It's an exciting day at Loco2 headquarters, as we announce the launch of German rail on loco2.com.
Today we're thrilled to announce that we've partnered with the German national rail operator, Deutsche Bahn. This means we can now sell the full range of trains to Germany, including local, national and international trains.
It also means that we're the first UK company to offer tickets online from SNCF and Deutsche Bahn, the two largest rail operators in Europe, in one place.
This partnership is a big milestone for Loco2, since connecting multiple rail operators into one booking system is an important step towards making booking a train in Europe as easy as booking a flight. And for our users, it means access to cheap train tickets to Germany on a no nonsense, easy-to-use search engine.
Here's a taste of what the partnership has to offer:
We've got Germany covered
Until now, our coverage in Germany has been sparse. We had some trains in Germany, but not at the best prices. Now, the vast majority of German train tickets are available on Loco2, including cheap tickets and special offers.
We're most excited getting access to London to Berlin trains, since we can now get our hands on what's called London Spezial or Saver tickets, which start at just £50 (€59) one-way for a journey that includes Eurostar and onward ICE trains. But that's just the beginning. As we get to grips with everything we've got on offer, you'll be the first to know.
More print at home tickets
All German trains tickets are now available exclusively to print-at-home. Finally, the railways are catching up with budget airlines when it comes to convenient ticket delivery. It's what we always dreamed of...
Trains via Germany to...
Our coverage of trains to France was already excellent, but further afield we had limited availability. The connection to Deutsche Bahn not only allows us to sell all trains to Germany but also enables us to sell tickets to destinations beyond Germany.
It's now possible to find trains starting in Germany heading to Poland, Sweden, Denmark, the Czech Republic and beyond, giving access to lots more fares within Europe. Combine these with a Eurostar from London and you could be taking Scandinavia or Eastern Europe by storm on your next traincation.
Two booking systems, one website
Historically, booking trains in Europe has been particularly tricky when multiple rail companies operate the same route. Take trains from Paris to Munich by way of example:
This is a cross-border journey with trains running day and night some operated by the French rail operator, SNCF, others by Deutsche Bahn. Neither company sells tickets for its competitor's trains, and in some cases omit them from the timetable altogether so an unsuspecting traveller might simply not know the other trains exist. Not only that, but even if you’re in the know, price and availability varies between competing websites, making booking a headache.
Our partnership with both SNCF and Deutsche Bahn enables us to show all the options for routes like Paris to Munich side-by-side. You can adjust the time of day to view day or night trains, and pick and mix tickets to your preference.
You told us that you're not too worried about which company operates the trains, and choose on the basis or price and convenience. The results of our survey about booking train tickets online told us that you want clear information on tickets, timetables and prices. We hope you agree this is a step in the right direction.