a seamless user experience when searching, selecting, buying and using rail services”. For further details see: https://www.railtech.com/policy/2022/10/11/cer-and-uic-in-2025-passengers-will-have-a-seamless-user-experience-buying-rail-services/
Fifteen railway companies, including Deutsche Bahn, Renfe, SNCF, Trenitalia and ÖBB, have recently agreed to offer rail passengers who miss their connecting international train due to a delay, a place on the next possible train at no additional cost. This was announced in a press release by the Community of European Railway and Infrastructure Companies (CER) last October. We cannot understand why Eurostar and Thalys have not signed up to this sensible agreement. For further details see: https://www.railtech.com/all/2022/10/24/railways-agree-on-follow-up-journey-without-extra-costs-in-case-of-missed-connection/