BR chooses the slow lane
Monday 29 May 1995
Allan Reekie (firstname.lastname@example.org) points out that, unlike the French, the British do not have on-line access to BR timetables. BR International provides an on-line planner through France Telecom's Minitel service 3615BR.
He says BR should put its timetables on the Internet, but claims it will not unless the accountants can be persuaded to fund this from the publicity budget - or at least as part of the general running expenses - and not regard it as a "profit centre" in its own right. He says: "It is absurd to charge users pounds 80 a year for the PC Journey Planner (the Belgian Railways' equivalent costs less than pounds 10 a year), if only because the extra train travel that would be generated if the floppy disks were sold at, say, pounds 1 would cover the cost of producing the first one many times over."
Mr Reekie also directs us to two rail sites on the World Wide Web. Eurostar schedules are available at http://www.iihe.ac.be/hep/pp/evrard/eurostar.html), while travellers to the US can look up Amtrak timetables at http://www.amtrak.com. Amtrak is so keen to get people to use it that anyone who looks at the page is entered in the Internet Sweepstakes, which hands out two sets of All Aboard America trans-continental round-trip tickets every month.
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