Skift Breaking News Blog

Short stories and posts about the daily news happenings around the travel industry.

Rail

Eurostar to Suspend Disneyland Paris Trains

4 weeks ago

Britons will not be able to grab a direct train to Disneyland Paris next summer. High-speed rail operator Eurostar will suspend service between London and the theme park on the outskirts of Paris on June 5, 2023, it told travel agents Wednesday.

Eurostar, which is owned by French rail operator SNCF, said it needs to “focus on our core routes to stabilize our operations” for the decision to suspend trains the European outpost of the Magic Kingdom. The railroad also mentioned financial commitments, and new entry and exit requirements between the UK and EU.

In a bit of good news, Eurostar said it would “review” its operations for 2024, leaving open the door for a possible resumption of train service to Disneyland Paris.

(Joe JABRE/Flickr)

During the first six months of the year, Eurostar said business travel on its core London-Paris route had recovered to 70 percent of 2019 levels without providing exact numbers; it operated roughly 75 percent of its pre-pandemic schedule. SNCF Voyageurs, which includes Eurostar as well as SNCF’s other passenger train services, has reported a strong rebound in passenger numbers on its trains during the first half of the year, particularly from March.

SNCF received approval from European authorities to merge Eurostar and Thalys, which operates high-speed passenger trains in Belgium and the Netherlands, into the new Eurostar Group in March. The new company plans to grow ridership to 30 million people by 2030 from 19 million in 2019.

Rail

Spain’s Renfe to Open New High-Speed Rail Line in July

3 months ago

Spanish railroad operator Renfe will open its newest high-speed line between Madrid and Burgos on July 22.

The new line will save travelers roughly 45 minutes with AVE trains taking just an hour and 33 minutes for trips between Madrid and Burgos, which is 134 miles north of the Spanish capital. In addition, it will reduce travel times between Madrid and the coastal cities of Bilbao and San Sebastián by up to 38 minutes. Renfe will offer up to 32 trains a day between Madrid and Burgos.

Renfe is offering 100,000 one-way tickets starting at €18 ($18.85) for travel on the new line.

(Nelso Silva/Flickr)

The opening comes as European countries are increasingly pushing rail travel as a key way to reduce carbon emissions. Germany is offering a so-called “9 Euro ticket,” or less than $10, regional rail monthly passes this summer in an effort to boost ridership, and the UK opened the long-planned Elizabeth Line across London in June. Even airlines, which have long competed with trains, are expanding their partnerships with rail operators and offering more joint air-rail itineraries to travelers. Renfe unveiled a new partnership with Iberia in March.

Rail

Germany’s Deutsche Bahn to Run More Summer Trains Than in 2019

4 months ago

Germany’s passenger rail operator Deutsche Bahn (DB) will run more long-distance trains this summer than it did before the pandemic in response to strong demand.

DB will offer 20 percent more seats than it did in the summer of 2019, it said Saturday. The increase is both from operating more trains, and from the introduction of more “extra-large” ICE high-speed trains that seat roughly 1,000 passengers each.

(Georg Wagner/DB AG)

The extra long-distance trains come as Germany anticipates record transport ridership this summer under the three-month “9 euro ticket,” or pass, that covers all regional and suburban trains. In May, the head of DB’s long-distance rail division Michael Peterson said ridership that month was roughly 5 percent higher than in 2019.

“This summer, the desire to travel is greater than ever,” Peterson said in a statement Saturday.

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