Rail Europe Updates for 2013

SNCF Withdraws from Eurail Select Pass Program

Beginning January 1, 2013, the French national railway Société Nationale des Chemins de fer français (SNCF) will withdraw its participation in the Eurail Select Pass. Select Passes purchased before Dec 31, 2012 will still be valid if redeemed within six months of purchase. Eurail Global Passes and Eurail Regional Passes will still be valid in France. TIP: In Portland, Oregon? Buy your rail pass from us before Friday 28 December and pay the 2012 price!

Train Chartering, Creative Commons

Turkey Accepts Eurail Passes

In January Turkey will start accepting Eurail Global and Select Passes on Turkish State Railways. Travelers should be aware of construction work on some Turkish routes until Fall 2013.

Eurostar to Launch New Service to France

Eurostar, which connects London and mainland Europe via the Chunnel, is launching a new direct service from London to Lyon, Avignon, and Aix-en-Provence. The service will be offered for a trial period from May 4 to June 29, 2013 and tickets are already on sale. This route runs from London St. Pancras International or Ashford International nonstop to Provence. On the return, disembarkation is required in Lille Europe to complete security and passport checks necessary for Chunnel travel before re-boarding to the UK.

photo by Alain Gavillet, Creative Commons

Italian NTV Trains

This year Italo fast trains, run by the private operate Nuovo Transporto Viaggiatori (NTV) became available to book through Rail Europe. However, rail passes are still not accepted on these trains, so passholders are advised to opt for the Eurostar Italia or Le Frecce services. Italo trains typically run at 300 km/hour. They offer three different classes of service: “Club,” “Prima,” and “Smart” with varying degrees of comfort. Stations served are still limited: Venice, Torino, Milan, Bologna, Florence, Rome, Naples and Salerno. Torino Porta Susa and Milano Porta Garibaldi are connection stations for the TGV to Paris.

photo by Luca Volpi, Creative Commons

We issue rail tickets and passes for domestic, European and other international travel in-house. Come into the office and you’ll have your ticket in 15 minutes! Call us at 503.224.0180 or email wailanak@wittravel.com for more information.

2 Comments

Filed under Europe, News, Travel by Rail

2 responses to “Rail Europe Updates for 2013

  1. Thanks for this super valuable information especially regarding the SNCF withdrawal – this doesn’t seem to be widespread news. If you don’t mind where did you get word of this? It’s very hard to keep track of developments in European rail don’t you think?

    • Thanks for your comment, loco2! We have a partnership with Raileurope and work closely with their reps, who keep us up to date on the ever-fluctuating world of rail 🙂

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