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Route of the Month in the European Rail Timetable

By Nicky Gardner and Susanne Kries |


photo © Sander van der Werf

photo © Sander van der Werf

This article was last updated on 25 January 2015.

Each issue of the new European Rail Timetable (ERT) contains a Route of the Month. These are articles which highlight the particular appeal of one selected European rail route (or, in some cases, a small cluster of interrelated routes). We hope these prose additions to each timetable help bring specific journeys alive; we certainly always enjoy writing them.

Some of the journeys featured in the ERT Route of the Month column are mainstream tourist routes. Others may raise an eyebrow or two, for on occasions we have selected a journey that many might judge to be routine and lacking anything of special interest. Our point is that all routes have something to, all journeys have a tale to tell. We have even featured a boat journey in one recent edition of the ERT (for, yes, the ERT does include ferry schedules as well as train times). In November 2014, we featured a rail journey in southern Africa, for that edition of the ERT had a supplement showing times for principal rail routes in Africa.

Here is a list of the twelve journeys that have featured as Route of the Month after the European Rail Timetable resumed publication in March 2014 with John Potter as Director and Editor-in-chief and Chris Woodcock as ERT Editor:

ERT Issue Route of the Month
March 2014 Berlin to Budapest on the Hungaria
April 2014 Paris to Marseille via the Paris-Lyon-
Méditerranée (PLM) route
May 2014 Denmark to Iceland by boat
June 2014 The Bernina Railway: Pontresina to Tirano
July 2014 A classic Great Western route: London to Reading
August 2014 Budapest to Belgrade
September 2014 Madrid to Salamanca
October 2014 Across the Czech-German frontier: Saxony to Bohemia
November 2014 South Africa: Overnight to Komatipoort
December 2014 Germany's Harz Mountain narrow-gauge rail network
January 2015 Naples to Taranto
February 2015 The 8.28 from Paris (Trans-European Express)


And here is the list of the six journeys which featured as Route of the Month in the final issues of the European Rail Timetable when, under the editorial hand of Brendan Fox, the book was still published by Thomas Cook:

ERT Issue Route of the Month
March 2013 Salzburg to Vienna
April 2013 Into the Bulgarian hills: Septemvri to Dobrinishte
May 2013 London to Paris with Eurostar
June 2013 Lapland by train: Stockholm to Narvik
July 2013 Estonia: Tallinn to Narva
August 2013 South to Andalucía via Despenaperros Pass


The last of the Cook’s issues was in August 2013. There followed a seven-month gap before the former timetable team at Thomas Cook then relaunched the timetable as an independent publication.

The Route of the Month (RotM) is about 700 words long and thus usually takes up a full page in the European Rail Timetable. Very occasionally, we have included an extended RotM which then runs over two pages in the timetable.

If you would like to suggest a route deserving of inclusion as a Route of the Month, just leave a comment below. We are always looking for good ideas.

The February edition of the European Rail Timetable will be published next week and can already be purchased on the ERT website.

Copyright © Nicky Gardner and Susanne Kries. All rights reserved.
hidden europe
About The Authors

Nicky Gardner and Susanne Kries

Nicky and Susanne manage hidden europe, a Berlin-based editorial bureau that supplies text and images to media across Europe. Together they edit hidden europe magazine. Nicky and Susanne are dedicated slow travellers and the authors of the book Europe by Rail: The Definitive Guide. The 17th edition of that book was published in 2022 and reprinted in July 2023. You'll find a list of outlets that sell the book on this website.


Dave Ansell, 16 December 2014

Not many of us need (or can afford) a new timetable every month. Would it be possible to publish the Route of the Month separately - albeit a few months in arrears??? Thanks Dave

Luís de Sousa, 1 August 2014

You have covered, even just in the 12 routes mentioned here, so much of Europe. Can I put in a plea for Portugal? The Lisboa-Porto-Valenca route is very good. Last year I travelled by train through Sicilia, and I think some of the rural lines there will make a good Route of the Month.

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