Rail Europe unveils Thalys grand prize giveaway

Rail Europe is inviting you to participate in their Thalys grand prize giveaway, exclusive to Canadian travel agents, and has offered an update on European high speed rail networks for 2017.

With multiple new high-speed rail projects under construction in 2017, traveling by train is quickly becoming the fastest and most comfortable way to discover popular destinations across Europe. Rail Europe, the largest distributor of European rail products worldwide, offers Canadians the opportunity to experience the convenience of high-speed rail travel on the newest lines:

In Switzerland, the St. Gotthard Base Tunnel that just opened last December is a game changer for connecting northern and southern Europe. The largest and deepest tunnel in the world is an engineering masterpiece. It took 17 years to complete, tunneling under the Alps to connect the north and south of Europe. Swiss Federal Railways travel beneath the mountain in just twenty minutes, connecting the cosmopolitan cities of Zurich, Switzerland and Milan, Italy in just three hours and thirty minutes.

In France, connections toward Brittany, and between Paris and Bordeaux will be faster than ever. This Spring 2017, a new train route in northwest Brittany will begin operation, reducing travel time between Paris and Rennes to one hour and twenty-five minutes – an entire thirty minutes faster than the current train trip between the cities.

The trip to the southwest of France will also be more swift and smooth. The Tours-Bordeaux route is currently under construction and scheduled for completion in mid-2017. Once complete, the trip between Paris and Bordeaux will be reduced by an hour, going from three to two hours.

In Germany, the vibrant cities of Berlin and Munich will be connected in just 4 hours! Set to be completed in December 2017, trains will travel along the route at 300km per hour, shortening the journey to just under four hours. Previously the trip between the two cities took more than six.

And in Spain, you will soon be able to travel from Madrid to northern Spain on board high-speed trains, where travelers can explore the cities of Oviedo, Gijón and their surroundings. The train currently reaches the city of León. To extend the line to the northern region of Asturias, Spain must complete construction of the complex “Variante de Pajares” tunnels.

The Pajares tunnels will be the fifth largest of the world, the third deepest and the second most complex after the Gotthard Tunnel. The Madrid-Oviedo route currently takes five hour by train, but once the high-speed route begins operation, the journey will only last three hours and fifteen minutes, while the Madrid-Gijón route will only take three hours and thirty minutes.

These are just several of the high-speed rail projects underway in Europe for 2017. Rail Europe currently offers the largest selection of high-speed train tickets and rail passes for all over Europe.

And to celebrate the high-speed experience, as well as the IIHF World Ice Hockey Championships that will take place from May 5 - 21 in Paris and Cologne, Rail Europe in cooperation with its Thalys partners, invite travel agents to participate in an exclusive offer just for agents in Canada:

Simply book $250 or more in Thalys train tickets for your clients between February 15 – April 15, 2017 to be entered to win one of 17 gift cards OR a grand prize trip for 2 to Paris and Cologne. Winners to be announced April 20, 2017.

The Grand Prize Trip Includes:

• Round-trip Economy Air for 2 from Canada to Paris

• 6-nights in 3-star hotels or better in Paris and Cologne

• Round-trip 1st class Thalys train tickets Paris to Cologne

• Tickets to IIHF World Championship games in Paris and Cologne

Please see terms and conditions on agent.raileurope.ca.

Rail Europe's Regional Sales Director for Canada, Rares Dumitru, can be reached at rdumitru@raileurope.com or by phone at 1 905 4922265.

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