Express change: LNER's decision sped the turnaround
Express change: LNER's decision sped the turnaround

UK to remain in Interrail scheme after U-turn

After an express turnaround, rail guru says: ‘Many, many people young and old will appreciate this for years to come’

Simon Calder
Travel Correspondent
Thursday 08 August 2019 16:10
Comments

With a U-turn that arrived quicker than many trans-European trains, the Rail Delivery Group (RDG) has decided to remain part of the unlimited rail travel schemes, Interrail and Eurail.

On Wednesday, the RDG announced that it was terminating its participation in both programmes. UK train operators had been trialling the Eurail scheme, which is open to people living outside Europe. The RDG wanted to remain within Interrail but not Eurail.

There were claims that train operators preferred to market the UK-only BritRail pass worldwide, and felt that the Eurail product eroded revenue – because only a fraction was passed to UK operators.

The RDG blamed the Eurail head office in Brussels for the decision.

But rail campaigners, including the international trains expert Mark Smith – known as “The Man in Seat Sixty-One” – were incensed.

The decision would have meant British travellers could buy Interrail but enjoy the travel benefits only from London rather than their local station.

Conversely, European visitors to the UK would need to buy extra tickets to explore further than the capital, jeopardising tourism to regions and nations beyond London.

Within 24 hours of the decision, LNER – the nationalised operator which runs the East Coast main line – had broken with the RDG’s decision. David Horne, LNER’s managing director, said: “We will continue to accept customers using passes as part of the Eurail and Interrail system.

“LNER is proud to encourage people to travel with us and visit the many locations along our route.

“LNER recognises the value of international tourists wishing to visit the many popular destinations in England and Scotland served by the train company.” Shortly afterwards the RDG tweeted: “We are pleased to be able to tell passengers that we have reached agreement and will be remaining part of both the Interrail and Eurail passes.”

Mark Smith said: “This has really made my day.

“Hats off to RDG and National Rail operators for listening. Many, many people young and old will appreciate this for years to come.”

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged in