It was four months ago today that we published a press release from Thomas Cook announcing the demise of the company’s publishing division — a blow to travel publishing and particularly to travellers who valued the company’s European Rail Timetable.
Over recent weeks we have liaised closely with the team of compilers who so ably looked after timetable production at Thomas Cook. We have followed their efforts to resurrect the European Rail Timetable and a number of other rail-related products previously published by Thomas Cook — among them our own Europe by Rail book. So it is with a big smile that we can today formally announce that a new company has been created. A press release from Thomas Cook today confirms the handover. The full text of that press release is reproduced below.
Nicky Gardner and Susanne Kries
1 November 2013
Thomas Cook UK & Ireland has today confirmed it has reached an agreement with a previous member of staff for the rights to its iconic European Rail Timetable. The timetable will now be published by John Potter, a former member of Thomas Cook’s Timetable Editorial Team. A re-launch of the timetable by John’s company European Rail Timetable Limited is planned for February 2014.
Speaking about the agreement John Potter said: “I’m really excited at the prospect of taking this independent business forward, and hope that our new team can build on the success enjoyed by the ‘Thomas Cook European Rail Timetable’ during its illustrious 140 year history. I would like to thank Thomas Cook for its co-operation in making this happen.”
First known as “Cook’s Continental Time Tables” and published continuously since 1873 (the only exception during World War II), the unique Thomas Cook European Rail Timetable was seen as the ‘rail-bible’ for a wide audience of business and leisure travellers, as well as rail enthusiasts of all ages across the globe. The only publication of its kind, it was renowned for providing schedules for over 50,000 train, bus and ferry connections in over 5,000 locations throughout Europe and beyond.
Earlier this year Thomas Cook UK & Ireland announced its intention to focus on core products, signalling the end of the company’s publishing arm. Commenting on today’s agreement Peter Fankhauser, CEO for the UK & Continental Europe at Thomas Cook said: “We know customers were disappointed that the timetable stopped and, whilst publishing isn’t part of our transformation strategy, we felt it was important to support John with his new venture and continue the tradition started by our founder. We wish John and his team every success for the future.”
Other members of the former Thomas Cook Editorial Team, David Turpie and Chris Woodcock will be employed by European Rail Timetable Limited. Between them, John, Chris and David worked on the Timetable for more than 46 years.
Notes to editors:
Under the new agreement all licences for the timetable will be transferred from Thomas Cook to European Rail Timetable Limited.
The new timetable will not use the Thomas Cook brand, however it will contain the same information.
August 2013 was the final edition of the Thomas Cook European Rail Timetable.
This is the only timetable of its kind in publication today.
Contact details for the new timetable will be:
About The Authors
Nicky Gardner and Susanne Kries
Nicky and Susanne manage hidden europe, a Berlin-based editorial bureau that supplies text and images to media across Europe. Together they edit hidden europe magazine. Nicky and Susanne are dedicated slow travellers and the authors of the book Europe by Rail: The Definitive Guide. The 17th edition of that book will be published in mid-April 2022. You'll find a list of outlets that sell the book on this website.