All open access articles

  • Proxima Alstom Avelia Horizon high speed train impression (Image Proxima)

    High speed train start-up Proxima announces €1bn launch plan


    FRANCE: High speed rail start-up Proxima has announced a €1bn plan backed by investor Antin Infrastructure Partners to acquire 12 Alstom trainsets and launch open access services from Bordeaux, Nantes, Rennes and Angers to Paris. Proxima has been established by former Voyages SNCF CEO Rachel Picard, ...

  • Midnight Trains

    Midnight Trains drops plans for hotel quality sleeper train network


    FRANCE: Start-up Midnight Trains has abandoned its ambitious plan to develop a network of premium overnight trains offering hotel-standard accommodation on European routes of up to 1 500 km from Paris, after being unable to raise the necessary funding. Co-founder Adrien Aumont said the rail sector’s ...

  • Shadow Transport Secretary, Louise Haigh visits the Hull Trains new Learning & Development Academy
    Rail Business UK

    Haigh confirms open access operators’ role in Labour’s rail plans


    UK: ‘Open access operators like these will play a role in the future of our railways under Labour’, Shadow Transport Secretary Louise Haigh said when she officially opened Hull Trains’ Learning & Development Academy. 

  • MTR Express train (Photo VR)

    VR completes acquisition of MTR Express


    SWEDEN: Finnish national operator VR Group completed its acquisition of MTR Corp’s Stockholm – Göteborg open access passenger operator MTR Express on May 30. Integration of MTRX into VR’s long-distance operations will begin immediately, with the 130 employees now part of VR’s inter-city business unit. Services ...

  • Virgin Trains train
    Rail Business UK

    Virgin plans return to rail as an open access operator


    UK: Virgin Group has applied to the Office of Rail & Road for train paths which would enable it to return to the rail network as an open access operator.

  • Rochdale station
    Rail Business UK

    FirstGroup’s Lumo seeks to launch Rochdale – London open access service


    UK: FirstGroup has applied to operate Rochdale – London open access passenger trains, more than 20 years after a short-lived through service ran between the two destinations. On May 17 FirstGroup said that it had applied to the Office of Rail & Road to launch six ...

  • Ouigo to Valladolid photo Valladolid  city hall (1)

    ‘Price dumping’ row mars Ouigo’s latest expansion


    SPAIN: SNCF’s low-cost subsidiary Ouigo has further expanded its operations in Spain, launching Madrid – Valladolid services on April 19, consisting of two return trips per day. Single fares start at €9, and initially 14 000 tickets per week have been made available. The operator could ...

  • fr-Trenitalia-Paris-Milano-launch-JAnne-11

    Trenitalia seeks more business in France


    EUROPE: Italian national operator Trenitalia is seeking to expand its presence in the French market by growing both its domestic high speed services and by providing more international links.

  • Railcoop XTER ACC M 4

    Railcoop on brink of liquidation as financing gap stymies restructuring hope


    FRANCE: Open access co-operative Railcoop is expected to be formally liquidated on April 29, the company President Nicolas Debaisieux has confirmed. The collapse of the co-operative comes after it was placed into judicial administration on October 16 for a period of up to six months. With ...

  • Praha hl n station

    ČD and RegioJet competition dispute settled


    CZECH REPUBLIC: National operator ČD and Open access company RegioJet have agreed to end all legal proceedings relating to a dispute about competition on the Praha – Ostrava line Under the so-called Falcon Case, RegioJet had sought damages of up to KC717m, alleging that ČD had ...

  • RegioJet_Traxx_MS3_Locomotives_2

    RegioJet to launch night train to Ukraine


    EUROPE: RegioJet has opened ticket sales for a night train service between Praha and the rail hub at Chop in western Ukraine’s Zakarpattia Oblast. The operator says this will be the first 100% commercially operated service between the European Union and Ukraine. The daily service is ...

  • WSMR Route Map
    Rail Business UK

    Alstom and SLC plan to enter the open access passenger market


    UK: Alstom and SLC Rail have spoken exclusively to Rail Business UK about their plans to launch an open access train service between London Euston and Wrexham which would make use of the latest technology, seek to exploit new business opportunities and benefit from changes in the passenger market.

  • Lumo at London King's Cross (Photo Lumo)
    Rail Business UK

    FirstGroup’s open access performing ahead of expectations


    UK: Trading in FirstGroup’s First Rail division has been slightly ahead of expectations due to strong performance at the open access businesses, the company said in a pre-close trading update. The announcement on March 12 covers the period since the half year results were published on ...

  • Muso Italo

    MSC’s purchase of Italo stake approved


    ITALY: The European Commission has approved Mediterranean Shipping Co’s planned acquisition of a 50% stake in open access high speed train operator Italo-NTV from Global Infrastructure Partners. The transaction announced in October was examined under the normal merger control procedure, with the Commission concluding that there ...

  • Stirling station (Photo ScotRail)
    Rail Business UK

    London – Stirling open access train service approved


    UK: The Office of Rail & Road has given the go-ahead for Grand Union Trains to launch an open access passenger service between London and Stirling. Access rights have been approved from June 2025 to June 2030. ORR said the services would use existing off-lease diesel ...

  • ilisto logo

    High speed rail start-up Kevin Speed signs access agreement


    FRANCE: Aspiring high speed train operator Kevin Speed has signed a track access framework agreement with infrastructure manager SNCF Réseau, and hopes to launch its first services under the Ilisto brand by the end of 2028.

  • Lumo at London King's Cross (Photo Lumo)
    Rail Business UK

    Lumo plans to extend open access services to Glasgow


    UK: Open access train operator Lumo is has announced plans to extend some of its London – Edinburgh services to Glasgow. The FirstGroup-owned company is working with Transport Scotland and infrastructure manager Network Rail to agree final route options and timings ahead of an application for ...

  • MTR Express train (Photo VR)

    Finland’s VR to acquire Swedish open access operator


    SWEDEN: Finnish national train operator VR Group has agreed to acquire MTR Nordic’s Swedish open access passenger business MTR Express. MTRX launched open access services between Stockholm and Göteborg in 2015. It now runs 18 services a day using six Stadler Flirt X74 EMUs and with ...

  • fr-first-Nightjet-from-Berlin-arrives-in-Paris-C-Masse
    In depth

    Europe: Overnight trains are back in vogue


    With the launch of next-generation rolling stock on ÖBB’s international overnight trains and the revival of a Paris – Berlin service, the stage is set for a night train renaissance in Europe. Toma Bačić reports.

  • Hull Trains Hitachi Class 802 (Photo: First Group)
    Rail Business UK

    FirstGroup plans London – Sheffield open access train service


    UK: FirstGroup has announced plans to launch an open access passenger train service between London and Sheffield. The first phase of an application was submitted to industry regulator the Office of Rail & Road on January 5. Consultation will follow, along with discussions with Network Rail ...