European Rail Guide

European Rail Guide

Austria 

Booking window: Approx 90 Days.

Tickets issued as: Paper tickets only.

Seat reservations: Yes, compulsory on some high speed services.

Child age range: 6 - 15 years old.

Rail pass available: Yes (InterRail One Country Pass / InterRail Global Pass)

Main stations /Left luggage: Yes

Other information:

In Austria it is a national operator. Intercity trains run across the country and there are new fast Railjet services.The German ICE trains are also used on some routes.

Most overnight services have sleeping cars (up to three berths), couchettes (four/six berths) and 2nd class seats. Seat reservations are available on long-distance train services.

 

Belgium

Booking window: Approx 90 Days.

Tickets issued as: Paper tickets only, except Eurostar and Thayls tickets.

Seat reservations: No, except on some high speed services.

Child age range: 6 - 11 years old.

Rail pass available: Yes (InterRail Global Pass)

Main stations/ Left luggage: Yes.

Main stations/ Cycle hire: Yes.

Other information:

The rail system in Belgium is operated by the Dutch and French railway companies.

Seat reservations are available on international journeys only.

see also Eurostar, Bruges.

 

Czech Republic

Booking window: Approx 60 Days.

Tickets issued as: Paper tickets only.

Seat reservations: Yes, compulsory on some high speed services.

Child age range: 6 - 11 years old.

Rail pass available: Yes. (InterRail One Country Pass / InterRail Global Pass)

Main stations/ Left luggage: No (Some Left luggage at main stations like Prague)

Main stations/ Cycle hire: No.

Other information:

The trains which run in the Czech Republic are operated by the national railway company.

The Czech Republic has a extensive rail network with many branch lines.

The best fast mainline trains are classified IC, EC or Ex.

The fastest Praha - Ostrava trains are classified SC (SuperCity) and are operated by tilting Pendolino trains - a compulsory reservation fee applies on these trains.

Many long distance trains have dining or buffet cars.

Seats for express trains may be reserved

 

Denmark

Booking window: Approx 90 Days.

Tickets issued as: Paper tickets or Ticket on Departure.

Rail pass available: Yes. (InterRail One Country Pass / InterRail Global Pass)

Seat reservations: Yes, but not compulsory.

Child age range: 6 - 15 years old.

Main stations/ Left luggage: Yes.

Main stations/ Cycle hire: No.

Other information:

There is a good railway system in Denmark, much of it is now operated by private rail companies.

IC (InterCity) trains can reach up to speeds of around 140mph.

RE (Regionaltog) trains are frequent, but slower.

Refreshment trolleys and vending machines are available on most IC trains.

Reservations are recommended (not compulsory) on IC and Lyn trains.

 

France

Booking window: Approx 90 Days.

Tickets issued as: Paper tickets, ETickets or Ticket on Departure.

Seat reservations: Yes, compulsory on TGV services.

Rail pass available: Yes. (InterRail One Country Pass / InterRail Global Pass)

Child age range: 4 - 11 years old.

Main stations/ Left luggage: Yes.

Main stations/ Cycle hire: No.

Other information:

France has an excellent rail network from Paris to all the major french cities with TGV connections, using dedicated high speed lines (up to 270 mph on the Est line to eastern France) as well as conventional track. Trains can get very busy at peak times so it is advisable to reserve seats. Prior reservation is compulsory on the TGV services and is included in the ticket price.

If customers are travelling on rail passes they will have to pay for a reservation for the TGV trains.

Reservations are also compulsory on all overnight trains; most convey couchettes and reclining seats only (sleeping cars are only conveyed on international trains). A certain number of couchette compartments are reserved for women only or those with small children; otherwise, couchette accommodation is mixed. There is a minimal bar/trolley service on most long distance trains. Larger stations have left luggage facilities.

Changing stations in Paris

In Paris there are seven main railway stations. The station that you will need will be clearly marked on your rail tickets.

The Paris underground system will take you to these stations.

Gare du Nord - Eurostar trains arrive and depart from this station.

Gare de I'Est - this station is a short walk from Gare du Nord.

Gare St Lazare - on a dierct RER line from Gare du Nord.

Gare de Lyon - on a direct RER line from Gare du Nord

Gare de Bercy - one Metro stop from Gare de Lyon, and then just a short walk from the Metro station

Gare d'Austerlitz - on a direct Metro line from Gare du Nord

Gare Montparnasse - this station is around 25 mins from Gare du Nord on the Metro system.

Using the Metro system and RER network in Paris

This is very similar to the London Underground network. Just work out which line you need, and check the end destination of the train, to make sure you are going in the right direction.

Metro lines are identified by numbers

RER lines are identified by letters.

See also: Avignon, LIlle, Lyon

 

Germany

Booking window: Approx 90 Days.

Tickets issued as: Ticket on Departure or Paper tickets.

Seat reservations: Yes, compulsory on high speed services.

Child age range: 4 - 14 years old.

Rail pass available: Yes. (InterRail One Country Pass / InterRail Global Pass)

Main stations / Left luggage: Yes.

Cycle hire: Yes.

Other information:

The German rail system is excellent and very efficent. Long distance trains travel at speeds in excess of 220mph and are known as ICE trains.

There are also many regional services named IRE,RE, RB (modern and comfortable and connect with the long distance network).

Frequent local S-Bahn services operate in major cities. Some local services are now operated by private railways. Overnight services convey sleeping-cars (up to three berths) and/or couchettes (up to six berths), also reclining seats - reservation is generally compulsory. Most long - distance trains convey a bistro or resturant car (an at seat service is offered in first class). Seat reservations are possible on long distance trains. Stations are well staffed, often with left luggage and bicycle hire. Main station is Hbf (Hauptbahnhof)

 

Holland / Netherlands.

Booking window: Approx 90 Days.

Tickets issued as: Paper tickets only, except on Thalys services.(ETickets)

Seat reservations: No, except on Thalys services.

Child age range: 4 - 11 years old.

Rail pass available: Yes. (InterRail Global Pass)

Main stations/ Left luggage: Yes.

Main stations/ Cycle hire: Yes.

Other information:

The Dutch national railway company provide most services, though some private operators run local train services in some parts of the north and east.

Through tickets can be purchased between all stations in the Netherlands, regardless of the operator. 

See also: Amsterdam

 

Ireland

Booking window: Approx 60 Days.

Tickets issued as: Ticket on Departure.

Seat reservations: Yes on long distance services.

Child age range: 4 - 15 years old.

Rail pass available: Yes. (InterRail One Country Pass / InterRail Global Pass)

Main stations/ Left luggage: Yes.

Main stations/ Cycle hire: No.

Other information:

Ireland is a great place to tour by its well connected railway.

 

Italy

Booking Window: Aprox 90 days (InterCity) 60 days (Regional)

Tickets Issued As: Paper tickets, E-Tickets or Ticket on Departure.

Seat Reservations: Yes, compulsory on all high-speed serices.

Child Age Range: 4-11 years old.

Rail Pass Available: Yes. (InterRail One Country Pass / InterRail Global Pass)

Main Stations/Left Luggage: Yes.

Main Stations/Cycle Hire: No.

 

Other information:

Italy is an amazing country to visit especially by rail. This country is rich in history and culture and has some great places to explore.

Italy has some very modern and fast Hi Speed trains operating between most cities and towns offering a comfortable and punctual service.
 

Spain

Booking window: Approx 60 Days.

Tickets issued as: ETickets or Paper tickets.

Seat reservations: Yes, compulsory on most high speed services.

Child age range: 4 - 11 years old.

Rail pass available: Yes. (InterRail One Country Pass / InterRail Global Pass)

Main stations/ Left luggage: Yes.

Main stations/ Cycle hire: No.

Other information:

Why not enjoy the stunning scenery that Spain offers from the comfort of your seat onboard some of Europe's fastest High Speed trains. You can also visit the stunning cities of Barcelona and Madrid by sleeper train from Paris, or even take a slow train up the Mediterranean coastline towards the French Riviera and on towards Italy. RailTourGuide also sell Luxury Train Cruises within Spain.

Some of the AVE trains also have a Super First class "Club".

 

Sweden

Booking window: Approx 90 Days.

Tickets issued as: Ticket on Departure / Paper tickets.

Seat reservations: Yes, compulsory on most high speed services.

Child age range: 4 - 11 years old.

Rail pass available: Yes. (InterRail One Country Pass / InterRail Global Pass)

Main stations/ Left luggage: Yes.

Main stations/ Cycle hire: No.

Other information:

Why not travel in style on one of Swedens many high speed scenic lines or travel overnight on some of Europes most comfortable sleeper services.

High speed services operate between Sweden and Copehagen in Denmark via the Oresund bridge

X2000 trains - Supplements are required.(Seat reservations are compulsory, we can arrange these)

Sleeping car reservations are compulsory.

 

Norway

Booking window: Approx 90 Days.

Tickets issued as: Ticket on Departure or Paper tickets. 

Seat reservations: Yes, on some services.

Child age range: 4 - 15 years old.

Rail pass available: Yes. (InterRail One Country Pass / InterRail Global Pass)

Main stations/ Left luggage: Yes.

Main stations/ Cycle hire: No.

Other information:

All trains convey 2nd class seating. Most medium and long distance trains also convey Komfort class accommodation, this is a dedicated area with complimentary tea/coffee and newspapers.

Sleeping cars have one, two or three berth compartments (passengers may reserve a berth in any category with a 2nd class ticket).

Long distance trains convey a bistro offering hot and cold meals, drinks and snacks.

 

Poland

Booking window: Approx 30 Days.

Tickets issued as: Paper tickets or ETickets.

Seat reservations: Yes, compulsory on some high speed services.

Child age range: 4 - 11 years old.

Rail pass available: Yes. (InterRail One Country Pass / InterRail Global Pass)

Main stations/ Left luggage: Yes.

Main stations/ Cycle hire: No.

Other information:

Rail travel in Poland is comfortable and convenient.

The railway station is usually located near a city’s centre, and is always well-connected to the local transportation system.

 

Russia and Ukraine

Booking window: Approx 45 Days.

Tickets issued as: ETickets.

Seat reservations: Yes, compulsory on some high speed services.

Child age range: 5 - 10 years old.

Main stations/ Left luggage: Yes.

Main stations/ Cycle hire: No.

Other information:

High speed services link Moscow and St Petersburg around 4 times a day.

 

If you require a quotation outside of the Booking windows we would be happy to provide this however, we will confirm timings once the Booking window opens.

 

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