Pan-European ‘Railteam’ alliance expands

4 Jul 2006

--Major long-term benefits for travellers
Eurostar, operator of high-speed rail services between the UK and the Continent, has joined forces with Europe's leading rail operators in the Railteam partnership.
The Railteam alliance will offer travellers high-speed, high-quality travel across European borders. As well as Eurostar, other members include:
-Deutsche Bahn - Germany-NS and HSA - Netherlands-OBB - Austria-SBB - Switzerland-SNCB - Belgium-SNCF - France
The rapid development of high-speed lines across northern Europe, linking major cities, has created the opportunity for an alliance under the working title 'Railteam', which has a vision to provide travellers with:
-Seamless connections at stations-Through ticketing and fares - one ticket/fare for a through journey-Easy access to timetables, information, booking and train services-Real time journey information-Universal, high-quality standards of customer service and facilities, such as on-board internet access
June 2007 will see the completion of TGV Est linking Paris and Strasbourg. In the autumn of 2007, Eurostar will move to its new London hub at St Pancras International with the completion of the second section of the UK's first high-speed line, the Channel Tunnel Rail Link, which will further reduce journey times between the UK and the Continent. The opening of these new lines will be followed by the completion of the Dutch high-speed line linking Brussels and Amsterdam.
Richard Brown, Chief Executive, Eurostar, said:
"Eurostar is a leading provider of high-speed international rail services in Europe; we already have extensive experience in cross-border services, and intend to play a leading role in helping to build this exciting new alliance.
"Railteam will reduce barriers between countries and build confidence in the quality and reliability of international services. It will provide travellers with an integrated network with connections as good as or better than airports, and make high-speed rail a really attractive and effective alternative to the more environmentally damaging, short-haul airlines."
Railteam launched in October 2005 with Eurostar and Thalys signing an initial partnership agreement. This has already delivered innovations including shared business lounge access. The Railteam partners will aim to build on this over the coming months and years.
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Notes to Editors:
1. Eurostar UK Ltd has signed a non-binding Letter of Intent with SNCF, SNCB, Nederlandse Spoorwegen (NS), Deutsche Bahn (DB), Schweizerische Bundesbahnen (SBB) and Österreichische Bundesbahnen (OBB). The Railteam alliance is open to further members that provide high-speed, high-quality rail services.
2. Eurostar operates high-speed train services linking London, Ashford, Paris, Brussels, Lille, Avignon, Calais, Disneyland Resort Paris and the French Alps. It has won the title of "World's Leading Rail Service" for the last eight years at the World Travel Awards.
3. In autumn 2007, Eurostar will switch its UK operations from London Waterloo to London St Pancras International. Journey times will fall by a further 20 minutes, with London-Paris down to 2h 15m; London-Brussels only 1h 51m, and London-Lille just 1h 20m.
4. Eurostar and Eurotunnel are entirely different companies, under separate ownership and with separate management teams. Eurostar is the largest customer of Eurotunnel, which is the Channel Tunnel operator.
5. To book tickets for Eurostar, or to find out more information, go to www.eurostar.com, call 08705 186186, or contact your travel agent.
For more information and interview requests:Eurostar Press Office, T. +44 (0)20 7922 4494, press.office@eurostar.co.uk