UK to stay in Interrail scheme after U-turn

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UK train companies will stay in the Interrail scheme, reversing Wednesday’s decision, the operators’ group says.

The Rail Delivery Group (RDG), which represents UK train operators, had said the arrangement would end in January.

It had blamed a dispute with Eurail Group which manages the scheme.

Robert Nisbet, director of nations and regions at the RDG said: “Following the strong reaction to news of our departure we and Eurail, the company which runs Interrail, renewed talks.

“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.”

The decision to pull out of the scheme had received heavy criticism on social media.

Former Labour transport secretary Lord Adonis tweeted yesterday: “This is closing Britain to the next generation of continental Europeans.”

The decision to restart talks and come to an agreement with Eurrail was greeted with relief by some on social media, but others were less complimentary.

Someone using the account name Kerr tweeted: “The fact you even considered it has caused severe reputation all damage for you.”

Others expressed doubt about RDG’s claim that it had “never wanted to leave” the Interrail scheme.


Launched in 1972, the Interrail pass enables European citizens to travel around 31 countries by train and ferry, while the older Eurail pass lets non-European citizens do the same.

Over the decades Interrail journeys have been a rite of passage for millions of mostly young tourists, although older people use the pass too.

On Wednesday RDG said its membership of both schemes had been ended by Eurail Group following a dispute.

RDG said it had objected to Eurail’s decision to merge its two passes into one, fearing the new passs would clash with its own Britrail pass, also aimed at non-European citizens, which covers UK rail travel and offers discounts on local tourist attractions.

But Eurail disputed this, saying RDG had pulled out of its own choice after failing to “secure a competitive position for their BritRail Pass”.

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