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EuroCheapo's Train Articles

When Should You Buy Train Tickets in Europe? The three-month rule

When Should You Buy Train Tickets in Europe? The three-month rule

Yes, the weather may still be wintry in New York and Nice, but now is the time to start planning spring and summer 2011 travels around Europe. Many European railway administrations operate on a three-month advance booking horizon, so services on lots of French, German, Italian and Spanish trains (by way of example) are now » Read more

European Train Update: 2011 rail changes

European Train Update: 2011 rail changes

Last week we gave a rail service update for Britain, focusing on some of the new train services that started with the schedule changes that came into effect last Sunday, December 12. Now we’ll take a look at how the 2011 schedules look for continental Europe. Discontinued services First the bad news. A number of » Read more

British Rail Round-Up: New schedules for 2011

British Rail Round-Up: New schedules for 2011

It is not just across continental Europe that new rail schedules kick in next weekend, but in Britain too. So let’s just take a moment to review what’s new on the rails around Britain for 2011. Scottish Connections Effective Sunday December 12, a new rail service launches between Edinburgh and Glasgow. Travelers between Scotland’s two » Read more

European Rail Strike Update: Which trains are affected?

European Rail Strike Update: Which trains are affected?

Europe has enjoyed or endured, depending on how you view these matters, a festival of rail strikes this past week or two. And yet, by and large, business and social life continues. The impact of rail strikes varies enormously from country to country. Nationwide standstill in Belgium When a Greek rail strike takes place, as » Read more

Missing Links: The Gaps in Europe’s Rail Network

Missing Links: The Gaps in Europe’s Rail Network

By Nicky Gardner and Susanne Kries— Chile wasn’t the only subterranean tale this past week. The news that engineers had burrowed through the Gotthard Massif to create a 57 km-long tunnel deep under the Alps was accompanied by plenty of news reports predicting a revolution in European rail transport. Don’t hold your breath. The first » Read more

New trains, new routes: exploring Europe by rail in 2011

New trains, new routes: exploring Europe by rail in 2011

The big rail news in Europe this past week has been the successful launch of a new direct train service from Moscow to Nice, restoring a link between the Russian capital and the French Riviera that has not operated since before the First World War. Routed via Minsk, Warsaw, Vienna, Innsbruck, Verona, Milan and Genoa, » Read more

Spanish Trains: Hi-Speed train services in Spain

Spanish Trains: Hi-Speed train services in Spain

Spain’s high-speed rail network was inaugurated in 1992 with the opening of the Madrid–Seville link. Latterly the network served by super-fast trains (known as Alta Velocidad Española or AVE services) has been extended to include Málaga (in 2007) and Barcelona (in 2008). A new AVE service to Valencia will start in December 2010. High-speed links » Read more

Eurail and InterRail: Extra charges for rail pass holders

Eurail and InterRail: Extra charges for rail pass holders

Breezing through a Paris train station this month, we realized how easy European rail travel has become. We sit at home, plan and pay for trips online, and even print out our own train tickets. How times have changed. A few years ago, we envied rail pass holders for the freedom that came with being » Read more

Alternative Transportation: European Car Trains

Alternative Transportation: European Car Trains

There are some occasions on trips through Europe when you just know that a car is essential, but with European fuel prices through the roof, and automobile rental companies sometimes levying draconian one-way drop charges (especially for international journeys), many folks are naturally wary about opting for a vehicle. European car trains can, however, play » Read more

Exploring Germany: Rail passes for local train services

Exploring Germany: Rail passes for local train services

June 30, 2010. As we have said before, it is not compulsory to take the fast train. On most routes through Europe, there are plenty of slow train alternatives, often more scenic and sometimes much cheaper. A great weekend bargain in Germany On the weekends, for example, travelers can roam the length and breadth of » Read more

French Train Sale: Cheap train tickets from Paris this summer (reserve before June 30)

French Train Sale: Cheap train tickets from Paris this summer (reserve before June 30)

Taking the train between Paris and Amsterdam, Brussels, or Cologne this summer? If you act quickly, you could book a seat on a high-speed train for as little as €25. The French National Railway, SNCF, announced today discounted train tickets on the Thalys line from Paris to a select number of cities for travel between July 5 and » Read more

Train Tickets: Great deals for summer 2010 rail travel

Train Tickets: Great deals for summer 2010 rail travel

It is that time of year when Europeans enjoy a number of weekdays off work, variously celebrating this or that religious feast or national festival. This month has already seen public holidays associated with Mayday and the Liberation or end of World War II (the latter understandably marked more by victors than by the vanquished). » Read more

2010 Austrian and Switzerland Train Schedules: Big changes in the Alps

2010 Austrian and Switzerland Train Schedules: Big changes in the Alps

It is that time of year again when we start to look ahead to next year’s European rail schedules. As always, the December timetable change ushers in a host of new services and changes to existing routes. The new schedules kick in this year on Sunday December 13, 2009 and for most services in Europe bookings » Read more

France Train Tickets: How to book tickets on the SNCF website (in French!)

France Train Tickets: How to book tickets on the SNCF website (in French!)

By Liz Webber– As Cheapos know, it’s almost always less expensive to buy train tickets directly through the website of a country’s national rail service rather than through RailEurope’s English-language site or overseas agents, especially for France’s TGV system. Fares can also be cheaper booking online than buying the tickets in person at the station. » Read more

European Train Travel: Discounted Summer fares

European Train Travel: Discounted Summer fares

It’s that time of year, Cheapos. The time when various European railway administrations launch a deluge of summer specials. So what’s making the top of the list this year? Read on for a list of rail companies that are slashing prices. TGV First up? Those deeply discounted offerings from the French Railways (SNCF) on their » Read more

European Rail Tickets: Deutsche Bahn fares better than rail agents

European Rail Tickets: Deutsche Bahn fares better than rail agents

Okay, we’ve said it before, but we’ll gladly say it again. Have Cheapos realised just how much rail fares in Europe can vary according to where you purchase your tickets? We took a day out from our regular work with hidden europe magazine last week and conjured up a tempting palette of trips criss-crossing the » Read more

Bargain trains: Cheap rail fares across Europe for 2009

Bargain trains: Cheap rail fares across Europe for 2009

It is that time of year when many travellers start sketching out their plans for 2009 trips to Europe. And for travel within Europe, many of the continent’s budget airlines will unveil their summer 2009 schedules in the coming weeks. Book early for the best discounts. Plan ahead: Rail travel for next year Rail travelers » Read more

European Rail Travel: 2009 schedule — a look ahead

European Rail Travel: 2009 schedule — a look ahead

Blink and you can easily miss a thousand changes to European rail schedules. We’ve been taking a look ahead to next year’s timetables, just to see what Cheapos can look forward to in 2009. All the new services mentioned here come into effect on December 14, 2008. Prague routes Prague, which just this year benefited » Read more

European rail passes: Read this before you buy

European rail passes: Read this before you buy

A few thoughts on great travel deals from the editors of hidden europe magazine. BERLIN — We are often amazed at how much money North American visitors to Europe pay for rail passes, especially when, with a little advance planning, travelers can often reap great savings through pre-purchase of point-to-point tickets. These are not tickets marketed » Read more

France Night Train Alert: €15 couchettes through July 14

  Nicky and Susanne of hidden europe magazine posted on our blog last week about the joys of night trains in Europe. Today, they came across a Cheapo-friendly night train offer from TGV, the French railway: When we wrote last week’s post, we assumed that First Scotrail’s Caledonian Sleeper services (nightly from London Euston to over forty destinations » Read more

Europe’s night trains: The pleasures; Germany’s newest; how to book

Europe’s night trains: The pleasures; Germany’s newest; how to book

Nicky Gardner and Susanne Kries of hidden europe magazine report for EuroCheapo on the pleasures and value of European night trains: Do you know Tczew? Perhaps not. It’s an unexciting sort of spot. Poland, top right, more or less. We had never imagined that we might enjoy a leisurely breakfast of caviar, crackers, and coffee » Read more

France budget tip: Cheapo rates on the TGV

France budget tip: Cheapo rates on the TGV

We’re big fans of the French TGV rail system. These sleek trains zip throughout the country, transporting passengers comfortably at speeds up to 200 mph. The trains are such a success that short flights between most cities in France don’t make sense — the TGV is faster, and much less of a hassle. Tickets, however, can be kind of expensive » Read more

hidden europe: Changing Trains

hidden europe: Changing Trains

It is always worth pondering quite where is the best place to change trains. Many journeys across Europe offer multiple options. No sane Brit ever chooses to change trains at Birmingham New Street—a sort of subterranean Hades somewhere in the English Midlands—and few are ever really forced to do so. For many rail itineraries across » Read more

hidden europe: 2008 European Rail Schedule Highlights

hidden europe: 2008 European Rail Schedule Highlights

Even the most seasoned European traveller can be caught unawares by rail schedules changes. Most European rail companies introduce major timetable changes over the second weekend in December, and this year there are some big alterations in the offing. There is no more civilised way of making a big hop across Europe than on a » Read more

France: SNCF Offers Carbon Emissions Calculator

Increasing numbers of travellers have opted to factor in carbon emissions as a key consideration in making a decision on how to get from A to B. Thanks to SNCF Travel, you can weigh the costs of three modes of transport—car, train and air—with the Ecocomparateur, a tool launched late last year. For example, we » Read more

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