Voyages-sncf.com, a major player in European tourism, continues to expand its operations in China. Having opened a subsidiary in Shanghai last March, the group has signed an agreement with Alitrip to promote and sell French and European rail travel packages.
SNCF has launched TGVmax, the first unlimited travel pass for young travellers. Available to those aged 16-27, young adults can explore every corner of France in complete freedom, enjoying unlimited travel on all TGV and Intercités trains requiring reservations.
Five newly refurbished trains decorated with scenes from the Palace of Versailles will begin operating on the RER C line linking Paris with Louis XIV’s iconic palace. Building on the success of the Versailles-themed trains which first ran in 2012, SNCF Transilien, STIF and the Palace, Museum and National Estate of Versailles have joined forces to create carriages featuring scenes from the French Baroque masterpiece.
GoEuro.co.uk has announced the launch of its full product offering in France after signing a new partnership with SNCF. Travellers can now plan trips to more than 30,000 destinations all over France and across Europe - not just cities and airports like many other sites.
European railways are often portrayed as a deeply conservative industry, so far unaffected by the disruptive competition and subsequent consolidation seen in the aviation sector. With national providers apparently safe in domestic markets there seems to be little catalyst for change. But with technology developing rapidly and start-ups taking advantage of European Union liberalisation to launch new routes the old model may well be about to break down. Breaking Travel News editor Chris O’Toole reports from the Amadeus Rail Forum 2014.
The French National Railway, Société Nationale des Chemins de Fer Français, and Amadeus have strengthened their 16-year partnership as SNCF becomes the launch customer for Amadeus Agent Track, a state-of-the-art rail booking solution for travel agents. Amadeus, a leading travel technology partner and transaction processor for the global travel and tourism industry, and SNCF have also agreed an extension to their full content agreement, which will now run to the end of 2012.
More than 100 tourists who boarded a night-train destined for Milan were given a surprise detour when they woke up in Switzerland instead of Italy due to a points failure.
SNCF, the French state-owned rail operator, is in talks with Arriva, the UK transport operator, over moves to create a pan-European transport group with revenues of about €6 billion. The talks come against the background of liberalisation of Europe’s railway operations following new competition rules introduced on January 1.