Passenger railway operators in the U.K. have struck a deal to stay inside the Interrail pan-European ticketing scheme just a day after announcing they would leave following a dispute with the company that runs the system.
“We are pleased to be able to tell passengers that we have reached agreement and will be remaining part of both the Interrail and Eurail passes,” the Rail Delivery Group (RDG), which represents British operators, tweeted on Thursday.
Interrail, which today offers tickets for 31 countries to European residents, has been running since the 1970s. The Eurail pass is available to those not based in Europe. Both are managed by the Dutch-based Eurail Group.
The split between the RDG and Eurail came after U.K. companies stopped taking part in a trial program for the Eurail ticket. British companies wanted to “secure a competitive position for their BritRail Pass,” which offers travellers tickets for the U.K. network, according to Eurail’s General Manager Carlo Boselli. RDG claimed it had been pushed out by Eurail.
The U-turn came minutes after recently-appointed British Transport Minister Grant Shapps called the move “counterproductive” and urged the RDG to to “reverse their decision.”
“Britain’s train companies never wanted to leave Interrail,” the RDG said just before announcing a deal had been reached. “Following the strong reaction to news of our departure we and Eurail, the company which runs Interrail, renewed talks.”
Eurail said it sold more than 300,000 Interrail tickets in 2018.