Published by Railfuture
Railwatch is the quarterly magazine of Railfuture, which is free to members.
Railwatch 074 - December 1997
By Trevor Garrod
RDS has organised group visits by train to the Continent since the opening of the Channel Tunnel three years ago.
The latest such visit was to Strasbourg in eastern France, with 16 members leaving London Waterloo on the 10.23 Eurostar on 1 October for a five-day trip.
A swift run in a well-filled train brought us to a Paris in which, because of a smog alert, only cars with registration plates ending in uneven numbers were allowed to operate on that day. In compensation, public transport was made free throughout the city, and the surrounding Ile de France region, for the day.
Four hours by express train brought us to Strasbourg, where we were booked into an hotel on the impressive station square. On the next two days, members enjoyed guided tours of the European Parliament and the depot of the Compagnie des Transports Strasbourgeois.
At the latter we were told about the well-designed tramway opened across the city in 1994, with its Derby-built vehicles, and plans for a second line to be open by the end of the year 2000.
An informal meeting, with excellent Alsace wine, was held with representatives of local public transport users' organisations. Several members also made the journey south to Mulhouse, to visit the French National Railway Museum. We also found day ranger tickets costing just over £2 very good value as they gave unlimited travel on the Strasbourg trams and buses.
Thirteen members of the party used a group ticket to make a day trip to the German city of Karlsruhe, an hour's journey north-east of Strasbourg.
Armed with a day ranger ticket costing just over £5, we sampled the city's extensive tramway network, including some dual-voltage vehicles which, since 1992, have run on to the Deutsche Bahn conventional railway eastward through the hills to Bretten - a small town where we enjoyed a meal in a local hostelry.
We returned to the United Kingdom with lasting memories of what is being done in two of our European neighbour countries to win passengers from road to rail. A full report of the visit has been compiled and is obtainable at £2 (post free) from RDS General Secretary Trevor Garrod, 15 Clapham Road, Lowestoft NR32 1RQ (cheques payable to Railway Development Society).
The next trip will be to the Netherlands.
Note: contact details (postal and email addresses, along with telephone numbers) in old editions of Railwatch out of date. Click CONTACT US for latest contact details.
Railfuture is an independent, voluntary group representing rail users in Britain with 20,000 affiliated and individual members. It is not funded by train companies, political parties or trade unions, and all members have an equal say.
Railfuture campaigns for cheap and convenient rail services for everyone; better links for buses, bikes and pedestrians; policies to get more heavy lorries on to rail; new lines, stations and freight terminals. In short, a better rail service and a bigger rail system for both passengers and freight.
Railfuture is pro-rail but not anti-road or anti-air. However, we campaign for a switch from road and air to rail. We do not interfere in the running of the railway - we campaign for the quality and range of services provided, not how they are delivered. We are the only champion of all rail users.
Railfuture is the campaigning name of Railfuture Ltd.
A not-for-profit Company Limited by Guarantee.
Registered in England and Wales No. 05011634.
Registered Office: Edinburgh House, 1-5 Bellevue Road, Clevedon, North Somerset BS21 7NP (for legal correspondence only).
All other correspondence to 24 Chedworth Place, Tattingstone, Suffolk IP9 2ND
© Copyright Railfuture Ltd 2021.
Railfuture is happy for extracts to be used by journalists, researchers and students. We would, however, appreciate a mention of Railfuture in any article, website or programme. Except with Railfuture's express written permission, no one should distribute or commercially exploit the content.
Privacy StatementClick Privacy to read Railfuture's GDPR statement on how we treat your data.
This site does not use its own cookies, although Google Analytics does. The site is maintained for Railfuture by Billing Specialists Ltd.