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Rail News: Passenger Rail

France's SNCF, Continental Airlines form air/rail codeshare partnership

On Feb. 1, French rail operator La Societe Nationale des Chemins de fer Francais (SNCF) and Continental Airlines plan to launch an air/rail codeshare program designed to enable travelers at Paris/Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG) to transfer seamlessly between Continental transatlantic flights and SNCF TGV high-speed rail services to and from 13 French cities.

Under agreement terms, Continental will place its designator code (CO*) on SNCF TGV trains for connecting itineraries between Paris/CDG and the following French cities: Angers St. Laud; Avignon TGV; Bordeaux St. Jean; Le Mans; Lille Europe; Lyon Part Dieu; Marseille St. Charles; Montpellier; Nantes; Nimes; Poitiers; Rennes; and St. Pierre de Corps/Tours. As a result, travelers will be able to transfer at CDG between Continental flights and SNCF TGV trains.

Continental operates three flights a day to Paris/CDG: twice-daily non-stop service from New York/Newark (one Boeing 777 and one Boeing 767-200ER), and a daily Boeing 777 non-stop service from Houston.

SNCF operates a TGV high-speed train network serving 140 French destinations and carrying more than 80 million passengers a year. From the Paris/CDG TGV rail station, more than 50 daily trains serve 28 rail stations in France, London and Brussels. TGV trains travel on a network of high-speed rail corridors that accommodate operating speeds in excess of 180 mph.

In March 2002, Continental and Amtrak launched an air/rail codeshare agreement, enabling travelers to transfer easily between Amtrak's Northeast U.S. rail service in four cities and Continental flights at the airline's New York/Newark hub.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 1/13/2003