23-4-15 Autoslaap, the Dutch company that operated the direct weekly motorail service between Den Bosch in Holland and Livorno announced on Tuesday 21st April that it was discontinuing the service. They issued this press release:
"EETC Vakantietreinen BV Delft, the Dutch operator from car trains to LIVORNO, ALESSANDRIA & KOPER has decided to stop their activities. The car trains for this summer will no longer be continued.
It is not possible any more to write black figures and as a private company we can’t afford more losses.
Foreign Railways decided to raise their tariffs with almost 30% for the usage of locomotive and infrastructure.
Also ProRail, the Dutch rail service provider, increased their rates with 50% for 2015.
The current rate of the Swiss franc didn’t help, it increased 28%
We can’t charge our customers with an additional few hundred Euro’s more for their holidays.
We’re unfortunate to make this decision. It means that about 50 employees are losing their jobs
and ten thousand’s of customers have to reschedule their holidays."
Railsavers, the Blackpool-based company that has been selling the service to British travellers, has suddenly found itself in the unhappy circumstances of having to contact and refund the nearly 4000 customers who had booked the service for the coming summer, some as soon as May. An alternative service from Dusseldorf to Verona is being offered to those customers who wish to take this route.
The discontinued service will also be a blow to many of the campsites in the province of Livorno, along the Tuscan coast, since they depended on the arrival of British and Dutch guests for much of their business.