Decision for Britain to leave Interrail scheme reversed after 24 hours

Britain’s train operators will continue to accept Interrail and Eurail passes Credit: Danny Lawson/PA

Britain's membership of the Interrail and EU train travel schemes will continue - just 24 hours after it was announced the UK would leave the project.

Industry body the Rail Delivery Group (RDG) said it renewed talks with Eurail Group, the company running the programmes, following "strong reaction to news of our departure".

They were able to reach an agreement which means Britain "will be remaining part of both the Interrail and Eurail passes".

The tickets allow holders to travel by train across Europe.

Interrail passes are for European citizens, while Eurail passes are for tourists from the rest of the world.

The decision to continue as a member of Interrail comes just 24 hours after the RDG announced Britain would be leaving.

RDG had said its members would stop participating in the programmes because it believed the separate BritRail pass is “the best option” for visitors to Britain.

On Wednesday, RDG director of nations and regions Robert Nisbet said: "The rail industry boosts British tourism and working together, rail companies are offering the best option for tourists with BritRail, which is recommended by Visit Britain, offers two for one deals on 200 attractions across the country and includes the convenience of mobile tickets.

"Although the Eurail Group has ended our decades-long membership of Interrail since we stopped trialling Eurail passes, British people will feel no difference - they can still buy an Interrail pass, get the Eurostar and travel by train across Europe."

Interrail (for European citizens) and Eurail (for the rest of the world) passes entitle holders to travel across as many as 31 countries.

Buying a pass to explore Europe by rail was seen as a rite of passage for many young people until the dawn of budget airlines.

Eurail Group, which manages the schemes, ended the membership of Britain’s rail firms after they chose to stop selling Eurail passes.

Britain has been part of Interrail since its launch in 1972.