It’s The Rail Thing


A group of about 30 travel agents and tour operators were briefed on the latest developments for Rail Europe during a presentation in Toronto this week.

Rail Europe’s president and CEO, Frederic Langlois provided the Toronto area travel trade types with an inside look at the latest joint venture of the French and Spanish railroads, as well as offering insights on how working with Rail Europe can help agents better serve their customers.

Launched a year ago, the new Renfe/SNCF high-speed rail service links Paris with Barcelona – plus a host of other cities on the line – allowing passengers to make the trip in just over six hours.

Langlois — joined during the presentation by Alejandra Vitoria of Elipsos, Sonia Courrier of Elipsos, Melanie Albaric of Rail Europe, Eric Bacon of Rail Europe and a number of tourist board representatives – also talked about Rail Europe’s long history serving the Canadian market.

Rail Europe sold its first pass in Canada in 1959 and since then its business of selling the products of over 50 rail partners in Canada has been good – very good, indeed.

Describing Rail Europe as a one-stop shop, Langlois noted that the company’s Canadian sales are $30 million a year, with 40% of that revenue being generated out of the Ontario market.

And along with selling its partners rail passes, Langlois said that Rail Europe’s sales of individual tickets — both paper and e-tickets – has been steadily increasing.

He pointed out that because Rail Europe is a one-stop shop, “you don’t have to deal with multiple vendors.”

With Europe shrinking – with open borders and common currency – taking the train is a great way to get around, Langlois pointed out.

And the new joint French and Spanish rail link between Paris and Barcelona (a 6 hour and 15 minute trip) opens up a host of new travel options, with 21 city connections on the route.

Along with the Barcelona-Paris route, there is also service between Toulouse, Lyon, Marseille and Barcelona, to name but a few – and all of that service is from city centre to city centre.

Seen in the photo, from l to r, are Sonia Courrier, Frederic Langlois, Alejandra Vitoria and Eric Bacon.

For more information on the new Renfe/SNCF joint venture rail link between Paris and Barcelona, go to .