Before our website and apps were rebranded to Rail Europe, we were known as Loco2. Here is a little bit more about our history from starting up, stirring it up to moving up.
Loco2 was launched in 2012 by a team of committed rail travellers and environmental leaders, Jamie and Kate Andrews. A pioneering brother and sister team, they chose the name Loco2 as a play on words 'Low CO2' and ‘Locomotive’. They recognised that although they were wholly committed to travelling by train, and were experts at working out all the ins and outs of European train companies’ websites, many other people didn’t have the same knowledge. To many people at that time, train travel in Europe felt prohibitive and a bit of a pain. Kate and Jamie knew otherwise and so they combined their expertise and environmental mission to create an online booking platform which enabled people to enjoy train travel in the same way that they did.
“As train travellers we’d been frustrated when booking cross-border rail online in the past. By simplifying the booking process, we hoped to encourage more people to ditch the plane and opt for a lower-carbon journey.” Kate Andrews, co-founder Loco2
Building a strong tech and design team, plus family and friends’ investment, enabled Loco2 to grow quickly, with Kate and Jamie able to extend their booking platform from France, their first destination, to Deutsche Bahn in Germany, followed by train operators in the UK, Spain and then Italy, all pretty quickly. As Loco2 was run by a committed group of individuals with supreme train knowledge, creating a customer support team which enthused in the same way was also core to Loco2’s mission. This ever-growing team of experts was given the name ‘Travel Geeks’, a moniker which has stuck throughout its rebranding to Rail Europe.
Loco2 soon gathered a loyal following of train travellers who, like the rest of the team, wanted to embrace low carbon travel. Word spread as fast as a TGV about how efficient the website was, as well as how great and geeky the customer support team were, still are, and more regular travellers joined our growing list of rail convert customers.
“Through many lines of code and vast amounts of data, Loco2 now knits together the booking systems of rail operators in the UK and across Europe, allowing customers to book anything from a simple commute to an epic adventure.” - Jamie Andrews, co-founder Loco2
Having created a very successful business, now selling tickets to over a hundred transport providers throughout Europe, Kate and Jamie announced in June 2017 that Loco2 had been acquired by OUI.sncf, part of e-voyageurs SNCF. In December 2018, 18 months after Loco2 was acquired by OUI.sncf, the founders said their final farewell and went to pursue new adventures.
“Keeping pace with our competitors' spending posed a significant challenge for our small business, and it became clear that we would need to contemplate big changes...Having worked closely with Voyages-sncf.com since the early days, we know our new owner well, and we’re glad that Loco2 will now be closer to the heart of the European rail industry.”
In November 2019. Loco2 was rebranded to Rail Europe, as it joined forces with e-voyageurs SNCF’s international arm, one which has train booking expertise dating back over 80 years. The journey continues…