Online travel agency ebookers is to start selling domestic and international rail tickets for the first time after entering into a partnership with SilverRail Technologies.
It plans to offer stand-alone rail tickets as well as packaged rail journeys including hotels and other products from next year.
Ebookers' rail search and booking will be powered by SilverCore, a global rail platform developed by SilverRail. It says this has removed the complexity of selling international rail which previously prevented travel agents from selling train tickets online.
"Rail is fast becoming a popular mode of travel and we are excited by the prospect of being able to offer it to our customers across Europe," said ebookers president Tamer Tamar.
"SilverRail has been able to solve issues around various complex rail ticketing systems, and the addition of rail to our product portfolio enhances our "book easier. travel happier" value proposition."
ebookers will have access to all of SilverRail"s global connections, which currently include the UK, US, Canada, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg. Additional rail operators across Europe will be added in time.
"Everyone is talking about rail as the way forward, yet none of the major online travel agents are able to sell it. There are a few one-off solutions that integrate a single rail operator, but this will be the first time multiple rail operators in multiple countries will be available through a single search," said SilverRail CEO Aaron Gowell.
By Linsey McNeill
Thursday, November 17, 2011