The state governments of Victoria and South Australia have agreed to subsidise the Melbourne - Adelaide Overland operated by Great Southern Railway to the tune of $A1·5m a year. From this month the frequency has been cut from five to four days a week; with the journey time reduced to 10h 30min by track upgrading, one set of stock can cover the 24 h round trip.
The scenic Halifax - Sydney line in Nova Scotia will host passenger trains again this summer. From May 9, VIA Rail Canada is running a weekly tourist train, the Bras d’Or, with panoramic windows and a dome car. The C$210 fare includes meals.
Wagons-Lits owner Groupe Accor may pull-out of its train catering contract with French National Railways before it expires in 2003 (RG 4.00 p221) following a dispute over a planned 10% reduction in jobs. The company had been working to eliminate its subsidy from SNCF, with food price cuts producing a 30% increase in business over the past two years, but has now said that it would rather withdraw from the contract and make 2500 staff redundant than negotiate under threat of a strike.
SNCF and American Airlines have extended their 1998 agreement for through ticketing between AA flights at Paris Roissy airport and Lyon via TGV services from Roissy Charles de Gaulle. The facility is to be extended to eight more cities: Angers, Bordeaux, Le Mans, Lille, Nantes, Poitiers, Rennes and Tours.
Eurostar is extending availability of its popular £29 ’Night Clubber’ Saturday night fare, through to the end of September. The summer timetable starting on May 28 adds a new later Sunday evening departure from Paris to London at 21.37.
Spanish rail infrastructure authority GIF is seeking concessionaires to take part in development at the new Zaragoza Delicias station, where two hotels, a business centre and a sports complex are planned to complement the facilities under construction to serve the Madrid - Barcelona high-speed line.
DAN Bus is running feeder services to Tel Aviv’s central station using vehicles painted in Israel Railways’ livery and designated ’DAN-Rakevet’ (DAN Railways). If successful, similar services may be introduced at other stations. In another experiment, a quarter-hourly minibus link is now running between Haifa Central station and the Carmelit funicular, while Egged Bus is redrafting its Haifa timetables to provide better interchange with trains at Hof-Hacarmel station.
Electronic access gates were commissioned at a further five London Underground stations in April as part of the LT Prestige smart card ticketing scheme.
With opening on July 2 of the Øresund link, one return Hamburg - København EuroCity train will be extended to Malm