This article was last updated on 15 October 2014 to reflect additional information provided by the compilers of the European Rail Timetable.
With new European rail schedules coming into effect on Sunday 14 December, here’s a summary of some key changes in the new timetables. The December 2014 issue of the European Rail Timetable will give a full overview of Europe’s new timetables.
- There will be a new daily direct EuroCity service from Belgrade to Vienna (via Budapest). EC 344 will leave Belgrade at 07.45, reaching Vienna’s new Hauptbahnhof station at 18.45, continuing on to Meidling and Wien Westbahnhof where it terminates at 19.12. The balancing EC 345 to Belgrade leaves Westbahnhof at 08.48 and Hauptbahnhof at 09.09.
- Advance information from Deutsche Bahn (DB) suggests that the EN 447 Jan Kiepura night train, which presently starts in Amsterdam, may commence in Oberhausen from 14 December. Passengers who join the train in Oberhausen (departure at 21.38) will then enjoy a meandering tour of the Rhine-Ruhr area, stopping at Cologne (dep. 22.28) and Dortmund (dep. 23.56), before the train heads more decisively east towards Berlin and beyond. As now, the train will carry portions for both Warsaw and Prague which will be separated from each other at Berlin Südkreuz. The westbound Jan Kiepura will run via the Wupper Valley route to Cologne, before turning north to serve Düsseldorf and Duisburg en route to Oberhausen where it will terminate at 07.19. However, it is entirely possible that this train will still originate in Amsterdam as it does in the current schedules. Some DB sources suggest just that. This is one of those cases where we'll just have to wait and see.
- The Zürich to Prague night train (CNL 459 Canopus) will be combined on many days with the EC 171 Hungaria from Dresden to Prague. This will give an arrival in Prague about one hour later than now. However, the Friday and Saturday night departures from Zürich to Prague will continue to run as independent trains from Dresden, keeping more or less to the current timings. The Zürich-bound Canopus (CNL 458) will continue (as now) to run from Prague to Dresden in combination with the last train of the day from Prague to Berlin (which will also carry through carriages to Oberhausen).
- The new timetable will see improvements on the route from Hamburg and Berlin via Prague to Bratislava and Budapest. From 14 December 2014, there will be five direct trains each day from Berlin to Bratislava (up from four in the current timetable). Hamburg will secure a second daily direct train to Budapest.
- There are improvements to overnight services between German cities and Vienna. The EuroNight Metropol service from Berlin to Vienna will continue to run just as in the current timings. But the overnight services from Hamburg and Cologne to Vienna will now run as two entirely separate services, rather than being combined into a single train in central Germany for the onward journey to Vienna. Our early information suggests that the Cologne train will now start from Düsseldorf (still serving Cologne as it runs south). We understand that this new Düsseldorf to Vienna train will also transport cars, just as the Hamburg to Vienna service has long done. Both trains will terminate at the car train terminal at Vienna’s smart new Hauptbahnhof.
- Smart new RailJet services will transform the Prague to Vienna route, with the fastest trains speeding between the two capitals in just 4 hrs. Some of these trains will continue south beyond Vienna to Graz.
- There will be a new year-round direct TGV Lyria service from Lille Europe to Geneva. TGV 9793 will leave Lille Europe at 16.07 on Mon, Thur, Sat and Sun, taking 4 hrs 9 mins for the run to Geneva. This service will run non-stop from Marne la Vallée-Chessy to Bellegarde. The balancing service (also four days each week) leaves Geneva in the morning and connects conveniently at Little Europe with onward Eurostar services to London.
- An hourly InterCity service will be reinstated between Amsterdam Centraal and Brussels Midi (complementing the faster Thalys trains on the same route). These trains will generally depart Amsterdam at 52 minutes past each hour, taking 3 hrs 23 mins for the journey to Brussels, making a dozen stops along the way. The trains will serve both Amsterdam and Brussels airports. Northbound departures from Brussels Midi will be at 45 minutes past each hour.
In this short article we have looked at a number of new services which have not hitherto been mentioned in European Rail News. Earlier articles which you may wish to look at deal with the cuts to Deutsche Bahn’s City Night line network and new options in 2015 for travellers heading from London to Catalonia and Liguria. The latter article makes mention of a useful new Thello service from Marseille via Nice and Genoa to Milan, which is due to start on 14 December 2014.
Copyright © Nicky Gardner and Susanne Kries. All rights reserved.