Pages in category: News

European Rail News
published on 4 December 2016
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.
published on 2 December 2016
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.
published on 21 November 2016
The 14th edition of Europe by Rail: The Definitive Guide for Independent Travellers was published in June 2016. Five months on, the book has already been reprinted once. So it’s selling well and it’s certainly pulled some good reviews.
published on 28 September 2016
Is there a nautical equivalent of the track basher? Are there ferry enthusiasts who book to travel on unusual ferry routes? September has been a good month for collectors of unusual ferry routes in the Hebrides – though unseasonal stormy weather has also made it a trying month for both CalMac and their passengers.
published on 26 August 2016
We have news of the reopening of a second international rail route from Bialystok. From 4 September 2016, the Polish city will have a once-daily direct train service to and from Hrodna in Belarus.
published on 7 June 2016
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.
published on 5 June 2016
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.
published on 16 May 2016
A brand new edition of our Europe by Rail book is published in June 2016. Never before in the long history of this title has there been such a profound revamp of the content.
published on 12 March 2016
Significant train timetable changes in eastern France and parts of Luxembourg come into effect on Sunday 3 April 2016. The new schedules are the result of a project called Cadencement du réseau TER-Métrolor which has been in preparation for a couple of years.
published on 2 March 2016
Two new train services from Brussels to France will commence operation next month. And they are as different as chalk and cheese. Here’s the gen on a new fast link to Strasbourg and a slow train to Paris.
published on 26 January 2016
Looking at the spring 2016 train timetables, we notice that in April 2016 Eurostar is cutting out the intermediate stop at Lyon Part Dieu on some journeys between London and the south of France.
published on 12 December 2015
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.
published on 12 November 2015
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.
published on 2 November 2015
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.
published on 21 September 2015
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.
published on 20 September 2015
December 2015 sees major alterations to rail services in Austria. This is the second year in succession where the spotlight of change has been on Vienna.
published on 19 September 2015
The coming couple of years will see the opening of several new stretches of high-speed railway in Europe. Here’s a look at what’s in store for rail travellers in France and Germany.
published on 18 September 2015
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.
published on 25 August 2015
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.
published on 18 July 2015
It was bound to happen sooner or later. Badly behaved Brits on the winter-season direct overnight ski trains between London and the French Alps have prompted Eurostar to rethink its policy on the consumption of alcohol.
published on 24 June 2015
SNCF has today announced that the proposed reopening next month of two branch railways in western France has been postponed: that from Nantes to the coastal communities of Pornic and St Gilles Croix de Vie.
published on 1 June 2015
Want to find out about what’s new in Europe’s summer rail schedules? Then just head for the June issue of the European Rail Timetable which is published this week. And for those who want some additional material, the summer 2015 seasonal edition is published this week too.
published on 8 May 2015
Revised rail timetables come into effect in Britain later this month with many train operators launching their summer schedules on Sunday 17 May 2015. Here’s a run-down of some the main features of the new timetables in north-west England.
published on 25 April 2015
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.
published on 16 April 2015
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.
published on 15 April 2015
In many European countries the opening of even a modest new stretch of high-speed railway line is cause for great celebration. But in Spain they do things differently. Here high-speed lines are often opened without great fanfare.
published on 26 March 2015
It looks like all change at Thalys as the international rail operator trims its network. Thalys presently serves ten stations in Belgium. With next week’s cuts, that number drops to just four.
published on 25 March 2015
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.
published on 17 October 2014
Russia today announced the suspension of all direct rail services via Ukraine to the Balkan region. This affects direct trains from Moscow to Budapest, Bucharest and Sofia.
published on 15 October 2014
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.
published on 13 October 2014
With new European rail schedules coming into effect on Sunday 14 December, here’s a summary of some key changes in the new timetables.
published on 25 September 2014
In the two or three months prior to the annual revamp of European rail timetables, there is inevitably speculation and angst about how the new timetables might impact on travel plans. We have a glimpse at the travel opportunities introduced by the new Eurostar services for travellers leaving from London St Pancras.
published on 13 September 2014
Britain has a reputation for overcrowded trains, which is in some measure due to the enduring popularity of rail travel in England, Wales and Scotland. Over the last nine years passenger journeys by rail in Great Britain have more than doubled. In 2013, over 1.6 billion journeys were made by train.
published on 12 September 2014
Spanish rail operator RENFE plans to reclassify the sole remaining Arco service as an Intercity train from Monday 29 September 2014. This last Arco train is the Camino de Santiago which each morning leaves Irun for the long journey to A Coruna — serving Santiago de Compostela along the way.
published on 12 August 2014
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.
published on 4 August 2014
Local train services across the border between Germany and Poland have often been patchy. So it’s very good news that the local train service between Frankfurt-an-der-Oder and Poznan is being restored from later this week.
published on 2 August 2014
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.
published on 18 March 2014
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.
published on 11 March 2014
The taxis in Warsaw have been doing a roaring trade this week, transferring frazzled passengers from Centralna station up to Gdanska station in the north of the city. A festival of engineering work on the main east-west rail route through the heart of Warsaw means big changes for a few weeks in rail services to, from and through the Polish capital.
published on 10 March 2014
The direct rail service from Paris to Moscow is run by Russian Railways (RZD) using their sleek modern sleeping cars. It is, we think, one of Europe’s most interesting trains — and, for those who want to splash out on the top-of-the-range luxury sleepers, one of the most comfortable train journeys in Europe.
published on 9 March 2014
This weekend sees the restoration of the direct train service from the French Riviera to the Russian capital. The direct Russian train to Nice had to be suspended in January, following a catastrophic landslide which closed part of the coastal rail route that runs west from Genoa to the French border.
published on 18 January 2014
It was sixty years ago this week that a direct passenger rail service between Moscow and Beijing was introduced. The very first train to ply the route left Moscow on 16 January 1954, running via the classic Trans-Siberian route to Chita, then turning south to cross into China at Manzhouli and on through Harbin to Beijing.
published on 1 November 2013
It was four months ago today that we published a press release from Thomas Cook announcing the demise of the company’s publishing division — a blow to travel publishing and particularly to travellers who valued the company’s European Rail Timetable. So it is with a big smile that we can today formally announce that a new company has been created to continue publishing the timetable. Read the full text of the press release in European Rail News.
published on 29 September 2013
A new rail connection between Russia and the Adriatic coast will start in 2014. There will be a seasonal direct service from Moscow to Koper (on the coast of Slovenia).
published on 26 August 2013
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.
published on 18 August 2013
Is Elipsos nearing the end of the line? In late 2012, The Spanish rail operator cut its routes to Italy and Switzerland. What remains are two night train routes: from Barcelona and Madrid to Paris. And with upcoming competition from fast TGV daytime services from Paris to Barcelona, we wonder if Elipsos' days are numbered.
published on 21 July 2013
European Rail News reported last month on the revised train timetables in operation following the Elbe flooding in early June. Europe’s main east-west rail route was severed by those floods, necessitating the diversion of all trains running west from Berlin towards Hanover and beyond. The current interim timetable will be extended until next Sunday, then from Monday 29 July a new schedule will be introduced, the gist of which we present here.
published on 1 July 2013
Following intense speculation on social media late last week, Thomas Cook have today made a statement about their publishing arm, which is set to close this summer. Read the full text of the press release in European Rail News.
published on 30 June 2013
We are saddened to report that Thomas Cook is withdrawing from the UK travel timetable and guidebook market. The August 2013 European Rail Timetable (ERT) will be the last published by Thomas Cook. But a small team, led by the current compilers of the ERT, is creating a new company to continue publication of the timetable.
published on 21 June 2013
Flooding in and around the Elbe Valley earlier this month led to wholesale cancellations of train services to the west and south-west of Berlin. The main railway line running west from Berlin was cut by flooding on 9 June and will take many weeks to restore. Here are some key points to note in the interim timetable introduced by the Deutsche Bahn.
published on 10 June 2013
The Spanish railway authorities today announced that the new high-speed route from Alicante to Albacete will open next week. We look ahead what this will mean for both travel times and the existing rail route.
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 1 February 2013
The Belgian Railway authorities this afternoon announced the return of old-style InterCity services from Brussels to stations in the Netherlands. This is to provide some kind of replacement for the short-lived FYRA service, introduced in December 2012 and then withdrawn last month.
published on 11 December 2012
Last weekend, a raft of changes was introduced to train services from Moscow to France, the Netherlands and elsewhere in western Europe. The December 2012 issue of the Thomas Cook European Rail Timetable gives full details of all these changes. We here pick up some key changes to train 21JA from Moscow.
published on 29 November 2012
The new rail timetables that start in Britain on 9 December 2012 bring much improved services on the East Suffolk Line from Lowestoft to Ipswich and a big expansion of the London Overground network. But we think the most significant innovation to long-distance services in Britain in the new schedules comes in the competitive London to West Midlands market — evidence, perhaps, that a little competition on the rails can be very good for the consumer. Not for the first time, it is Chiltern Railways who are making the running.
published on 19 September 2012
Recent reports by travellers following Route 40 in Europe by Rail highlight temporary changes to rail services on one of the principal routes linking Hungary with Romania. The upcoming October 2012 edition of the Thomas Cook European Rail Timetable highlights the full impact of these changes, which look set to continue until 18 October.
published on 27 June 2012
Damage to a bridge in Amsterdam is affecting many rail services to and from the Dutch city. The situation is fluid and travellers are advised to check the current situation before travelling. Night trains to and from Amsterdam are the most seriously affected.
published on 18 June 2012
Russian Railways (RZD) this week launches new direct seasonal through carriages from Moscow to Split on the Adriatic coast of Croatia. The inaugural run left Moscow's Kiyevskaya station just after 10 pm last evening. The entire journey to Split takes 62 hours, but with an interesting interlude in Budapest along the way.
published on 25 October 2011
When is a train not a train? Take a peek at page 685 of the 2011 edition of Europe by Rail and you'll see what we mean. There are some places in Europe where a rail operator offers transport by bus rather than by train. Such bus links are fully integrated into the railway tariff system and rail passes are accepted.
published on 1 September 2011
Boulogne has always knocked spots off Calais as a port-of-entry into France. The city has a particularly attractive Ville Haute (Upper Town). But sadly, you'll not find a lot of travellers from England visiting Boulogne nowadays. The famous port has been left proverbially high-and-dry with no ferry operators regularly serving the port.
published on 4 May 2011
New rail timetables for the former Soviet Union come into effect later this month. There remains some uncertainty about some services, but for travellers heading east, here are a few thoughts on what to expect: the return of the Berlin to Kaliningrad night train, a new link from Riga to Minsk, a direct daily train from Berlin to Ukraine and more.
published on 10 January 2011
There are a few changes on Eurostar this week with the introduction of a new Standard Premier class on services linking London with Brussels and Paris. Standard Premier replaces Leisure Select as the middle tier of the three class service on Eurostar's capital city services.