Celebrating 80 Years: Rail Travel in 1958

European Railways Plan Universal Ticket For Sale to Western Hemisphere TravelersSince this summer, we've seen a mushrooming of development within the rail travel industry in an alternative to air travel - among them ACP Rail International, the California High-Speed Rail Project Irish Rail, Japan's bullet train, and Rail Europe Inc. Is it really possible this was the dominant means of transportation, pre-1960's?

In 1958, cross-continental travel was just getting under way. Britain, Ireland and Continental railroads were in talks to create a ticket operating on major railroads in western Europe, and the notion of a cross-country, "universal ticket" was considered a "bold" means to compete with airlines. Air travel won't dominate the travel industry for a few more years, and so this July, details are still under wraps. (Read the full article here.) Fast-forward 52 years to 2010, as rail travel continues its journey, as a means of transportation as with Eurail or on a more nostalgic trip on American Railway Explorer aboard the luxury line's vintage cars from the 1950s.

As we celebrate our 80th anniversary, we're taking a look at what was happening in the industry in the past and asking agents to share their thoughts on what has changed in the industry up until the present. So please share your thoughts by posting a comment below, writing us at our Facebook page, sending a tweet to our Twitter page or by engaging in a discussion in real time at AgentNation (the only social community online for all kinds of travel agents, which certainly wasn't around 80 years ago). We want to hear from you.

And while you're here, learn more about how we're celebrating eight decades of covering the travel industry for travel professionals.


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