The Transatlantys project. The story got off to a good start and seemed quite exciting: Transatlantys, a huge 11-year project beginning in June 2005 was apparently to have linked Paris and New York by train in only 8 hours through tunnel under the ocean!
Transatlantys was in fact a hoax orchestrated by the French state railway company SNCF to promote a new travel booking service.
The facts confirmed it
* the domain name transatlantys.fr belongs to the SNCF owned site voyages-sncf.com;
* but the trick site transatlantys.com belongs to DDB, a communications agency;
* for some time on transatlantys.com, access to the various parts of the site was blocked by advertising for voyages-sncf.com for the sale of plane tickets, trips etc.
This viral marketing operation tricked web users into exploring new SNCF services, with substantial traffic to the site. It had a double effect since some people did not appreciate having been the victims of such a hoax.
The tunnel under the Atlantic from the Transatlantys hoax - or the Transatlantic Train!