When James Dunne was appointed to the CEO position of Rail Plus in 2014, he was immediately struck by the sheer practicality that rail travel presented. Coming from a professional background working with airlines, he was unaware of just how easy and quick travelling by train could be as a means of getting from point A to point B in many countries around the world.
“When I was researching the role at Rail Plus, I read that 80% of the corporate market between London and Paris travelled by train and, as you can imagine for someone who has a long history working with airlines, that was a depressing thought,” James laughs. “Having experienced the rail product myself, I can now appreciate why that is that case. What struck me was the opportunity to really raise the awareness of rail, because many people, particularly in the corporate sphere, may not have utilised the high-speed rail journey before.”
As a dedicated international rail specialist general sales agent, Rail Plus works to service the national retail and wholesale markets in Australia and New Zealand by determining the best options for travellers. It promotes the niche travel sector as a great way to get around locally and overseas, and has a strong following of supporters.
“Let me use the Eurostar example, of travelling from London to Paris. From city centre to city centre, it takes two hours and twenty minutes. Let’s contrast that to an air journey. First you have to travel out to an airport, go through the extensive security, and then your ability to communicate with the outside world is extremely limited. When you get on a Eurostar, the beauty is in its simplicity. You get on, you sit down, and you go. For that two hours and twenty minutes all the way to Paris, you can be entirely productive as there is no ‘switch to in-flight mode’ on a high-speed train. It’s also a very relaxing and pleasant way to travel. The newest Eurostar trains now entering service will have free wi-fi in all cabins.”