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UK to stay in Interrail scheme after U-turn

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Written by: Emma Lunn
09/08/2019
The Rail Delivery Group (RDG) has reversed plans for the UK to leave the Interrail scheme after a consumer backlash.

Britain will remain part of the Interrail train ticket scheme after the UK’s train companies performed a U-turn just 24 hours after announcing the country’s withdrawal.

The RDG, which represents UK train operators, had said the arrangement would end in January following a dispute with Eurail Group which manages the scheme.

The decision was met with much criticism, with Transport Secretary Grant Shapps calling for a U-turn. As a result, the RDG has now announced that the UK will remain in the 47-year-old scheme.

Robert Nisbet, director of nations and regions at the Rail Delivery Group, said: “Britain’s train companies never wanted to leave Interrail. 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.”

An Interrail pass enables European citizens to travel around 31 countries – including the UK – by train and ferry on a single ticket. Eurail lets non-EU citizens do the same thing.

If the UK left the scheme, visitors to the UK would need to buy a BritRail pass to benefit from unlimited train travel in the UK, while UK-based interrailers would need to begin their journey on the Eurostar from London St Pancras instead of their home station.

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