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Rail Tourism Industry (The) - Europe - May 2012

Rail tourism in Europe covers journeys made by train for the purpose of tourism. These may be for leisure/holiday, business, or to visit friends and relatives (VFR). What is excluded is regular travel between two places, typically persons commuting between home and their place of work.

There is no specific measurement of travellers on the European rail network by purpose of visit. However, by identifying those services that are predominantly, or exclusively used by tourists, it is possible to isolate and analyse the sector. Rail tourism in Europe is largely driven by three distinct types of travel:

  • Journeys where the train itself is the key attraction, rather than the place the journey ends. This report calls these ‘Tourist trains and journeys’, as they are almost exclusively used by tourists. These journeys can be considered as attractions rather than transport. Trips are usually booked as packages through specialist tour operators or travel agents.
  • Journeys where the destination is the main reason for travel. These tourists are less interested in the rail experience itself. This report calls these ‘International train journeys’. These journeys are used by tourists and commuters but predominantly (usually at least one half of all passengers) by tourists. Consequently, they are an important part of rail tourism in Europe, and importantly compete with other modes of transport – increasingly with air routes. The high-speed rail routes that are expanding across Europe are driving this form of rail tourism, although the rail-pass market that tends to use the slower trains is also important.
  • Journeys where the tourist can transport their car with them. These Motorail services tend to be expensive and therefore, unlike the two types of travel above, appear to be in decline. However, they are almost exclusively used by tourists, and are therefore included in this report.

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Table of contents

  1. Introduction

    • Data Sources

      • European Rail Through the Ages

        • The 19th and 20th centuries
          • Bringing the network into the 21st century
            • Figure 1: Rail passenger-kilometres per year, EU-27 countries, 2006-10
          • France
            • Spain
              • Italy
                • UK
                  • Turkey
                    • Germany
                      • Austria
                        • Russia
                          • Ukraine
                            • Greece
                            • European Rail Tourism

                                • Tourist trains and journeys
                                    • Figure 2: ‘Europe’s top train journeys’, 2012
                                  • Venice-Simplon-Orient-Express, Europe
                                    • Figure 3: Journeys, duration and prices on the Orient-Express, 2012
                                  • Golden Eagle Trans-Siberian Express, Russia
                                    • Royal Scotsman, UK
                                      • Figure 4: Journeys, duration and prices on the Royal Scotsman, 2012
                                    • Danube Express, Central Europe
                                      • Figure 5: Itineraries and prices on the Danube Express, 2012
                                    • Glacier and Bernina Express, Switzerland
                                      • The Bergen and Flam railways, Norway
                                        • El Transcantabrico, Spain
                                          • Figure 6: Prices for El Transcantabrico, per person, double occupancy, 2012
                                        • British Pullman and Northern Belle, UK
                                          • Figure 7: Journeys and prices on the British Pullman and Northern Belle, 2012
                                        • Al-Andalus, Spain
                                          • Settle to Carlisle Railway, UK
                                            • Heritage Railways for the rail enthusiast, UK
                                              • Figure 8: Selected Heritage steam railways offering passenger journeys, UK, 2012
                                            • International train journeys
                                              • Alleo, Germany
                                                • Artesia and Thello, Italy
                                                  • Elipsos Internacional, Spain
                                                    • Eurostar – UK, France and Belgium
                                                      • Lyria SAS, Switzerland
                                                        • Railteam Alliance
                                                          • Thalys International, Belgium
                                                            • European Motorail
                                                              • Figure 9: European Motorail routes, 2012
                                                            • France
                                                              • Germany
                                                                • The Netherlands
                                                                  • Austria
                                                                  • Rail Passes

                                                                      • InterRail Pass
                                                                        • Figure 10: The 30 participating European InterRail Pass countries, 2012
                                                                      • InterRail Global Pass
                                                                        • Figure 11: InterRail Global Pass pricing structure, 2012
                                                                      • InterRail One Country Passes
                                                                        • Eurail
                                                                          • Eurail Global Pass
                                                                            • Figure 12: Eurail Global Pass options and pricing, 2012
                                                                          • Eurail Select Pass
                                                                            • Figure 13: Eurail Select Pass options and pricing, 2012
                                                                          • Eurail Regional Pass
                                                                            • Eurail One Country Pass
                                                                              • Other European passes
                                                                                • Figure 14: Other countries’ rail passes, 2012
                                                                                • Figure 15: Other multi-country passes, 2012
                                                                            • The Railway Tourist

                                                                                • Top-end Trippers
                                                                                  • Rail enthusiasts
                                                                                    • Mid-range (train not plane)
                                                                                      • Budget-conscious InterRailers
                                                                                      • Rail Tour Operators

                                                                                          • Discovery Trains, France
                                                                                            • Erail Travel Ltd, UK
                                                                                              • Ffestiniog Travel, UK
                                                                                                • Great Rail Journeys, UK
                                                                                                  • PTG Tours, UK
                                                                                                    • Railtour, Switzerland
                                                                                                      • The Railway Touring Company, UK
                                                                                                        • Treyn Rail Holidays, UK
                                                                                                        • What Next?

                                                                                                          • Shift from air to high-speed rail looks set to continue
                                                                                                            • 2012 events to boost rail travel in the UK
                                                                                                              • High-speed routes offering new experiences

                                                                                                              Companies Covered

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                                                                                                              Rail Tourism Industry (The) - Europe - May 2012

                                                                                                              £295.00 (Excl.Tax)