Fares for long-distance rail travel in Germany have dropped for the first time in 17 years, as climate protection measures aimed at making train travel more attractive came into effect with the new year. Travellers taking trips of more than 50km (31 miles) on Deutsche Bahn’s Intercity Express trains can look forward to fare decreases of 10%. The company is also cutting prices on special offers and additional services, such as transporting bicycles. The trend in Germany stands in contrast to the situation in the UK, where millions of commuters face a 2.7% rise in ticket prices from 2 January. Call for rethink on rail fares after latest above-inflation increase Read more The cheaper tickets are a result of Deutsche Bahn passing on to customers the government’s cut in value-added tax on rail travel, from 19% to 7%. The UK does not charge VAT on rail fares. The company said it believed the price drop would bring in another 5 million passengers per year. Germany’s main provider of rail services is a private company in which the state is the single shareholder. Plans to sell off up to 49.9% of the company to private providers were abandoned with the […]

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