Train Travel


Train VS Flying

Train travel can be a better choice (especially between European cities) – think of the time you have to allocate when flying such as checking in, passing security, boarding, flying, collecting luggage and arranging transport from the airport. Also the airport would be away from the actual city centre. The luxury of train travel is that you save a lot of time (the train takes you right to the city centre in most cases) and also you only have to be checked in say 30 minutes prior to leaving. And also saving the time you would have to go through security measures. If the distance is longer than between European cities or say US cities, then best to stick with flying (this is the case between major Australian cities).

Elaborating more on the tradeoffs of train travel are within the below two links (Independent traveller even does a cost benefit analysis between flying and rail using various routes)

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Travelling comfortably on the train.

As usual the standard advice stands – drink plenty of water and eat well. On most train services there is a carriage which offer beverages and miscellaneous foods, but this if often at an inflated price. It’s best before you travel to stop off at a nearby supermarket or convenience store and stocking up on goodies for choice and prices. As train journeys can be monotonous, bring along some reading material can be a world of good, as well as a charged up iPod or smart phones (in some cases wifi service may be available on the train or at the station).

Train services:
– Dining cars

Overnight / Long train journeys

Types of train
– Day Trains (First or second class)
– High speed train (First or second class)
Types of sleeping
– Sleepers
– Couchettes
Reclinign seats

This wiki provides a good reference on how to remain comfortable when taking your train journey: http://www.wikihow.com/Have-a-Comfortable-%26-Safe-Rail-Journey-in-Europe

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Train Travel Safety

Whilst train travel is considered a safer choice, you should never be complacent in addressing your own security. As mentioned before, luggage security is a major aspect and this can be remedied by securing your luggage to the train infrastructure in the luggage hold.

Most trains (especially high speed trains) have security cameras and even TV screens for your references, which is a welcome addition.

Like in flight, if you fancy a sleep on the train, don’t leave yourself open to be compromised by potential thieves – especially if travelling solo. So try to keep your belongings at hand and if left in the overhead lockers, then lock up your luggage. Your aim is to try minimising your risk as much as possible. If you see anyone acting (what you would consider) suspicious on the train, discreetly inform a train attendant or worker. Better safe than sorry.

One issue which we faced was safety in the actual train station. As you would imagine if you are wandering the station with a lot of luggage, it can make you a target for thieves and scammers.

An example is like in Naples main train station in Italy, where we were hassled by a beyond shady guy, who had then approached us if we needed a taxi. Note: Naples is not considered a relatively safe city in Europe due to levels of crime. After subsequently declining, they did not stop to follow us and we could then spot their colleagues in crime around. In this case we found the security staff and informed them of the situation – then awaited the people to wander away. It turns out the guy was known to police for past criminal discretions.

If strangers (which your intuition tells you are suspicious) approach you, assert yourself. If they persist, then try to find a place away from the situation (eg ticket offices, retail stores).

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Luggage

Managing luggage whilst travelling by train can pose some problems, especially as space is tight. This is especially the case if you’ve booked an overnight cabin on your journey (in our case it was from Venice, Italy to Vienna, Austria where you literally have to play Tetris if you dare have more than one standard sized luggage bag.

On the other hand (again sing the example of Europe), if travelling by intercity rail or fast train, then usually there is sufficient space in the luggage hold areas (usually located near the entrances of the train doors). It can get pretty full if you arrive close to the boarding time, so it’s advisable if you have more than one bag to get in early. There are also overhead baggage compartments above your seat and also under your seat, but this only suits carryon luggage (think flying and the carryon luggage). If putting your luggage in the luggage hold, as it’s not in close proximity to your seat, there is the risk that your belongings may stray if not made secure.

From firsthand experience travelling on the high speed trains in Italy, we brought along a cheap dog leash (metal core) and also a travel combination lock. We threaded the leash through the luggage handles and then secured it around the metal bars which make up the luggage hold support, with the combination lock. Obviously of course you would have put locks on your actual luggage too and a bright coloured luggage strap helps too, to identify your luggage. This way you can be assured you luggage is there when you are about disembark at your destination, even after the train has stopped along the way. You don’t have to use a leash (this was just a cheap practical option which we thought up, but generally any mechanism which will secure your luggage to the train infrastructure.

These links provide a good reference on your own personal security and safety, whilst also your luggage:

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On the train

So you’ve booked your train travel and you’re ready to board. At first it can be a bit confusing as to which carriage you are meant to be on, but your train ticket should disclose this clearly and you will also find information assistants wandering around the platform. The nature of trains are that there are varying classes (like flying) and if you think you can get away by sneaking into a superior class on the train – think again. During the journey there is a train attendant whom checks all the tickets of the passengers and you may face consequences if you are caught, let alone awkwardness when you are kicked out of the carriage. It’s just not worth it, so if you’re not sure, then ask.

You’ll find more tips on rail travel here:  http://wikitravel.org/en/Tips_for_rail_travel

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Booking train travel

Train travel prices are quite competitive (especially in the European market where train travel is considered more convenient). As personal preference, I always pre book my train tickets from back at home, but many may chose to book when they arrive. For smaller intercity journeys it may be ok, but for inter-country journeys it’s advantageous to prebook due to space and pricing.

In Europe, ticketing is quite efficient and there are even self serve computer kiosks where you can arrange your travel. Ideally it’s best to go to the actual counter, where you can ask questions and prevent the possibility of yourself booking an incorrect ticket. This may be why the train counters are often busy (especially in peak travel times).

Some great train booking agencies are ‘Train Providers, Booking and Information’ section below.

Within each website is a vast amount of information, such as train station maps, journey maps, times of arrival and departures and also general options you can consider. It also links with the actual service providers in each country. From past use, Rail Europe have been a competitively priced pick as through the year they run sales and have an easy to use booking system. In the users account you will have a ‘wallet’ where it discloses all the train tickets you have purchased.


Disruptions to travel / Passenger rights

Europe Travel passenger rights – Rail – http://europa.eu/youreurope/citizens/travel/passenger-rights/rail/index_en.htm

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Train Tips

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Train Providers, Booking and Information.

Note: All the below train resources are inter-city services (Longhaul to mid haul) between major cities, not metropolitan train systems. For metropolitan rail services, refer to the ‘Regional Reference page’ within each country section.

Some websites of the actual train providers are listed within the links in the relevant regions below.


Train / Rail Links

General Worldwide

Information / Booking Portals

Infinity holidays – Rail (Booking agency) – http://www.infinityholidays.com.au/rail

Rail Bookers – Australia – https://www.railbookers.com.au/

– Great train journeys of the world – https://www.railplus.com.au/great-train-journeys/
– Rail passes by country – https://www.railplus.com.au/rail-passes-by-country/
– Rail timetables – https://www.railplus.com.au/rail-planning-tools/rail-timetables/

  • Rome2Rio (http://www.rome2rio.com) – inland Ferry and Marine travel options, addition to its offerings of flight, rail and other travel mode options.

Wikipedia – Airport rail link – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Airport_rail_link
Wikipedia – High speed rail – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-speed_rail
Wikipedia – High speed railway line – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-speed_railway_line
Wikipedia – List of high speed railway lines – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_high-speed_railway_lines
Wikipedia – List of high speed trains – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_high-speed_trains
Wikipedia – List of Railway companies (Operators by country) – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_railway_companies

Wikipedia – List of Railway companies by Country (Category)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Railway_companies_by_country

Wikipedia – List of transport companies by country – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Transport_companies_by_country

Wikipedia (Rail transport by country – systems) – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rail_transport_by_country

Wikipedia – Proposed rail infrastructure by country – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Proposed_rail_infrastructure_by_country
Wikipedia – Proposed railway lines by country – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Proposed_railway_lines_by_country


Australia, New Zealand and Pacific

Information / Booking Portals

Notable Train Journeys

    • Coastal Pacific – Christchurch and Picton, New Zealand

Glenbrook Vintage Steam Train – New Zealand

    • Kuranda Scenic Rail – Cairns, Queensland

Melbourne to Sydney sleeper service – NSW countrylink.
Northern Explorer Train – Auckland to Wellington, New Zealand

Seasider Train – Dunedin, New Zealand
Spirit of Queensland – Brisbane to Cairns, Queensland
Spirit of the outback – Brisbane to Longreach, Queensland
Taieri Gorge Railway – New Zealand

  • The Ghan (Adelaide–Alice Springs–Darwin): 1 round trip per week
  • – Gold or Platinum service

    • The Indian Pacific (Sydney–Adelaide–Perth): 1 round trip per week
    • – Gold or Platinum service

    • The Overland (Melbourne–Adelaide): 2 round trips per week

Tilt Train – Brisbane to Rockhampton, Queensland
Trans Australian Railway – Port Augusta in South Australia to Kalgoorlie in Western Australia
TranzAlpine Train – Between Christchurch and Greymouth through the Southern Alps.

Providers (Also Booking)


Asia

Information / Booking Portals

    Easybook – South East Asia Train booking portal – http://www.easybook.com/

  • Indian Rail – http://www.cleartrip.com/trains
  • Japan Rail – http://www.hyperdia.com/
  • Thailand rail travel – http://www.1stopthailand.com/transportation/rail
  • Vietnam Train – http://www.vietnamtrain.com/
  • Rail pass information / options:

    KOREA

    Pass types:

    Korea Rail Pass

    Pass classes:
    Standard Class only

    Pass length:
    Consequetive pass – 1, 3, 5, 7 consecutive days
    Flexi Pass – 2 or 4 days within a 10 day period

    Benefits:
    – Use on all Korean train lines

    Seat reservation:
    – Included in price
    – Reserve locally in Korea

    JAPAN

    Pass types: (8)
    Japan Rail Pass
    Unlimited travel on Japan railways, affiliated buses and ferries.

    JR East Pass – Nagano, Niigata Area
    The JR East Nagano Niigata Area Pass provides unlimited travel on JR trains in the Greater Tokyo area, in Nagano and Niigata prefectures and in the Shonai Region of Yamagata Prefecture

    JR East Pass – Tohoku Area
    The JR East Tohoku area has many natural attractions. In addition to the abundance of natural beauty and quality hot springs, there are numerous national treasures and historical World Heritage Sites.

    JR Hokkaido Pass
    Rail travel on the Island of Hokkaido. Visit the capital Sapporo famous for the snow festival.

    JR Kyushu Rail Pass
    Rail travel on the island of Kyushu.

    JR Northern Kyushu Pass
    This Pass covers rail in the Northern part of the Island of Kyushu

    JR Kansai Wide Area Rail Pass
    For travel in the Kansai Area: Shiga,Tsuruga, the Nankai Area, the Okayama Area and Kinosaki-Onsen.

    JR All Shikoku Rail Pass
    Travel freely in Shikoku by train

    Pass classes:
    – Green Pass (Superior – exlcuding private compartments and sleepers)
    – Ordinary Pass – (Standard class)

    Pass length:
    7, 14, or 21 consecutive days

    Benefits:
    Unlimited travel on JR Network
    – Require to still buy train tickets in metro city areas.
    – Travel on shinkansen (Except nozomi fastest service)

    Seat reservation:
    – Included
    – Reserve seats made in Japan in JR rail office

Notable Train Journeys

      21st Century steam – Java, Indonesia

    • Beijing (China) to Lhasa (Tibet/China) – http://www.chinahighlights.com/china-trains/

Darjeeling Himalayan Railway – india
Deccan Odyssey (Ex Mumbai) – India
Delhi to Nepal

        • Eastern and Oriental Express – Singapore to Bangkok, Thailand

Janakpur Railway – India and Nepal
Khyber pass railway – Pakistan
Nilgiri Mountain railway – India
Seven stars – Kyushu, Japan

Golden Chariot – Two routes (Ex Bangalore) – The Pride of the South and The Southern Splendor – India
Kyushu Japan train –
Maharajas’ Express- Delhi to Mumbai, India (And 5 other routings.
Nagano to Minami (Resort Hybrid Scenic Train) – Japan
Palace on Wheels (Departs Delhi)

    • Reunification express – hanoi to Ho Chi Minh (Saigon), Vietnam – http://vietnamimpressive.com/service/reunification-express-train.html

Royal Rajasthan on Wheels – (Ex Delhi) – India

      • Sagano Scenic Rail – Arashiyama, Kyoto, Japan – http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e3965.html

Seven stars Railway – Japan

    • Shinkansen (Bullet train) – Such as Osaka / Kyoto to Tokyo, Japan
    • – Includes the new super fast chuo Shinkansen trains

Current routes:
Akita Shinkansen: Tokyo – Sendai – Morioka – Tazawako – Kakunodate – Akita.
Hokkaido Shinkansen: Aomori – Kikonai – Hakodate (Hakodate-Hokuto Station). – http://www2.jrhokkaido.co.jp/global/english/shinkansen/index.html
Joetsu Shinkansen: Tokyo – Takasaki – Echigo-Yuzawa – Niigata.
Kyushu Shinkansen: Fukuoka (Hakata Station) – Shin-Tosu – Kumamoto – Sendai – Kagoshima.

Hokuriku (Nagano) Shinkansen: Tokyo – Takasaki – Karuizawa – Nagano – Toyama – Kanazawa.
Sanyo Shinkansen: Osaka – Kobe – Okayama – Hiroshima – Kokura – Fukuoka (Hakata Station).
Tohoku Shinkansen: Tokyo – Nasushiobara – Koriyama – Sendai – Morioka – Aomori.

Tokaido Shinkansen: Tokyo – Yokohama – Nagoya – Kyoto – Osaka.
Yamagata Shinkansen: Tokyo – Fukushima – Yonezawa – Akayu – Kaminoyama-Onsen – Yamagata – Shinjo.

Planned route/s:
Chuo Shinkansen (Shorter cutting across track): Tokyo – Kanagawa – Yamanashi – Nagano – Gifu – Nagoya – Osaka

Shiki shima train suite – Luxury train – Tokyo to the Tohoku and Hokkaido regions – Japan – https://www.jreast.co.jp/shiki-shima/en/

Yangon to Mandalay – Myanmar (Burma)
Providers (Also Booking)

  • Thailand Rail (State Railway of Thailand) – http://www.railway.co.th/home/default.aspx?ID=&lang=EN

Twilight express – Japan night train – http://twilightexpress-mizukaze.jp/en/index.html


Americas (North, Central and South)

Information / Booking Portals

Wanderu (North america train booking portal) – https://www.wanderu.com/

RailPlus – Canada – https://www.railplus.com.au/canada-by-rail/train-tickets/
Railplus – USA – https://www.railplus.com.au/usa-by-rail/usa-train-tickets/

Rail pass information / options:

CANADA

A) Canrailpass – System (Entire VIA network)

Canrailpass – System Base
10 trips in 60 days
7 trips in 60 days

Canrailpass – System Extra
7 trips in 60 days
10 trips in 60 days

Canrailpass – System Unlimited
Unlimited trips in 60 days

Details: https://www.railplus.com.au/canada-by-rail/rail-passes/canrailpass-system/details.htm

B) Canrailpass – Corridor (Quebec & Ontario)

Canrailpass – Corridor Base
7 trips in 21 days
10 trips in 21 days

Canrailpass – Corridor Extra
7 trips in 21 days
10 days in 21 days

Canrailpass – Corridor Unlimited
Unlimited trips in 21 days

Details: https://www.railplus.com.au/canada-by-rail/rail-passes/canrailpass-corridor/prices-info.htm

UNITED STATES

USA Rail pass

Segments – city to city.

– 8 segments over 15 days
– 12 segments over 30 days
– 18 segments over 45 days

Classes:
Coach (Economy)
Business
First class

Sleeper options:
Superliner roomette
Viewliner roomette
Superliner / viewliner bedroom
Superliner / viewliner bedroom suite
superliner family bedroom

Notable Train Journeys

        Acela Express – Washington – New York – Boston (1st Class and Business Class), United States.

        Adirondack – Montreal – Albany – New York, Canada / United States

        Amtrak Cascades – Vancouver – Seattle – Tacoma – Portland – Salem – Eugene, United States / Canada

      • Andean Explorer – Between Cuzco and Lake Titicaca, Peru

Bennett Scenic Journey – Return day trip from Skagway, Alaska – USA

California Zephyr – Chicago – Denver – Emeryville, CA (San Francisco), United States.

Canadian (The) – Vancouver – Jasper – Edmonton – Toronto (Coast to Coast), Canada
Capitol Limited – Washington DC – Cleveland – Chicago, United States.

City of New Orleans – Chicago-Memphis-New Orleans, United States

Coastal classic – Alaska
Coast Starlight – Seattle – Portland – Oakland (San Francisco) – Los Angeles, United States.

Copper Canyon railway, Mexico
Corridor Service (Eastern) – Montreal – Ottawa – Quebec – Toronto – Niagara Falls (East Coast) Canada

Crescent – New York – Atlanta – New Orleans, United States.

Cumbres and Toltee Railroad – USA
Denali star – Alaska

        • Direct-to-the-Wilderness rail service – Alaska

Durango and Silverton Railroad – USA
Empire Builder – Chicago – St Paul – Seattle/Portland, United States.
Empire Service- New York – Albany – Syracuse – Rochester – Buffalo – Niagara, United States.

Explorer (The) – Cuzco to Machu Picchu
Ferrocarril Central Andino – Peru
Ferrocarril del sur – Peru
Glacier discovery – Alaska
Guyaquil and Quito Railway – Ecuador
Hiram Bingham Express – (Between Poroy and Macchu Piccu) Peru
Jasper-Prince Rupert train – Jasper to Prince Rupert, (West Coast) Canada
Keystone Service – New York – Philadelphia – Harrisburg, United States.

Lima to Huancayo train, Peru

      Lake Shore Limited – New York/Boston – Albany – Chicago, United States.

        La Trochita – Argentina
        Maple Leaf – New York City – Niagara Falls – Toronto, United States / Canada

      • McKinley Explorer – Alaska

Montréal–Gaspé train – Canada (Suspended)

Nariz del diablo Train – Quito to Guayaquil scenic train – Ecuador
Northeast Regional – Boston – Providence/Springfield – Hartford – New York – Washington DC – Richmond – Lynchburg/Newport News – Virginia Beach, United States.

Ocean (The) – Montréal-Halifax, (East Coast) Canada
Pacific Surfliner – San Luis Obispo – Santa Barbara – Los Angeles – San Diego, United States.

Patagonia Express, Argentina.
Pennsylvanian – New York – Pittsburgh, United States.

PeruRail’s Vistadome: Sacred Valley to Machu Picchu (return)

      • Rocky Mountaineer (Privately owned)-
        – Vancouver to Lake Louise or Banff
      • – Rainforest to gold rush – Vancouver – Whistler – Quesnel – jasper
        – Journey through the clouds – Vancouver to Kamloops – Jasper

      • – Coastal Passage – Seattle USA, to Vancouver, Canada – Then connects to all other routes.
      • Two Classes – Gold leaf or Silver leaf.

San Joaquin – San Francisco Bay Area/Sacramento – Bakersfield/Southern California, United States.

Silver Service – New York – Washington, DC – Charleston – Savannah – Jacksonville – Orlando – Tampa/Miami, United States

Southwest Chief – Chicago – Albuquerque – Los Angeles, United States

Sunset Limited – New Orleans – Houston – San Antonio – Los Angeles, United States

Sugar cane steam – Cuba
Texas Eagle – Chicago – St Louis – Dallas – San Antonio – Los Angeles, United States

Tren Crucero – Ecuador

Vermonter & Ethan Allen Express – Washington/New York – St Albans, New York – Rutland, United States

Vistadome – Cuzco to Macchu Picchu – Peru
White Pass and Yukon Railroad – USA / Canada
Winnipeg-Churchill train – (West Coast) Canada

Providers (Also Booking)

Inca Rail – http://www.incarail.com/


Europe

Information / Booking Portals

– Interrail (Europe train passes) – http://www.interrail.eu/

Go Euro (Train booking portal) – http://www.goeuro.com/trains/

Loco 2 (European train booking) – https://loco2.com/

– Interactive travel map – http://www.raileurope.com.au/plan-your-trip/interactive-travel-map/
– Journey insights – http://www.raileurope.com.au/train-tickets/journey-insights/
– Rail passes – http://www.raileurope.com.au/train-tickets/rail-passes/
– Travel ideas and itineraries- http://www.raileurope.com.au/plan-your-trip/travel-ideas-and-itineraries/
– Train tickets – http://www.raileurope.com.au/train-tickets/train-tickets/

Rail pass information / options:

European overall region:

Railplus – Europe by rail – https://www.railplus.com.au/europe-by-rail/

Eurail Global Flexi Pass – https://www.railplus.com.au/europe-by-rail/eurail-passes/eurail-global-flexi-pass/prices-info.htm

Fare lengths:
5 days in 1 month
7 days in 1 month
10 days in 2 months
15 days in 2 months

Eurail Global Continuous Pass – https://www.railplus.com.au/europe-by-rail/eurail-passes/eurail-global-consecutive-pass/prices-info.htm

Fare Lengths:

5 days continuous
22 days continuous
1 month continuous
2 months continuous
3 months continuous

For Both of the above pass types:

Classes –
First class – Adult, Youth, 60+ saver, Saverpass
Second class – Youth

Fare types:
Adult
Adult Saver: 2-5 people travelling together at all times
Child: 4 – 11 years (Children travel FREE and must be accompanied by an adult. Maximum 2 FREE children per adult)
Rail Plus 60+ Saver*: Must be over 60 years of age and 2-5 people travelling together at all times
Youth: 12 – 27 years inclusive

High Speed and premier trains require seat reservations.

Countries you can explore are Austria, Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland (Republic), Italy, Luxembourg, Montenegro, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Turkey.

Eurail Select Pass (2 Countries) – https://www.railplus.com.au/europe-by-rail/eurail-passes/eurail-select-pass-2-countries/prices-info.htm
Eurail Select Pass (3 Countries) – https://www.railplus.com.au/europe-by-rail/eurail-passes/eurail-select-pass-3-countries/prices-info.htm
Eurail Select Pass (4 Countries) – https://www.railplus.com.au/europe-by-rail/eurail-passes/eurail-select-pass-4-countries/prices-info.htm

Fare types:

Adult
Adult Saver: 2-5 people travelling together at all times
Child: 4 – 11 years (Children travel FREE and must be accompanied by an adult. Maximum 2 FREE children per adult)
Rail Plus 60+ Saver*: Must be over 60 years of age and 2-5 people travelling together at all times
Youth: 12 – 27 years inclusive

Countries selected need to be bordering countries.

Participating countries: Austria; Benelux (Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg); Bulgaria; Serbia & Montenegro; Croatia/Slovenia; Czech Republic; Denmark; Finland; France; Germany; Greece; Hungary; Italy; Norway; Portugal; Republic of Ireland; Romania; Slovakia; Spain; Sweden; Switzerland and Turkey (Liechtenstein is considered part of Austria)

Specific Regions:

Balkan flexi Pass
– Bulgaria, Bosnia Herzegovina, Macedonia, Greece, Serbia, Montenegro, Romania and Turkey.
– 3, 5,7, 10 or 15 days of travel in two month period.
– 1st and second class

Central Europe Triangle pass
– Austria, Slovakia, czech republic and Hungary
on routes:
– Vienna to Prague, Prague to budapest, Budapest to vienna
– Vienna to Prague, Prague to Salzburg, salzburg to Vienna

Eastern European Pass
– Austria, Czech republic, Hungary and slovakia
– 1st or second class
– 5 to 10 days of travel within a 1 month period
– Consequentively or non-consequetively

Scandinavia – Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland
– 3,4,5,or 8 days within a 1 month period
– 1st or second class

Individual / Single Countries passes:

Railplus – Single country passes – https://www.railplus.com.au/europe-by-rail/eurail-passes/eurail-single-country-passes/

AUSTRIA

BENELUX – Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg
– 3,4,5,or 8 days within a 1 month period
– 1st or second class

BULGARIA

CROATIA

CZECH REPUBLIC

DENMARK

FINLAND

FRANCE

Eurail France Pass
– 1st class or 2nd class
– 3,4,5,8 days in one month period
– Consequentially or non consequentially
– Unlimited travel on each day
Reservations – Reservation cost included, Prereserve online for TGV fast trains (Compulsory)

GERMANY

GREECE

Eurail Greek islands pass
– Ferry from italy and return
– Ferry travel between islands

HUNGARY

IRELAND

ITALY

Eurail Italy pass
– 1st class or 2nd class
– 3,4,5,8 days in one month period
– Consequentially or non consequentially
– Unlimited travel on each day
Reservations – Reservation cost included, Prereserve online for Trenitalia fast trains (Compulsory)

NORWAY

POLAND

PORTUGAL

ROMANIA

SLOVAKIA

SLOVENIA

SPAIN

SWEDEN

SWITZERLAND
– Swiss Travel Passes
Consecutive OR flex types.
Unlimited travel on trains, boats and buslines – also selected public transport
– Includes Glacier express
– Free entry to exhibitions and museums
50% reduction on most mountain top trains and cable cars

Swiss Transfer ticket
– One inbound rail journey from swiss airport or border town to a single city in Switzerland – and return. Must be completed in one day.

Swiss half fare card
– 50% discount on point to point tickets.

UNITED KINGDOM

Classes: First or second class

Fare timing
– Anytime
– Offpeak (weekends and after 10am weekdays)
– Advance purchase – (Open 12 weeks prior)
Britrail Consecutive Pass

England, Scotland and Wales. The Britrail Consecutive Pass is valid for any 4, 8, 15, 22 days or 1 month of consecutive travel

Britrail Flexi Pass

England, Scotland and Wales. The Britrail Flexi Pass is valid for any 3, 4, 8 or 15 days unlimited travel within a 1 month period. Travel days may be used consecutively or non-consecutively.

England Consecutive Pass

England only. The Britrail England Consecutive Pass is valid for any 3, 4, 8, 15, 22 days or 1 months consecutive travel.

England Flexi Pass

England only. The Britrail England Flexi Pass is valid for any 3, 4, 8 or 15 days unlimited travel within a 1 month period. Travel days may be used consecutively or non-consecutively.

South West Consecutive Pass

Travel in the south west of England and Wales. The Britrail South West Consecutive Pass is valid for any 3, 4, 8, 15, 22 days or 1 months consecutive travel.

South West Flexi Pass

Travel in the south west of England and Wales. The Britrail South West Flexi Pass is valid for any 3, 4, 8 or 15 days unlimited travel within a 1 month period. Travel days may be used consecutively or non-consecutively.

London Plus Pass

The convenient way to see the south east of England. The Britrail London Plus Pass is a Flexi Pass valid for unlimited travel for any 3, 4 & 8 days in 1 month. Travel days may be used consecutively or non-consecutively.

Spirit of Scotland Pass

Explore Scotland – the land of lochs and legends. The Britrail Scottish Freedom Pass is a Flexi Pass valid for unlimited travel for any 4 days in 8 days or 8 days travel within 15 days. Travel days may be used consecutively or non consecutively.

Central Scotland Pass

Visit some of the famous spots in Scotland’s central belt. Perfect for ‘days-out’ trips from Glasgow or Edinburgh. Valid for any 3 days within 7 days.

Scottish Highlands Pass

Unlimited travel around the Highlands and North of Scotland. The Britrail Scottish Highlands Pass is a Flexi Pass valid for unlimited travel for any 4 days within 8 days. Travel days may be used consecutively or non consecutively.

More details:
Rail Plus – https://www.railplus.com.au/uk-by-rail/britrail-passes/

Europe Night Sleeper trains:

Berlin Night Express (http://www.snalltaget.se/en) : Berlin-Malmo, Sweden

Caledonia Sleeper (Scotland) (https://www.sleeper.scot/) : London-Fort William, London-Inverness, London-Aberdeen, London-Glasgow, London-Edinburgh

City Night Line (by DB – Germany)(http://www.bahn.com/i/view/GBR/en/prices/europe/overnight-travel.shtml): Amsterdam-Innsbruck, Amsterdam-Zurich, Hamburg-Zurich, Munich-Hamburg, Berlin-Zurich, Prague-Zurich, Munich-Berlin, Munich-Rome, Munich-Milan, Munich-Venice, Oberhausen-Prague

Europe Nightjet Trains (By OEBB – Austria) – (https://www.oebb.at/en/angebote-ermaessigungen/nightjet): Vienna-Rome, Vienna-Livorno, Vienna-Venice, Vienna-Milan, Vienna-Hamburg, Vienna-Dusseldorf, Vienna-Zurich, Graz-Zurich, Villach-Zurich, Vienna-Danzig, Vienna-Krakow, Budapest-Bucharest, Cologne-Warsaw, Munich-Budapest, Zagreb-Munich, Berlin-Budapest and more.

Hellas Express: Belgrade-Thessaloniki (reservations can be made only at European rail stations)

Intercites de Nuit (http://intercites.voyages-sncf.com/train/intercites-nuit): Paris-Nice, Paris-Irun, Paris-Albi, Paris-Savoie, Paris-Briancon, Paris-Portbou, Luxembourg City-Nice, Luxembourg City-Portbou, Strasbourg-Nice, Strasbourg-Portbou

Night Riviera Sleeper (https://www.firstgreatwestern.co.uk/your-journey/night-riviera-sleeper): London-Penzance

Paris-Moscow Express (http://rzd.ru/): Paris-Moscow

SJ (https://www.sj.se/sj/jsp/polopoly.jsp?d=18877&l=en): Gothenburg-Ostersund, Gothenburg-Lulea, Stockholm-Ostersund, Stockholm-Lulea, Malmo-Stockholm

Thello (https://www.thello.com/?iLangID=3): Paris-Venice, Marseille-Milan

Trenhotel (Spain Domestic and international) – (http://www.renfe.com/EN/viajeros/larga_distancia/productos/trenhotel.html): Madrid-Vigo, Madrid-A Coruna, Barcelona-Vigo, Barcelona-A Coruna, Barcelona-Gijon, Barcelona-Granada, (Lusitania) Madrid-Lisbon, Lisbon-Hendaye

Notable Train Journeys

      Al Andalus (Ex Seville) – Spain – Various routes

 

    Alburla Railway – Switzerland

  • Arlbergline – Arlberg Line runs between Innsbruck and Bludenz, Austria.
  • Bergen Railway – Between Bergen and Oslo, Norway
  • Bernina Express – Chur or St Moritz to Tirano, Switzerland.
    • Black Forest Lines – Offenburg to Konstanz AND Freiburg to Seebrug, Germany.

British Pullman – UK

      Central Alps round trip (BUS) – (June to October Only)- Meiringen–(Grimsel)–(Nufenen)–(Gotthard)–(Susten)–Meiringen

    • Centovalli Railway – Between Locarno, Switzerland and Domosossola, Italy.

Cheese Train Switzerland – Montreux-Château-d’Oex

    Chemins de fer de la Corse – Corsica, France

  • Chocolate Train Switzerland – Montreux to Broc, Switzerland.
  • Cinque Terre Coastal train line – Cinque terre, Italy
  • Danube Express – http://www.danube-express.com/
    – The Transylvanian (eastbound): Budapest – Kecskemét – Sighişoara – Braşov – Veliko Turnovo – Kazanlak – Istanbul
    – The Transylvanian (westbound): Istanbul – Kazanlak – Veliko Turnovo – Braşov – Sighişoara – Kecskemét – Budapest
    – The Bosphorus to the Baltic: Istanbul – Kazanlak – Veliko Turnovo – Braşov – Sighişoara – Kecskemét – Budapest – Košice – Cracow – Wieliczka – Malbork – Gdańsk – Warsaw
    – The Polish Explorer: Warsaw – Malbork – Gdańsk – Kraków – Wieliczka – Košice – Budapest
    – The Istanbul Loop: Budapest – Kecskemét – Sighişoara – Braşov – Veliko Turnovo – Kazanlak – Istanbul – Plovdiv – Sofia – Novi Sad – Budapest

Dublin to Rosslare Harbour – Ireland –
Duoro Valley – Portugal

El Expreso de La Robla – Two routes (Ex Bilbao) – Spain
– La Robla Route, which is available in spring and
autumn through Castile and León
– Green Paradise Route,
which traverses Cantabria and Asturias in the summer months

El Transcantàbrico (Ex Santiago de Compostela – Two routes) – Spain
– Santiago de Compostela to León
– Santiago de Compostela to San Sebastian.

Ferrocarril de soller – Majorca, Spain

    • Flåm (Flåmsbana) Railway – Between Myrdal and Flam, Norway.

Geneva to Vienna

  • Glacier Express – Zermatt to St Moritz, Switzerland.
  • Golden Eagle from Moscow (Russia) to Ulaanbaatar (Mongolia)
      • Goldenpass Line – Lucerne to Montreux (Via Interlaken), Switzerland.</li
        Gornergrat Railway – Zermatt–Gornergrat – SwitzerlandGotthard Base tunnel route – Bellinzonia (Italy) to Lucerne (Switzerland)
      • Gotthard Panorama express – Lucerene (Boat) to fluelen to Bellinzona / Lugano

Grand Hibernian – Ireland

          Harz Mountains Narrow Gorge – Germany

        • Inlandsbanan scenic train – Kristinehamn to Gällivare , Sweden.Island of Man Narrow Gauge – Island of Man – UK

Jura round trip (Watch Train) – Neuchâtel–La Chaux-de-Fonds–Glovelier–Delémont–Neuchâtel, Switzerland.

Lavaux-Simplon-Centovalli Line – Geneva to Brig to Locarno, Switzerland

          Le Petit train – Jaune – France
  • Le Train des Pignes Scenic Train – Nice to Digne-les-Bains, Provence, France

Lötschberg Mountain Route and Centovalli – RegioExpress Lötschberger: Bern to Brig then Centovalli Train: Domodossola (Italy)–Locarno
Lucerne-Interlaken Express – Switzerland

      • Museumstoomtram Hoorn Medemblik scenic train – 20km through tulip fields between the villages of Hoorn and Medemblik, The Netherlands

Northern Belle – UK

  • Pre Alpine express – St Gallen to Lucerne, Switzerland
      • Rauma Line – Dombås to Åndalsnes, Norway.
      • Red Arrow – St Petersburg to Moscow, Russia.
      • Rhine Valley Line – Koblenz to Mainz, Germany.

Rigi Round trip – Luzern–Vitznau–Rigi Kulm, Switzerland

Rome to Syracuse Train – Italy (Train gets loaded onto ferry to cross the strait of messina

  • Royal Scotsman Train service – Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom.
        Settle to Carlisle Line – England – UK

      • Semmering Bahn – Glognitz to Semmering, Austria.

Switzerland mountain trains
– cogwheel railway train
– panorama aerial cableway

– Rigi
Pilatus
Schynige Platte
Stanserhorn
Titlis
Gornergrat
Matterhorn Glacier Paradies
Harder Kulm
First
Schilthorn
Monte Bre
San Salvatore
Brienzer Rothorn
Glacier 3000 – Les Diablerets
Montreux–Glion–Rochers-de-Naye railway
Interlaken to Grindelwald / Lauterbrunnend / Wengen
Linthal to Barunwald

– Jungfraujoch scenic train – Interlaken to Jungfraujoch, Switzerland
– Switzerland mountain train tunnels and infrastructure programme – https://www.alptransit.ch/en/home/

Three City Line – Lucerne to Chur (Via Zurich), Switzerland

    Thuringian Forest – Germany

    • Tran-Siberian Railway Express – Moscow to Vladivostok, Russia.

Transcantabrico Gran Lujo – San Sebastian to Santiago de Compostela, Spain
Thuringian Forest – Germany

Venice Simplon Orient express – Paris to Istanbul (Via Venice) (also other routings).
Volalpen Express – St Gallen to Lucerne

      Welsh Highland Railway – Wales, UK

 

      West Highland line – Scotland, UK

    • Wilhelm tell express – Lugano or Locarno to Lucerne, Switzerland.

Wolsztyn to Pozan and Leszno – Polan

Providers (Also Booking)

Austria Trains (Westbahn) – https://westbahn.at/en

Bosnia Herzegovina (ZFBH) –
Bulgaria (BDZ) –
Croatia Trains (HZPP) –

Finland (VR) –

Hungary (GYSEV) – – http://www2.gysev.hu/

Ireland (Northern) Trains – (NI Railways) – http://www.translink.co.uk/Services/NI-Railways/

 

 

and regional trains – http://ferrovieappulolucane.it/en/
– Frecciarossa trains – link Turin-Milan-Bologna-Rome-Naples-Salerno
– Frecciargento trains – connect Rome-Venice-Verona-Bari/Lecce-Lamezia Terme / Reggio Calabria on high-speed and traditional lines.
– Frecciabianca trains – link Milan to Venice, Udine and Trieste; Genoa and Rome; up to Bari and Lecce on conventional railway lines.

Montenegro (ZCG)-

Netherlands Trains – Private others – Connexxion, Keolis, Syntus, Veolia and DB Regio –
Norway Trains (NSB) –
Polan (PKP) –

      Serbia (SV) –

 

Switzerland Trains (BLS) – http://www.bls.ch/e/homepage/index.php
Switzerland Trains – Various Private – http://www.eurail.com/europe-by-train/switzerland/swiss-railway-companies-included

Swiss Railways – https://www.swissrailways.com/

and http://swissau.mytraintravel.com/
Swiss Train system – Plan your trip – http://swissau.mytraintravel.com/plan-your-trip/
Swiss Train system – Grand train tour – http://grandtraintour.swisstravelsystem.com/en/

TGV Lyria (France to Switzerland / Italy / Germany services) – http://www.tgv-lyria.com/en
Turkey (TCDD) –


Africa / Middle East

Information / Booking Portals

Rail pass information / options:

Notable Train Journeys

Blue Train – Cape town to Pretora, South Africa.

      Cape town to Kimberly – South Africa

 

      Hedjaz Railway – Syria and Jordan

 

      Madagascar’s Railway – Madagascar

 

– Cape Town to Dar es Salaam
– Pretoria to Swakopmund
– Pretoria to Cape Town
– Pretoria to Durban
– Pretoria to Victoria Falls

Sudan’s railways – Sudan
Swakopmund to Windhoek – Namibia

Providers (Also Booking)


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Train Passes?

The rail passes in the past have in the past offered the best value but now have become irrelevant for many travellers. To find the best deals it’s all about timing.  Rail operators are increasingly following airlines, with the best deals available to those who book early.  More than 80 per cent of the most popular high-speed rail journeys in Europe must now be reserved in advance –  the further out you book, the less you pay. It’s become easier to book and also cheaper.

Eurail and other European rail passes are no longer the most cost effective option for many travellers.
Passes may still be relevant for young people and others who want the ability to change plans but those with set travel dates are better off locking in individual fares. In short – rail passes are more about flexibility than cost savings now.  Rail operators have traditionally opened bookings three months before the travel date but some are extending to four months. Travellers are advised to lock in dates as soon as bookings open, as fares continue to rise towards the departure date.

Extract from: “The cheap new way to use Europe’s trains”
November 14, 2013, By Jane E.Fraser – http://www.smh.com.au/travel/the-cheap-new-way-to-use-europes-trains-20131114-2xiyd.html#ixzz2tYM9Qnoc

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Links last checked : / /2015


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