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.
Germany’s 9-euro ticket available for travel in June, July and August 2022 is truly an invitation to wander – and not just within Germany’s borders. With a 9-euro ticket to hand, it’s perfectly possible to travel by train or bus into all nine countries that border onto Germany without having to pay a cent extra. Here’s our sample list of cross-border excursions which are there for the taking.
Bookings open on 13 October for early 2022 train travel in Germany. Here's a sneak preview of what to expect in the new Deutsche Bahn rail timetable that will come into effect on Sunday 12 December 2021. The accent in the 2022 rail schedules for Germany is on speed, connectivity and comfort.
Milan, Budapest and Berlin are spots where hapless travellers are prone to make for the wrong station, but of course it can happen in any city with multiple stations, and particularly where visitors are perhaps not familiar with the local geography and the various station names. And a last-minute change of departure station can and does happen.
The very first double-deck IC2 trains to appear in Germany were loco-hauled electric trains manufactured by Bombardier. Since then, a second IC2 model has emerged in the shape of the Standler Kiss unit. In this post, we take a look at both types of IC2 train.
Paul Scraton reflects on the appeal of the urban tram as he explores tram routes in Berlin, Sarajevo, Prague and elsewhere. For visitors to a city, the tram is more than merely a way of getting around - it is an invitation to adventure.
As Europe's rail operators face reduced demand because of the pandemic, many services are being suspended from early November. We review developments in Italy, Germany, the Czech Republic, Austria, Russia and elsewhere.
Would it not, in these difficult times, be so much better if operators initially open sales only for those trains which would run in the most skeleton timetable? If the pandemic abates, everyone will be delighted to then see operators responding quickly by adding in extra trains to meet renewed demand. We look at the offer of two operators: Eurostar and Thalys.
Hop on a local suburban train in order to get a different view of a city. Whether it be your home town or an unfamiliar city, the view from the suburbs will be very different. Paul Scraton explores various expressions of Metroland across Europe.
On 31 October Berlin's new airport - dubbed BER - will open to passengers. We take a look at train services to the new airport and changes that are afoot at the former Schönefeld Airport that will secure a new identity as BER Terminal 5.
The opening in 2016 of the Gotthard Base Tunnel led to big time savings on the Zürich to Milan route, and now there are further improvements in the offing. Earlier this month, the Ceneri Base Tunnel was officially opened. It is a new link offering much faster journeys through Switzerland’s southernmost canton of Ticino, used by all fast trains that follow the Gotthard route south into Italy.
The direct Eurocity link from Zürich to Bavaria has long been the poor relation in Switzerland’s generally excellent range of direct rail services to Germany. But that is set to change with the new timetables that will come into effect in mid-December 2020.
There are proper night trains, the ones with couchettes and sleeping berths. And then there's the more spartan variant of the night train. merely offering passengers a seat for an overnight journey. Paul Scraton joins the 21.48 from Aachen to Berlin and discovers a certain ascetic pleasure as the ICE train rumbles eastward through the night.
Although some summer-season trains will not be running this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, there are still plenty of services which will operate. Here we give an overniew of some of the summer specials which this year are running to Catalonia, the Alps, the North Sea and Baltic coasts and to Italian resorts.
We were travelling to Świnoujście for no other reason than curiosity. Perhaps because of growing up on an island myself, land borders have always fascinated me. The excitement of early Interrail trips was as much the novelty of being able to take the train to another country as it was what I found when I got there.
Railjets bring Europe together. Every day, they set off from Zürich for distant Bratislava and Budapest, the latter a journey of over a thousand kilometres. Each route takes in four countries (including tiny Liechtenstein). And now there is a new service linking Graz and Berlin.
As a response to the pogrom against the Jews in Nazi Germany, the British Jewish community organized the Kindertransport which brought nearly 10,000 mostly Jewish children to Britain in 1938 and 1939. One of the children who came to Britain was Frank Meisler, then a boy of thirteen. He would grow up to become a sculptor.
There are plans that a new company station will open close to Berlin called Dahlewitz Rolls-Royce granting access to the Rolls-Royce Aerospace plant for the company's employees. That good news prompts us to look at the fate of earlier company railway stations in France and Britain.
Perhaps a future generation of travellers will look back at the international rail timetables for early April 2020, barely able to believe that Europe could have become so fragmented. But will they even be able to find out what the timetables were? In this digital age, we do just wonder whether scholars a century hence will be able to find copies of the railway timetables which were applicable in this difficult period.
We take a look at Europe's fragmenting network of international rail links as passengers stay at home during the Coronavirus pandemic. Rail operators in western Europe have responded a little more slowly to the growing threat than those further east.
There’s much ado with cross-border train services in Europe these days. Apart from the well-documented revival of interest in night trains, there are also developments with daytime trains. We look at some of the latter in this post.
As throughout Europe, new train timetables for Germany kick in with the annual timetable change in December each year. This year the new schedules start on 15 December. Here’s a rundown of some of the key changes which we are expecting in and around Germany.
Austria generally enjoys a fine range of international links, and with new rail timetables starting across Europe on 9 December 2018, there are further improvements on journeys to, from and through Austria.
The new railway timetables that come into effect on Sunday 9 December 2018 could well bring significant improvements in international rail services in both the Belgian area of Wallonie and Poland's Silesia region. In this European Rail News, we sum up the changes.
Next month sees new railway timetables starting in many European countries. We review what Berliners can expect when those new 2018 schedules come into effect on Sunday 10 December 2017. The highlight is a new fast link from Berlin to Munich, knocking two hours off the current journey time.
Did you know that Interrail or Eurail one-country passes can sometimes be used to travel across the border into neighbouring countries? So a Swedish pass can be used for travel to Oslo, Copenhagen, Berlin and even on a bus route into Finland.
New rail timetables debut across Europe on 11 December 2016. Dozens of commentators have remarked on how the new schedules affect train services in western and central Europe. But hardly anything has appeared in English on what the new timetables herald for Russia.
Much has been made in mainstream media of the decision by Deutsche Bahn (DB) to withdraw from the premium end of the night train market. Yet it's important to remember that the great majority of Europe's night trains are unaffected by DB's decision to axe its entire CNL division.
This spring has seen the launch of three new local train services from Berlin to western Poland. All three services leave from Lichtenberg station in the eastern suburbs of the German capital. Let's take a closer look at these new links.
Austrian operator ÖBB and NTV Italo will run train services to Rimini on Italy’s Adriatic coast during the summer 2016 season. ÖBB will extend its Munich to Bologna service and Italo trains will speed to Rimini from Milan.
This weekend sees substantial changes to regional train services in Berlin and more widely across eastern Germany. Here’s a run-down of the principal changes to train services which come into effect on Sunday 13 December 2016.
Issue 47 of hidden europe magazine which is published today has its fair share of rail journeys. We look at train number 562 which runs once each day from Simferopol to Moscow and see what's changing at Vienna Westbahnhof. And there is much more besides.
Many travellers today are keen to book trips a long time in advance. And, if train travel is to compete with planes, then long booking horizons are essential. We look at international TGV services which allow customers to book their tickets four months in advance.
Deutsche Bahn now runs an overnight bus service from eastern Slavonia (in Croatia) and Zagreb to southern Germany. Border controls on the Austrian-German frontier mean that no long-distance trains are running from Salzburg into Bavaria. So, with no overnight train from Zagreb to Munich, DB is nudging travellers onto the bus instead.
An announcement by German media regarding the arrival of Polish trains in Görlitz station gave hope that the erstwhile cross-border rail connection over the Neisse viaduct will be reopened in September 2015. It turns out this is not the case.
For many years, Thalys trains never crossed the River Rhine. Trains from Paris all terminated at Cologne Hauptbahnhof on the west bank of the river. But from December 2015 Thalys will extend its network to Dortmund.
The dominant rail operator, Deutsche Bahn (DB), has found itself facing significant competition from new entrants to the long-distance coach market in Germany. Now comes the news that DB has taken over long-standing coach operator Berlin Linien Bus.
Travel for just €29 from London to Salzburg! Yes, it really is possible to buy a ticket from Deutsche Bahn which will take you from London to Austria for €29. The itinerary takes in six countries: England, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany and Austria.
Deutsche Bahn (DB) has a very attractive rover offer for this summer. At some time over the weeks ahead, DB will announce details of its 2015 Deutschland-Pass. This is a rail pass which allows unlimited rail travel for one month across Germany.
Summer timetables come into effect this weekend on the narrow-gauge railways of the Harz Mountains in northern Germany. This is one of Europe’s most appealing narrow-gauge networks, and the regular use of stream traction is a big pull for rail enthusiasts.
Sometimes a temporary alteration in timetables can have repercussions on travel itineraries across a wide area. And that’s just what will happen this summer when engineering work between Aachen and Cologne will mean extended travel times on journeys crossing the Belgian-German border at Aachen.
We look at the revised timings of Russian Railways' Paris-Berlin-Moscow service which will from mid-June 2015 depart Paris Gare d'Est station at 20.05, creating a new overnight option between Paris and Berlin.
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.
The airport station at Vienna (called Flughafen Wien) will be linked into Europe’s long-distance rail network from 14 December 2014. With the December timetable changes, it will become the eastern end point for ICE trains from Germany to Vienna.
Yesterday’s ‘Letter from Europe’ reports on the decision to axe the night train from Switzerland to Denmark. It is, sadly, part of a wider trend. A raft of European night trains looks set to be cut. Deutsche Bahn’s City Night Line (CNL) network is being severely pruned.
There is a new promotional fare of 13 euros valid on selected regional rail routes radiating out from the eastern German city of Halle. The €13 ticket is a piolot project that runs at first until the end of October.
An interesting new rail service starts in Germany next month when DB Regio launches a direct Berlin to Hamburg link. There are of course already plenty of trains between Germany’s two largest cities. But this new addition is interesting in a number of ways.
SNCF quietly expanded its TGV network today with the introduction of a seventh cross-border TGV service from France to Germany. The new service connects the university city of Freiburg im Breisgau in south-west Germany with Paris.
When British Railways introduced the Inter-City brand in 1966, no-one could possibly have anticipated how the idea would be emulated and adapted by railway administrations across Europe. Today, the term Inter-City (or IC) is used for a variety of train services – we take a closer look at the Inter-City brand across Europe.
The Thomas Cook European Rail Timetable has always excelled in its coverage of France. England's nearest neighbour has long exerted a strong appeal for rail travellers (and not merely from England) and some of Thomas Cook's earliest tours were to France. Timetable editor Brendan Fox and his team have surely faced one of their biggest-ever challenges this winter as French rail operator SNCF introduced wholesale reform of their schedules.
Many readers of the guidebook Europe by Rail have commented on the fabulously complicated arrangements that surround Berlin's railway stations. To us, it all seems crystal clear, but then we know the city well. We offer here some guidelines that help travellers find their proper place of departure or arrival.
We sensed we were crossing into another world as the Moscow-bound train rumbled over the long bridge that spans the River Bug. The reed beds are full of wildfowl which are not troubled by the frequent trains that rattle overhead. This is the border wilderness that divides Poland from Belarus. It marks one of Europe's great divides: the Curzon Line.