High-velocity trains operated by Renfe and SNCF between Paris and Barcelona are expanding their offering, with a new interval on the timetable.
This summer, passengers travelling through Angers Saint-Laud in western France can admire an installation of trees suspended from the ceiling of the station and positioned on the ground in the forecourt as part of a project initiated by SNCF Gares & Connexions.
SNCF has announced it will rebrand its TGV services to inOui. The move is part of an attempt by the French national rail operator to attract 15 million customers to its flagship high-speed services by 2020.
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.