Europe View: June 2020

EUROPE
 

OPEN ACCESS OPERATIONS WILT

The coronavirus in Europe has led to largescale reduction or removal of open access rail operators’ services across the continent.

In Germany, Flixtrain announced suspension of all services from 19 March. Around a month later Flixtrain’s main German operating partner BahnTouristikExpress GmbH (BTE), largely owned by American firm Railroad Development Corporation (RDC), informed its employees that the company’s partnership with Flixtrain would not restart once services resume after the coronavirus shutdown and a statutory employee redundancy / reassignment consultation was begun. It appears Flixtrain decided to change the terms of its agreements with operating suppliers and RDC could not accept the new deal on offer. It is likely this deal was much closer to the simple sub-contractor model used in the long-distance bus industry, which is largely price driven.

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