Europe’s move to let trains take the strain – replacing short-haul flights – is gathering pace.
France now bans air travel on routes where there’s a train or bus
alternative of less than 2.5 hours, a move driven by environmental
And it’s not just leisure travellers who are rattling along the hi-speed rails in Europe rather than taking to the air.
Europe’s high-speed rail operators are targeting the business travel
market after a ‘Green Speed’ merger between Eurostar and Franco-Belgian
rival Thalys that increases their networks’ reach and non-stop
Meanwhile, French start-up Midnight Trains aims to reinvent overnight
sleeper trains as a ‘luxury hotel on rails’ experience featuring
private suites with their own bathrooms.
The network of luxe sleeper trains would radiate from Paris to more
than 10 destinations, each between 800km and 1,500 km from the French
Airlines have taken the hint and are linking up with rail companies
to make it easier for travellers to book city-to-city rail along with
their air ticket.
Air France and SNCF French Railways have expanded Train + Air, a
service which combines train and air travel in the same reservation.
German rail company Deutsche Bahn is due to integrate its services
with Spanish airline Vueling while Star Alliance member Swiss already
has a ‘Swiss Air Rail’ partnership with SBB Swiss Federal Railways
linking Zurich Airport with SBB stations at Basel, Lugano and Geneva.
Swiss will launch a new Swiss Air Rail route between Munich Hauptbahnhof and Zurich Airport in July this year.