Pages in category: History

European Rail News
published on 15 July 2023
Would it not be so much better if dozens of cars could be loaded onto a car train so that parents and kids could cruise to their holiday destinations in comfort during the day? Just think of the carbon emissions saved. A half century ago, there was just such a train. It was called the Christoforus Express. We take a look at car trains of yesteryear, focusing on daytime services where motorists could sit back and let the train take the strain.
published on 1 September 2021
As high-speed lines go, the Paris to Lyon route (LGV Sud-Est) is actually very attractive. Part of its appeal is that it doesn’t tussle with the landscape in the way that some new-build high-speed routes do. We recall the opening of France first high-speed railway line forty years ago in 1981.
published on 16 February 2021
The construction of the railway up to the Jungfraujoch in Switzerland's Bernese Alps began in 1896. It was then that an opening, covered by a wooden door, was created in one of the railway tunnels in order to clear debris generated during the tunnel's construction. This door to the Eiger later proved vital in a number of rescue missions to save climbers attempting the ascent of the Eiger's North Face.
published on 12 August 2020
Can you hazard a guess as to how many night trains to Scotland might have left London every evening sixty years ago? Four or five? A dozen perhaps? Enjoy our detailed review of Scotland-bound night trains in 1960/61.
published on 6 May 2020
Macron's demand that Air France trim French domestic air services ups the game for rail operator SNCF. The move set us thinking about which French president of the last 100 years has been the most ardent supporter of rail travel.
published on 23 March 2020
Looking through our bookshelves recently, we stumbled upon our copy of the Great Western Railway (GWR) timetable for the early months of 1902. Being largely confined to indoor activities these days, we took the opportunity to touch base with railway services of yesteryear.
published on 8 November 2014
The spotlight this weekend in European media is very much on a country that slipped quietly into political history: the German Democratic Republic (DDR). Whatever your view of the DDR, you have to admit they knew how to run a railway. We'll take a closer look at the country's overnight train services.
published on 6 August 2014
If you are like us and five-star hotels are not quite your style, then it may have escaped your attention that a number of Europe’s most celebrated and expensive hotels were quietly rebranded this past spring. They have lost the Orient Express branding.
published on 9 April 2013
Nicky Gardner unravels some of the background to today’s announcement that a rail company will launch an express InterCity bus service across the German-Polish border.
published on 24 March 2013
Long before anyone had even heard of Eurostar, the British Rail Board (BRB) published a series of indicative timetables for a possible Channel Tunnel rail service linking London with Paris. We reproduce here what we believe is the first iteration of that timetable, released 40 years ago in 1973.
published on 28 February 2013
Thomas Cook Publishing this week marks 140 years of the European Rail Timetable. It was in March 1873 that the company launched the first such timetable. Titles and designs have changed over the years, as indeed do train times, but the simple concept enshrined in the book has remained essentially the same over 140 years of publishing history.
published on 12 September 2012
The direct rail service from Kyiv to Berlin is due to be axed at the end of this month. The final departure from Kyiv will be on Sunday 30 September, and the last return run from Berlin will leave Zoo station in the German capital at 21.35 the following evening. The Kashtan has been a staple of European schedules for many years and its withdrawal will sever the last remaining direct rail link between Ukraine and Germany.