As low-value high-velocity trains unfold throughout France, leading European rail experts have warned that the idea risks “undermining” and “fragmenting” the idea of a rail community.
Ouigo – the low-fee brand for French Railways (SNCF) – is increasing on 6 July with each day trains among Paris and Toulouse. The brand new inter-town hyperlink has a fare of €sixty five for the first departure, as compared with €121 on everyday SNCF trains.
As The Independent stated while the concept becomes launched in 2013, Ouigo introduces the 3rd magnificence to rail tour in France.
At the time of the release, SNCF changed into facing increasing opposition from easyJet and Ryanair on home hyperlinks.
Many ideas from budget airlines had been included. First magnificence has been removed, with 100 greater seats squeezed into an eight-carriage double-deck Train à Grande Vitesse (TGV), an growth of 18 according to the cent.
Passengers need to ebook on line and print out their ticket or deliver it on the phone. Fares start at €10 one way, but for on-the-day purchases, they can value ten instances as lots.
Since the launch services of Lyon, Marseille, and Montpellier, the network has elevated to encompass Bordeaux, Lille, Nice, Strasbourg, and many other towns.
Journeys are as quick as with ordinary TGVs, but “secondary” rail hubs are used for lots services: in the Paris region, departure points include Marne-Los Angeles-Vallée (the station for Disneyland), the suburb of Massy 9 miles south of the center, and Charles de Gaulle airport.
In Lyon, the airport station, St Exupéry, is also utilized in favor of the two metropolis-center options.
When Ouigo started, its links had been additional to current SNCF offerings, designed to lure passengers from budget airways and the roads. But the “new” Paris-Toulouse train is, in reality, a current downgraded departure.
As Ouigo tickets can’t be blended, for example with Eurostar, rail specialists warn that the flow jeopardizes connectivity.
Nicky Gardner, co-creator of Europe by way of Rail, stated: “The complete factor of the rail is connectivity and versatility.
“But Ouigo’s point-to-factor business model hives off some plum routes and so undermines the entire concept of the network.”
Mark Smith, the founder of the Seat61.Com global rail internet site, describes the concept as “a budget airline on rails.”
“This reduces the frequency of the principle SNCF TGV product and fragments the existing network,” he said.