Train travel start-up, loco2.com, becomes first UK company to offer Deutsche Bahn tickets online. Expanded European coverage provides access to thousands of routes and tickets in Germany, and international connecting services. New routes include London to Berlin or any German city for as little as €59 (£50).
Today, London-based start-up Loco2 announced a partnership with German national rail operator, Deutsche Bahn. The partnership will provide UK consumers with easier access to German train tickets, including high-speed Intercity Express (ICE) trains, and international fares in Europe.
• Loco2 now offers tickets from both SNCF and Deutsche Bahn, the two largest rail operators in the EU.
• The rail industry is finally catching up with budget airlines, with e-tickets now available for thousands of destinations in Europe.
• These changes are indicative of a more competitive European rail market, as new companies like Loco2 enter the market to help customers save money online
The Deutsche Bahn partnership is an important step for Loco2, which launched in April 2012 with a connection to the French national rail operator, SNCF, via their UK representative, Rail Europe. The ability to display routes and fares from multiple EU rail operators makes it easier to deliver simple online rail booking as UK consumers can now choose between more train booking options without the need to visit multiple websites.
Trusted European train travel advisor Mark Smith of Seat61.com said: “European train travel is becoming increasingly popular, but booking remains fragmented. Integrating the French and German booking systems on one website is a key step forward.”
Loco2 Managing Director Jamie Andrews had this to say: “We founded Loco2 to make booking a train as easy as booking a flight, and adding Deutsche Bahn tickets to loco2.com is a major step forward in achieving this goal. By helping our customers book an increasingly wide range of tickets, we’re confident we’ll get even more people off planes and onto trains in Europe.”
The partnership takes place against the backdrop of a rapidly changing European rail market. The EU Third Railway Package, which came into force in January 2010, obliges rail companies across Europe to open international routes to competition. Subsequent legislation, and increased access to rail operator booking systems has created opportunities for new players such as Loco2 to enter to the market. These changes, along with air passenger duty on flights, and concerns about emissions from aviation, has led to a steady and ongoing increase in the number of passengers travelling by train in Europe.