European Rail News & Notes

Your source for updates on European train travel
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.
published on 23 November 2011
by Nicky Gardner and Susanne Kries
We drifted slowly through wintry forests, past unkempt meadows and villages full of scrawny desolation. We crossed the River Odra four times. And four times I gazed down at the river's wine-dark waters from the train, watching the waters swirling under bridges, swirling through history. We stopped on a level crossing, inconveniencing no-one, for cars there were none. But that was a fine moment, sunshine tussling with midday mist and for once getting the upper hand.
published on 16 November 2011
by Nicky Gardner and Susanne Kries
There was a time when travellers from West Germany enjoyed a fabulous range of direct train services to the Mediterranean coast of France. Cast back forty years and a mainstay was the daily year-round Hispania Express. From 23 March 2012 there will now be a new fast daytime service linking Frankfurt-am-Main with Avignon and Marseille.
published on 13 November 2011
by Nicky Gardner and Susanne Kries
In 2011, the Greek government — as part of its financial austerity programme — cut all train services across the country's international borders. Rail services to neighbouring Macedonia, Bulgaria and Turkey were all suspended. And just in case you wonder, there are no rail services anyway across the frontier between Greece and Albania.
published on 25 October 2011
by Nicky Gardner and Susanne Kries
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.