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All Aboard: Booking Trains for Business Travel

All Aboard: Booking Trains for Business Travel

Charles DuBow, Business Week Travel Blog

Need to be productive en route? Take the train. On most Amtrak routes, four people can spread out at a table, use their cell phones, and actually do some work.

Amtrak All routes have business-class cars and participate in an awards program, and most have cell phone-free cars. The Boston-to-Washington, D.C., Acela Express is geared specifically for the business traveler, with adjustable lighting and large trays, and Club­Acela lounges.

RailEurope Formerly Europass, it offers single- and multiple-country passes.

Railteam This European high-speed network wants to snare the airlines’ business. It offers corporate rates, and if you miss a connection between network trains, you can hop on the next one. In Britain, Germany, France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, and Austria.

Japan Railways Group Runs the country’s Shinkansen, or bullet train. At least six per hour operate between Tokyo and Shin-Osaka stations.

MTR and Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation offers train services throughout Hong Kong, the North West New Territories, and to major cities across mainland China. Express trains to the airport run every 12 minutes throughout the day.

RZD/Russian Railways operates services to 16 countries in Europe and Asia and offer 20-50% discounts to passengers traveling in a group of 5 or more people. There are regular express trains running several times a day between Moscow and St. Petersburg, and Russian Railways has recently launched a luxury Trans-Siberian Express train that runs from Moscow to Vladivostok.

Indian Railwayscombines local flare with modern day amenities. Some trains run century old scenic roots, but travelers can purchase tickets online and enjoy traveling in air-conditioned cars some of which even have cooking facilities.

TVG high-speed trains will whisk you off to your destination at record speeds of 350 miles per hour. The French trains travel from Paris to London, Zurich, Frankfort, and other destinations in eastern France, western Germany, Switzerland and Luxemburg. You can book tickets as early as 90 days prior to departure.

Shinkansen or the Bullet Train runs through Japan at 180 miles per hour, making stops in all major cities. The trains also run with high frequency—6 trains per hour between Tokyo and Shin-Osaka Stations during daytime hours.

P&O Ferries operate ferry crossings to Spain, France, Belgium, and Holland. Fares depend on the destination and duration of travel, and you can check out the website for special offers. Day trips to France start around $50.

Tallink Group runs ferries between Finland, Sweden, Estonia, Latvia and Germany. A one-way ticket from Helsinki to Tallinn, Estonia will cost between $50 and $60. During the summer months there are five daily ferry crossings between the two destinations.

Chinese Railways connects nearly every city in China. There is no English language version of the official railway website but you can find schedules and book tickets through independent travel agents and websites.

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