As the coronavirus situation has developed we have, not surprisingly, seen a significant drop in demand for our main product, the European Rail Timetable, as our readers sensibly heed advice to stay at home. In addition, many of our sales outlets, both in the United Kingdom and across mainland Europe, are currently closed. As there is no clear timescale for a return to anything like normal travel conditions, the future of the publication could be under threat. Therefore we have, regrettably, had to take the decision to suspend publication of the timetable for a short period whilst countries around the world continue their efforts to reduce the spread of the virus. Our original intention was to continue publication on a monthly basis but we now accept this is not sustainable at this time.
The company will apply to use the UK government’s job retention (furlough) scheme from May 1 to June 30 during which time all commercial activities must be suspended. All existing products will continue to be available for purchase until midday on April 30. We anticipate that sales will resume on July 1.
Following our return to work in July, we expect to publish our expanded Summer edition on July 22 (in lieu of the regular August edition) with the digital version available a few days earlier, on July 16. We then hope to resume normal publication from the September digital edition. As a result, our planned May (digital), June (printed/digital) and July (digital) publications will not be produced this year. All of our subscription holders will, of course, be informed and automatically have their subscription extended to replace the cancelled editions. Customers who have made advance orders will also be contacted.
We will continue to monitor the situation closely and update our readers on our return to work on July 1 when hopefully we will be seeing an improving situation. This has been a very difficult decision to make and is only the third time regular publication has been interrupted since the timetable was first produced in 1873. However, we believe it is the right decision to ensure the timetable can continue in the long-term.
We sincerely hope our readers continue to stay safe at home during this difficult time and can resume their travels around Europe (and beyond) at some point in the not too distant future.