From the Experts

European rail operators welcome an industry-first train comparison report

In May, train ticket booking platform Loco2 published a comparison report of Europe’s high-speed and long-distance train services.

Revealing the top three train operators across Europe for passengers belonging to 12 types of audiences, including business travellers, pet owners and families, the report – named The Great Train Comparison – is designed to give travellers the confidence to choose train travel over air travel.

Overall, Swiss national rail operator SBB came out on top, taking the first place in four of the 12 categories: cyclists, winter sports fans, passengers with disabilities and families with children. Close behind was German rail operator Deutsche Bahn and ÖBB Austrian Railways, which both performed well across all audiences.

For rail passengers who want to get from A to B as quickly as possible, French rail operator SNCF came top for pioneering high-speed rail in Europe. Spanish rail operator Renfe’s AVE trains was also commended for combining style with speed, while Eurostar was praised for having positively transformed the relationship between London and other major European cities.

Kate Andrews, co-founder and chief operating officer at Loco2:

“We have published The Great Train Comparison to celebrate and recognise the best train operators according to a range of audiences and promote the positive experience available to millions of passengers who may normally choose to fly by default… The future of rail is a thrilling prospect; not only are the facilities on board improving, but the routes and connections themselves are just getting better and better.”

Image courtesy of Loco2

Spokesperson for French rail operator SNCF:

“Passengers can take advantage of our 440 high-speed trains with 700 TGV journeys run each day to move passengers quickly in France and across Europe. We own the biggest high-speed train fleet in Europe, which enables us to accommodate for people who are travelling to city centres…”

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Gianpiero Strisciuglio, director for long-haul at Trenitalia:

“We strive to provide excellent benefits [to business travellers]: comfort, flexibility and a range of complimentary services. Our offering includes 187 daily connections with Frecciarossa trains, every 15 minutes from Rome to Milan during peak hours, with flexible, digital tickets.”

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

“The best European rail operators now offer door-to-door business travel packages, with a taxi or limo to connect at either end of the train journey. The quality of on-board meals has improved immeasurably. Business travellers have a keen sense of productivity and want to be able to work while travelling. The train, it seems, really scores over the plane in these respects.”

Jack Peat, founder and editor at The London Economic:

Image courtesy of The London Economic

Marc-Andre Runcie-Unger, co-founder of Katzenworld:

“I’m glad to see from the survey results that most British rail operators offer free travel for pets without the need to book, but unfortunately this is not the case for most European train companies which are a step behind.”