Railways agree on follow-up journey without extra costs in case of missed connection

An ICE train in Frankfurt 2013/ Roel Hemkes / Flickr.com / Wikimedia Commons

Fifteen railway companies, including Deutsche Bahn, Renfe, SNCF, Trenitalia and ÖBB, have agreed on offering rail passengers who miss their connecting international train due to a delay a place on the next possible train without additional costs, the Community of European Railway and Infrastructure Companies (CER) announces on Monday.

The deal was made within the framework of an Agreement on Journey Continuation (AJC), which is one of the initiative that the International Rail Transport Committee (CIT) has been working on as part of the CER’s Ticketing Roadmap. This European initiative is design to improve the overall passenger experience and includes the work on a continent-wide seamless ticketing system.

The condition for getting on the next possible train without extra costs is that passengers “can present a confirmation of delay”. The mentioned railway companies have now put in place the relevant procedures to set the initiative in motion.

The AJC is another important step towards improving the customer experience in international rail transport; The aim is for all railways concerned to adopt this agreement. Passengers should take for granted a simple, European sector solution for connection interruptions”, CIT secretary general Cesare Brand said in a reaction.

“With the CIT Agreement on Journey Continuation, the rail sector moves ahead with a concrete step. More will follow, also in terms of investments, after the Open Sales and Distribution Model (OSDM) – developed by the sector within the International Union of Railways (UIC) – is recognised by the European institutions and further transposed into technical regulation”, CER head Alberto Mazzola added.

There have been a flurry of statements on the ongoing efforts to improve the passenger experience in international rail transport this month, which can potentially be tied to the peppered statements made by  European Commission Executive Vice-President Frans Timmermans in late September. In a Dutch radio interview, he said he was fed up with “lack of progress”, and threatened that if the sector would not come up with its proposal for a European ticketing system, Brussels would mandate one.

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Author: Nick Augusteijn

Chief Editor, RailTech.com

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