Meet the team

Europe by Rail: the definitive guide for independent travellers

Since 2010, the editorial management of Europe by Rail have been coordinated by Susanne Kries and Nicky Gardner, who together run a Berlin-based editorial bureau called hidden europe. By the 14th edition (published in June 2016), legacy texts from older editions – penned by a variety of authors – had been largely replaced with completely new journey descriptions. So, with a more uniform authorial voice, the book had in recent years showcased that distinctive style of well-informed narrative travel writing which has been the hallmark of work by Nicky and Susanne.

Together, the two women edit hidden europe magazine. Words and images by Nicky and Susanne have featured regularly in many European media, often with a focus on rail travel to far-flung parts of the continent. Their work has been translated into many other European languages: German, Italian, Basque, Polish, Russian and many more besides. Both Susanne and Nicky are keen travellers who enjoy nothing more than exploring Europe by train from their base in the German capital of Berlin.

Of course the authors relied heavily on many other experts who moved heaven and earth to transform Europe by Rail from what it was a dozen years ago - a guidebook which was a little long in the tooth - into what it is today. Europe by Rail has since 2018 rated as one of the top-selling guidebooks in the English language.  

Tim and Anne Locke were wise counsellors at the planning stage for the 12th edition, and sat for some days with the editors around a table in Berlin, helping to redefine the scope of the book. Tim had of course been editor of earlier editions of Europe by Rail. Berlin-based writer Paul Scraton worked with Susanne and Nicky on the 12th and 13th editions. He gave valuable advice on a near-final draft of the 14th edition. As the current 17th edition of the book went to press in early 2022, news reached Berlin of the untimely death (on Christmas Day 2021) of Melissa Shales. Mel was a remarkable woman and a great traveller with a special affection for train travel. It was Mel who, way back in publishing history, sketched out the contents for the launch of Europe by Rail in the 1990s. We would like to think that there's still a dash of Mel's spirit in the book today. 

Susanne and Nicky are alone responsible for the selection of journeys for inclusion. Each route is cross-referenced to timetable information, derived in the main from the European Rail Timetable. Susanne and Nicky wish to record their appreciation to the team who produce that monthly timetable for their painstaking commitment to a publication which inspires like no other.  A special word of thanks for John Potter, Director of European Rail Timetable Limited (ERT Ltd) for supporting the Europe by Rail project.

Nicky and Susanne have now prepared the 17th edition of Europe by Rail which will be published in mid-April 2022. Retailers interested in stocking the 17th edition are invited to contact our distributor SaltWay Global Ltd of Cirencester, England.