Announcing plans to acquire a majority stake in rail distribution and IT firm SilverRail, Expedia CEO Dara Khosrowshahi last month said rail was "ready for an online revolution." It can't come too soon.

Attempting to integrate rail content into corporate travel programs is not for the faint of heart. The rail sector is fragmented, inconsistent and disconnected. Progress is needed especially in Europe where rail is used frequently for business travel.

Rail's lingering legacies and some outdated technology are mostly to blame. "Unlike air travel, which was internationalized quickly, or car standards, railways until the advent of high . . .

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