24 April 2023 at 19:02 (GMT) Download PDF

Legendary entertainer, actor and train enthusiast David Hasselhoff partners with Trainline to promote UK and European rail travel to Americans

US tourists urged to “travel like the Hoff” and take the train during their visit

Trainline has partnered with legendary entertainer, actor and train enthusiast David Hasselhoff to promote rail travel in the UK and Europe among Americans.

The Hoff is a renowned rail fan and is using his status as a household name to promote a competition for US residents in American newspapers and social media. The competition offers one lucky winner a free trip to the UK and mainland Europe to experience rail travel as Trainline’s “Chief Conductor”.

Trainline is seeing record demand for rail travel from US-based tourists – for example bookings by Americans in February were up 52% on the same month in 2019, the last February when international tourism was unaffected by Covid concerns. Research in the US for Trainline found that for one-third of Americans (33%) Europe was at the top of their summer travel wishlist – while 42% were excited by the chance to view the landscape from the train window during their visit.

Booming travel demand from US tourists represents good news financially for the UK rail industry, especially as Trainline data shows these visitors are 2x more likely to travel in groups and 4x more likely to book first class tickets than British passengers.

The top UK routes favoured by US tourists show that visits to quintessential British destinations during their holiday is driving demand, with Edinburgh, Oxford, Cambridge, Bath and York all featuring highly.

The Hoff train is leaving the station! I have partnered with Trainline to search for their first-ever Chief Conductor, giving a lucky traveller this once in a lifetime chance to travel like the Hoff. My itinerary will guide the lucky winner along some of my favourite rail journeys, from travelling between European cities to the hidden gems that can only be found when traveling by train across Europe.

David Hasselhoff

Following the surge of Americans traveling by train in Europe last summer, travellers are ready to pack their bags and explore the UK and Europe again. Here at Trainline we are eager to show them how easy, simple and affordable it is to take the train while on holiday. We are excited to be partnering with David, someone who shares our passion for train travel, to promote this competition and unlock more demand for rail travel among tourists.

Trainline Chief Data Officer Mike Hyde

The Chief Conductor competition, which is only open to US residents, closes this week and over 4,000 entries have already been received. The winner’s prize includes a $5,000 travel stipend, while five runners-up will receive $500 towards future European adventures with Trainline.

David Hasselhoff’s Instagram post promoting the competition can be seen here.



Notes to editors

Trainline’s top 20 most popular UK routes sold to US-based visitors are: 

UK ranking
Route (both directions)
UK ranking
Route (both directions)
Edinburgh (Waverley) - London Kings Cross
London Waterloo - Southampton Central
London Euston - Manchester Piccadilly
Heathrow Terminal 5 - London Paddington
London Paddington - Oxford
Bristol Temple Meads - London Paddington
Cambridge - London Kings Cross
Gatwick Airport - London Victoria
London Kings Cross - York
Glasgow Central - London Euston
Bath Spa - London Paddington
Cardiff Central - London Paddington
Liverpool Lime Street - London Euston
London Paddington - Windsor & Eton Central
Leeds - London Kings Cross
Edinburgh (Waverley) - York
Birmingham New Street - London Euston
Cambridge - London Liverpool Street
London Kings Cross - Newcastle
Heathrow Terminals 2 & 3 - London Paddington


The survey of US adults was conducted by Pollfish on behalf of Trainline to understand Americans’ summer travel plans. The survey was conducted on March 20, 2023 among a demographically representative U.S. sample of 1,005 adults ages 18 years of age and older.

About Trainline

Trainline is the leading independent rail and coach travel platform selling rail and coach tickets to millions of travellers worldwide. Via our highly rated website and mobile app, people can seamlessly search, book and manage their journeys all in one place. We bring together millions of routes, fares and journey times from 270 rail and coach carriers across 45 countries. We help our customers find the best value fares for their journey and smart, real time travel information on the go. Our aim is to make rail and coach travel easier and more accessible, encouraging people to make more environmentally sustainable travel choices.