The decision last summer of the global travel business Thomas Cook to discontinue publication of its celebrated European Rail Timetable after 140 years was a mighty blow to rail travelers across Europe. However web-wise and connected a traveler may be, there is simply no substitute for a good printed timetable in revealing the overall pattern of rail services on any particular route. Whether for initial travel planning, or for evaluating options and amending itineraries while away, the European Rail Timetable was always worth its weight in gold.
Now there is good news. The title has been saved and the timetable will once again be published on a monthly basis from March 2014. A new company—called European Rail Timetable Limited—has taken over the venture, and it certainly comes with a good pedigree. John Potter is the man at the helm; he worked for many years on the timetable when it was published by Thomas Cook.
An experienced team
John and his team have, between them, over 100 years of experience in working with timetables from around the world. Speaking about the renaissance of the title, John tells us that he hopes that the new timetable “will continue to inspire travel around Europe and beyond, as the timetables produced by Thomas Cook did for over 140 years.”
The new timetable maintains the general format of before, with continuity of the table numbers with which many travelers are already familiar. And the very useful schematic maps are still there. Each issue will contain bang-up-to-date schedules for rail services across Europe: from Portugal to Russia, from Greece to Norway. Rail services on European islands (eg. Britain, Sardinia, Mallorca, etc.) are also included. As in Thomas Cook days, each issue will include summary tables for another part of the world beyond Europe. For the debut issue, China is in the spotlight.
The first issue of the new timetable will be rolling off the presses at the end of this week. You can order a copy on the company’s website.