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European high-speed rail tickets to compete with short-haul airline routes

2 July 2007

Eurostar, Germany’s Deutsche Bahn AG and France’s SNCF joined Dutch, Austrian, Swiss and Belgian train companies to form a rail alliance, Railteam, that aims to make international train bookings far easier and simpler by building a single online reservation system.

They want to attract at least 25 million travelers by 2010 — 10 million more than now — taking a 5 percent chunk out of the short-haul airline market by promoting four-hour business trips and up to six-hour leisure journeys across western Europe.

They said rail travel can and will compete with low-fare airlines such as Ryanair and easyJet that have revolutionized European travel by encouraging people to fly more often and take weekend trips away.

source: International Herald Tribune

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