Is the low-cost plane model is coming to a railway near you, to compete with or even replace National operators
There are now 2 new competitors to Renfe on main routes in Spain, part operated by Trenitalia and SNCF.
SNCF now operate some TGV routes as Second Class only Ouigo brand ( via a shell company I believe).
I have read of some trains in Czech Rep (I think) operated by Arriva.
Most of us will have seen Italo trains in Italy.
And so on…..
Many of these are outside the pass network .and offer low cost fares.
Many of these are owned at least in part by national operators (SNCF even operate in France as a competitor to itself).
Most, if not all, of these do have alternatives in the pass network, but is that enough to keep us interrailing?
For Newbies this will cause even more confusion, getting worse not better.
For regular interrailers, particularly those who like to go in a free from schedule way, is it an issue that you are finding causes you problems.
Or is pay as you go rather than interrailing the way of the future?
Personally, as a retiree with a bit of spare cash, I am happy using IR as a cost effective way of civilised land cruising, travelling long and fast in first class, staying in decent hotels and with well planned reserved seats, whilst always having a backup just in case.
Pay as you go + a pass does not appeal to me for the 2000 + km adventures we have started doing.
So will this surge in trains outside the network eventually kill off the traditional backpacker model of Interrail?
Or will it force Eurail/Interrail to adjust its pass prices?
Or any other thoughts?