Business travellers are turning away from air to rail due to high fuel prices and greater connectivity, claims online booking and ticketing specialist International Rail.

The company claims growth of 60% so far this year over 2011 with the momentum expected to be maintained into 2013.

The US, India, China and Russia are identified as the growing markets for corporate rail travel.

The sales forecast comes as International Rail marks 10 years of working within the corporate rail industry.

Chairman Rod Maton said: “The profile of rail for business travel has grown significantly as professionals and their buyers realise that rail not only offers better flexibility than air, but also great value and by working with us, easy booking and fully-refundable tickets.”

He pointed to the advantages that trains offer over flying, which include fewer security procedures and no check-in, plus fully refundable tickets even after the date of travel.

Travelling by rail also produces a smaller carbon footprint than transport by air or road.

“We know booking rail travel is complicated and so are pleased to be able to lead the market and provide the corporate travel buyers with the tools that they need to make rail part of their regular journey planning,” added Maton.