European Rail Timetable: Relaunching an essential train publication

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InterCity train
German InterCity train at Leipzig's main station. Photo: Photo: © hidden europe

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.

Born again: The first edition of the new European Rail Timetable.

Born again: The first edition of the new European Rail Timetable.

New beginnings

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.”

European Rail Timetable map

A sample page from the new European Rail Timetable from the section on Finland.

The timetable

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.

About the author

hiddeneurope

About the authors: Nicky and Susanne manage a Berlin-based editorial bureau that supplies text and images to media across Europe. Together they edit hidden europe magazine.

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One thought on “European Rail Timetable: Relaunching an essential train publication”

  1. The return of this book is for European rail travellers THE big news story of this year. It is surprising that the timetable is so little known by visitors to Europe from overseas. It is the absolute bible for those looking to retain a little spontaneity in exploring Europe by train. How sad that Thomas Cook did not have the foresight to promote it. Great that it’s back.

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