European Rail News & Notes

Your source for updates on European train travel
published on 9 February 2012
by Nicky Gardner and Susanne Kries
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.
published on 17 January 2012
by Nicky Gardner and Susanne Kries
2012 is shaping up to be as difficult as last year for rail travellers heading south through the Balkans to Greece. In 2011, Greece put a hold on all passenger trains crossing its land borders, thus severing the popular rail route from Bulgaria to Greece that crosses the border at Kulata, which is part of Route 41 in both the 2011 and 2012 editions of Europe by Rail: The Definitive Guide for Independent Travellers. It now looks at though this lack of trains across Greece's borders is going to continue for some months yet.
published on 16 January 2012
by Nicky Gardner and Susanne Kries
We have already commented on the difficult situation for rail travellers bound for Greece in an earlier post. The withdrawal of all international trains across Greece's borders affects travellers following Route 43 in Europe by Rail. A pity as this is a great route from Belgrade via Skopje to Thessaloniki. But worry not! You can still follow Route 43, pretty much as described in the book.
published on 13 January 2012
by Nicky Gardner and Susanne Kries
We ensure that each annual edition of Europe by Rail is bang up-to-date and correct at the moment it is sent off to the printers. But train schedules change and sometimes we are caught out. And that is what has just happened with Route 9 in the book. This route is a fabulous transect across the Iberian peninsula from Barcelona to Lisbon. At the border between Portugal and Spain you will now need to cross by bus.
published on 7 December 2011
by Nicky Gardner and Susanne Kries
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.
published on 2 December 2011
by Nicky Gardner and Susanne Kries
There is something quite exquisite about grand railway termini. Folk fly through them, the dash for the train diminishing the status of these great cathedrals to travel. But these are not places through which one should rush. An earlier generation of Londoners referred to Victoria station as the "gateway to the continent". Victoria's role has been eclipsed by St Pancras — the grandest of termini in a capital that has many fine railway stations.