New train services; new high speed rail lines; details of train services withdrawn in Europe PLUS major changes to European train timetables.
After being suspended for a number years overnight trains have been returned in both directions to the Belgrade/Beograd - Thessaloniki route.
Going south The Hellas Express departs Beograd/Belgrade at 18:45 and arrives in Thessaloniki at 11:16. A Greek IC train to Athens/Athina is scheduled to depart Thessaloniki at 12:18 and arrives at Larisa station in Athens at 17:41.
There are two options for travelling to Belgrade/Beograd in order to pick up the train to Thessaloniki:
(1) Take the overnight train from Zurich that departs from Zurich (hb) station at 20:40, it also departs from Ljublajana at 08:11 and Zagreb at 11:16 before arriving in Beograd at 17:32. So in theory in time to make the connection into the Thessaloniki train, but it isn't guaranteed.
(2) There is a daily daytime EC (air conditioned) express train to Beograd, the 'Avala', that departs from Prague/Praha (h.l.n.) at 05:39; Bratislava at 09:53 and Budapest (Keleti) at 13:05. It is due to arrive in Beograd at 20:50 so an overnight stay in Beogard is required if you take this option, but it's a safer bet than crossing your fingers and hoping that the train from Zurich/Ljubljana/Zagreb is on time!
Heading north the connections are more awkward, if you're planning a rail pass itinerary that includes Athens then travel in the opposite direction!
The Hellas Express departs from Thessaloniki at 15:52 and is due to arrive in Belgrade/Beograd at the eyebrow raising time of 05:33 in the morning!
The 'connecting' IC train to Thessaloniki departs from Athens/Athina (Larisa) station at 10:18, but arrives in Thessaloniki at 15:41. You don't have to be a train travel expert to appreciate that making that 14 min connection at Thessaloniki is a big gamble, the train to Beograd won't necessarily hang back if the train from Athens is delayed.
However, the preceding direct train to Thessaloniki departs from Athina (Larisa) at 07:18, but it does arrive in Thessaloniki with plenty of time to spare at 12:41, so an option is to explore the city between trains.
Heading on north from Beograd the two onward rail connections are:
(1) At 11:00 the train to Zurich departs, it won't arrive until 09:20 the next morning, but it also arrives in Zagreb at 18:09 and Ljubljana at 21:05.
(2) The daytime EC train to Prague/Praha, the 'Avala' leaves first at 06:45, but again it won't wait if the The Hellas Express is delayed. It is due to arrive in Budapest (Keleti) at 14:54; Bratislava at 18:50(ish) before completing its epic journey at Praha (h.l.n.) station at 22:21.
ThereByTrain's understanding is that reservations are now compulsory on the 'Avala' when travelling into Hungary and beyond, but it's definitely worth confirming this before you arrive in Beograd.
So that's the good news and a positive for rail pass users on a budget is that the only direct carriages making the entire journey in either direction on the trains to/from Beograd and both Thessaloniki AND Zurich are those with 2nd class seats that can be pulled flat for night time use.
So in theory you can make a flat bed for a fraction of the cost of travelling in a couchette or sleeping cabin. Though if the train is busy you'll be stuck upright in your seat all night on both these trains!
Though check whether you have to reserve these 2nd class seats in advance, ThereByTrain doesn't think you have to.
For everybody else there are sleeping cabins and couchettes available for part of the journey in either direction between both Beograd and Thessalonioki and between Beograd and Zurich.
Though to complete the journey you'll need to move to those 2nd class carriages and most of the time you'll have to do that early in the morning!
Whatever you choose take plenty of food/drink on board the trains with you, neither the Beograd - Thessaloniki or Beograd - Zurich trains have any catering facility.
A new pan-European train timetable came into effect on December 15th 2013, and with the exceptions of more minor alterations, that will come into effect on June 14th 2014, the pattern of international train services in Europe has been set for the next twelve months.
Normally I would cross reference online sources with a paper timetable, but as the latter will not be available until February, I’ve had to jump the gun slightly and produce the summary of pan-European international train timetable changes below.
However, fortunately the number of changes in comparison to previous annual European train timetable changes is comparatively minor.
International Train Service Additions
Direct international TGVs to/from Barcelona (and Madrid)
The big news is that more than two years later than planned,TGV trains are now operating direct in both directions between Paris (Gare De Lyon) and Barcelona (Sants), providing the first ever direct daytime train service between the two cities.
The timetable from Paris to Barcelona is two daily TGV departures from the Gare De Lyon at 07:15 (arrive 13:40) and 14:07 (arrive 20:40)
In the other direction TGVs depart Barcelona (Sants) station at 09:20 (arrive Paris 15:53) and 16:20 (arrive Paris 22:45); except that for, what I can glean from the online timetable, is during much of February, and on sporadic dates in March, the 16:20 departure MAY actually be terminating at Lyon.
Somewhat overshadowed by the press attention that the commencement of the Paris – Barcelona/Barcelona – Paris high speed train service has received, is that high speed trains have also begun operating on three other routes:
(1) - There are now also direct AVE (Spanish high speed trains in both directions between Lyon and Barcelona.
From Barcelona (Sants) station the train departs daily at 07:20 and arrives in Lyon at 12:24; heading to Barcelona the train departs daily from Lyon (Part Dieu) station at 14:30 and arrives in Barcelona at 19:42.
(2) - An AVE train now departs Marseilles (St Charles) daily at 08:04 and arrives in Barcelona (Sants) at 12:31 and Madrid (Atocha) at 15:45
In the opposite direction the daily TGV departs from Madrid (Atocha) at 15:40; Barcelona Sants at 18:26 and arrives in Marseilles at 22:58
Both these trains and the trains to/from Paris and Lyon also call at Montpellier (St Charles).
(3) – There are also now direct AVE trains in both directions between Toulouse and Barcelona.
A daily train departs Toulouse (Matabiau) at 08:16 and arrives in Barcelona (Sants) station at 11:24
In the other direction the AVE departs Barcelona (Sants) at 18:25 and arrives in Toulouse (Matabiau) at 21:41.
All the above trains also call at Narbonne; Perpiganan: Figueres (Vilifant) and Girona.
Direct train service restored between Venice/Wien and Venice/Venezia
One of Europe’s great rail routes is once again being served by direct daytime EC trains, following a suspension of the service some years ago.
An EC train is now departing daily from Venezia (St Lucia) at 15:59 and arriving in Wien (Meidling) station at 23:27.
In the opposite direction the train departs from Wien (Meidling) at 06:30 and arrives in Venezia (St Lucia) station at 14:05.
Trust me, it’s worth setting the alarm clock and making the trip south from Vienna/Wien, this is a journey best experienced in daylight!.
Direct train service restored between Istanbul and Bucharest/Bucuresti
The nightly ‘Bosphor Express’ overnight train had its journey curtailed in Turkey for much of 2013 due to engineering works on the line, but it is now once again providing a direct rail link between Istanbul and Bucharest/Buccuresti.
Heading north the through coaches depart Istanbul(Sirkeci) station at 22:00 and arrive in Buccresti (Nord) at 17:15 the following day.
In the opposite direct the train coaches depart from Buccuresti (Nord) at 12:55 and arrive in Istanbul (Sirkeci)at 07:50 the following morning.
Other new train services
There is now a direct daytime train between Zurich and Graz that also calls at Kitzbuhel and Zell Am Zee, it is an EC train that departs from Zurich (hb) station at 08:40.
In the other direction the train departs Graz at 09:45; Zell Am Zee (13:43); Kitzbuhel (14:28) and arrives in Zurich at 19:20.
There is also a new daytime train (not Sat) at 15:37 from Berlin hbf station direct to Gdasnsk and Gydnia Glowna.
There had previously been a 15:37 train from Berlin hbf to Warsaw/Warszawa, but this train now leaves the German capital at 17:37.
As far as I can see, there is no corresponding direct train (yet) in the other direction from Gydnia Glowna and Gdasnk to Berlin.
International Train Service Withdrawals
The following international European train services were withdrawn on, or before December 15th 2013 and have therefore now ceased operating;
- The Talgo(TLG) train service on the Montpellier – Barcelona – Alicante – (Cartagena) route, this has previously been the only direct train in both directions between Barcelona and Montpellier, but it has now been replaced by the commencement of the direct TGV trains (see above).
- Also withdrawn as a consequence of the commencment of the direct Paris - Barcelona/Barcelona - Paris TGVs are the 'Joan Miro' Elispsos (ELP) overnight train service in both directions between the French capital and Barcelona AND theElispsos (ELP) overnight train service 'the Francisco De Goya' in both directions between Paris and Madrid
- The overnight Thello (TLO) train on the Paris – Bologna – Florence/Firenze – Rome/Roma route has now stopped operating in both directions.
As a result there are no longer any direct trains between these Italian cities and the French capital.
Though the Paris – Venice/Venice – Paris Thello (TLO) overnight train continues to operate.
- There have been seemingly been big cuts in the number of direct overnight trains between both Berlin and Warsaw/Warszawa and Belarus, Ukraine and Russia.
A definite cut back is that the ‘Jan Kiepura’ overnight train now only operates in both directions between both Amsterdam & Cologne/Koln and Warsaw/Warszawa, meaning this train no longer connects these cities with Minsk and Moscow/Moskva.
Another definite withdrawal is the portion of the ‘Jan Kiepura’ in either direction that linked both Warsaw/Warsawa and Moscow with Frankfurt (Main) and Basel.
The only overnight train seemingly remaining from Berlin to the east is the ‘TransEuropean Express’ on the Paris – Warsaw/Warsawa – Moscow/Moskva route, which has been retimed (see amendments below) and now departs from Berlin hbf at 21:03 on Tues/Weds/Sat nights only (days of running will increase to 5 x per week for the summer from May 24th).
- The daytime EC train between Prague/Praha and Warsaw/Warsawa has now been withdrawn in both directions, though there are still comparatively good connections available by changing trains at Ostrava.
The overnight train now provides the only direct train service between the Czech and Polish capitals.
- The EC trains on what was the Hamburg - Cologne/Koln - Mainz - Karlsruhe - Basel - Zurich - Chur route now no longer operate between Zurich and Chur. They therefore now terminate at Zurich, where straightforward connections are available on to Chur. In the opposite direction they now commence the journey at Zurich.
- The direct train service may have been restored between Istanbul and Bucharest/Bucuresti (see above), but the same can’t be said for the direct trains between Sofia and Istanbul.
Passengers will now have to change trains when travelling between the Bulgarian capital and Istanbul.
Heading north, travellers need to leave the 22:00 from Istanbul at Stara Zagora when it arrives there at 08:31 and connect into another train to Sofia that departs from Stara Zagora at 09:27 and arrives in Sofia at 14:15 – seats have to be reserved on both trains.
In the opposite direction take the train from Sofia to Dimitrovgrad that arrives there at 22:38. The train from Buccresti to Istanbul departs from Dimitrovgrad at 23:27 and arrives in Istanbul at 07:50.
International Train Service Amendments
Many international train European services have had their departure/arrival times altered by a minutes in the wake of the new timetable being introduced on December 15th, but amongst the more significant timetable alterations are the following:
- The Euronight EN for Vienna/Wien now departs Cologne/Koln hbf earlier at 20:02, but still departs from Frankfurt (Main) hbf at 23:00.
- The Euronight (EN) train from Vienna/Wien to Frankfurt/Cologne/Hamburg now departs from the Westbahnhof station in the Austrian capital at 20:00.
- The Euronight (EN) train to Bucharest/Bucuresti now departs nightly from Vienna/Wien (Westbahnhof) at 19:48 and (Miedling) at 20:02.
In the opposite direction it now departs Bucharest/Bucuresti (Nord) station at 22:49.
- The EC trains in both directions on the Zurich/Lucerne - Milan/Milano 'Gotthard Route' via Lugano have been slowed down bny more than 40 mins in an effort to make them more reliable. The older tilting trains on this service have been prone to technical problems. ThereByTrain suspects that the tilting mechanism may have been turned off, hence the slower journeys.
One consequence is that when travelling between Zurich/Lucerne and Lugano the Swiss ICN trains are now faster than the EC trains by more than 30 mins and are more likely to have spare seats available.
- Copenhagen/Kobenhavn to Hamburg EC trains now depart Copenhagen 2 mins earlier than previously.
- The Euronight (EN) train from Berlin to Vienna/Budapest now departs from Berlin hbf 12 mins later at 18:22.
- The daily EC train from Warsaw/Warzawa to Budapest now departs Warsawa (Centralna) five mins later than previously at 10:20.
- The daily EC train from Warsaw/Warzawa to Vienna/Wien now departs Warsawa (Centralna) five mins later at 12:20.
- The nightly direct train to Kiev now departs Warszawa (Centralna) 45 mins later at 16:40.
- The nightly Euronight (EN) train from Warsaw to Vienna/Wien now departs Warzawa (Centralna) 18 mins earlier at 20:15.
- The daily direct daytime train from Buccuresti (Nord) to Sofia now departs 25 mins later at 12:55.
- The overnight train from Bucharest/Bucuresti to Vienna/Wien now departs Bucuresti (Nord) station 10 mins earlier at 13:00, as does the nightly train from Bucharest/Bucuresti to Budapest that now departs at 17:30.
- From Vienna/Wien the overnight train to Venice/Venezia now departs from the Westbahnhof station slightly later at 20:56 and from Linz at 22:38, but it now departs from Salzburg much earlier at 23:56.
However, in the opposite direction the change is less drastic, though it arrives in Linz and Vienna/Wien, two minutes earlier than previously.
Changes to trains between Bruxelles and The Netherlands (again)
There is now yet another new timetable in operation in both directions for direct trains between Brussels/Bruxelles and The Netherlands.
I’ll be able to cross reference the new timetable in February, but from what I can glean the following train service pattern is now operating north from Bruxelles (Midi) station:
- 05:52 IC to Rotterdam/Den Hagg (Mon-Fri)
- 06:18 Thalys to Rotterdam/Schiphol/Amsterdam (Mon-Fri)
- 06:52 IC to Den Haag (Mon-Fri)
- 07:52 Thalys to Rotterdam/Schiphol/Amsterdam (Mon-Fri)
- 08:52 Thalys to Rotterdam/Schiphol/Amsterdam (not Fri/Sun)
- 08:56 IC to Rotterdam/Den Hagg (Sat/Sun)
- 09:52 Thalys to Rotterdam/Schiphol/Amsterdam
- 09:56 IC to Rotterdam/Den Hagg (Sat/Sun)
- 10:52 Thalys to Rotterdam/Schiphol/Amsterdam (Sat until June 14 )
- 11:52 IC to Rotterdam/Den Hagg (Mon-Fri)
- 11:52 Thalys to Rotterdam/Schiphol/Amsterdam
- 11:56 IC to Rotterdam/Den Hagg (Sat/Sun)
- 12:52 IC to Rotterdam/Den Hagg (Mon-Fri)
- 12:52 Thalys to Rotterdam/Schiphol/Amsterdam
- 12:56 IC to Rotterdam/Den Hagg (Sat/Sun)
- 13:52 Thalys to Rotterdam/Schiphol/Amsterdam
- 14:52 IC to Rotterdam/Den Hagg (Mon-Fri)
- 14:56 IC to Rotterdam/Den Hagg (Sat/Sun)
- 15:52 IC to Rotterdam/Den Hagg (Mon-Fri)
- 15:52 Thalys to Rotterdam/Schiphol/Amsterdam
- 15:56 IC to Rotterdam/Den Hagg (Sat/Sun)
- 16:52 IC to Rotterdam/Den Hagg (Mon-Fri)
- 16:52 Thalys to Rotterdam/Schiphol/Amsterdam
- :56 IC to Rotterdam/Den Hagg (Sat/Sun)
- 17:52 IC to Rotterdam/Den Hagg (Mon-Fri)
- 17:52 Thalys to Rotterdam/Schiphol/Amsterdam
- 17:56 IC to Rotterdam/Den Hagg (Sat/Sun)
- 18:52 Thalys to Rotterdam/Schiphol/Amsterdam
- 19:52 IC to Rotterdam/Den Hagg (Mon-Fri)
- 19:52 Thalys to Rotterdam/Schiphol/Amsterdam
- 19:56 IC to Rotterdam/Den Hagg (Sat/Sun)
- 20:52 IC to Rotterdam/Den Hagg (Mon-Fri)
- 20:52 Thalys to Rotterdam/Schiphol/Amsterdam
- 20:56 IC to Rotterdam/Den Hagg (Sat/Sun)
- 21:52 Thalys to Rotterdam/Schiphol/Amsterdam (not Sat)
Changes to daytime trains between Zurich and Austria
There is now one fewer direct Railjet train from Zurich to Salzburg/Linz/Vienna as the 08:40 departure from Zurich has been diverted to serve Graz.
However, the 08:40 from Zurich now connects at Innsbruck into a Railjet train that departs Innsbruck at 12:20 and calls at Salzburg and Linz before arriving in Vienna/Wien (Westbahnhof) at 16:30.
In the opposite direction the trains from Vienna/Wien to Zurich depart from the Westbahnhof station 6 mins earlier, therefore departure times are now 07:30; 09:30; 13:30 and 15:30.
The 11:30 departure terminates at Innsbruck, which connects at Innsbruck into a train that departs at 15:43 and arrives in Zurich at 19:20.
The Munich – Villach – Ljubljana – Zagreb route
The direct trains between Munich/Munchen and Zagreb via Villach and Ljubljana have now been restored in both directions.
The times of the trains in the majority of European countries are updated in early December (this year’s update is happening on December 13th), but in early June a much smaller number of train services are usually added or withdrawn.
These changes are in addition to the extra trains that operate on many routes, particularly those that link cities with the coast.
However, when the summer timetables commence on June 9th, 2013, there are no major changes to report.
Not particularly positive news, as yet another target launch date has come and gone for a number of new rail links that were first scheduled back in 2012 (or earlier!).
Nice – Milano And Lyon – Torino Trains
ThereByTrain was glad to see the return of train services to these Franco-Italian routes added to provisional timetables in 2012, the train connections, between the two most popular countries in Europe for overseas visitors, need improving.
However, they’ve not appeared on the June timetable and the Thomas Cook European Rail Timetable has stopped referring to them at all; which isn’t a positive sign.
Withdrawn trains in Eastern Europe
A number of international train services were ‘temporarily withdrawn’ from schedules at the last major timetable change on December 9th 2012.
The most likely date for these resumption of these trains including the Zagreb – Munich train and Beograd – Sofia night trains was this June, but they’ve not been added back in to the timetables this time around.
There’s no denying that the first 6 months of 2013 have produced a wave of ‘bad news’ stories regarding European train travel with the suspension of the international FYRA trains; the delay to the Paris – Barcelona TGVs and the news that the full opening of the new Wien hbf in Vienna has also been moved back to December 2014.
The positive is that comparatively few services have been withdrawn in the June timetable change, the threat to the ‘Jan Kiepura’ Amsterdam – Koln – Warszawa service hasn’t been carried through yet, so we’re hoping that the only viable means of travelling between London, Brussels, Amsterdam and Warsaw overnight by train is retained at the December 13th 2013 timetable update.
As a a result the FYRA train service from Amsterdam - Rotterdam - Antwerp - Brussels/Bruxelles and Brussels/Bruxelles - Antwerp - Rotterdam - Amsterdam, that was introduced in December 2012, has been withdrawn indefinitely.
The conventional, non-high speed, IC expresss trains that the FYRA replaced have returned to the route.
So there will once again be a comparatively hassle free alternative to the (often more expensive) Thalys (THA) trains.
The direct Thalys train services in either direction between Amsterdam and Brussels/Bruxelles continues to operate normally.
Not such good news is that the IC trains will not operate to/from Amsterdam (Centraal) and Schiphol airport stations, connections will have to be made at Rotterdam, details of how to do this are inclduded below.
On Mon-Fri the (temporary) IC trains will operate in both directions between The Hague/Den Haag and Brussels/Bruxelles, but at weekends they will only operate between The Hague/Den Haag and Antwerp/Antwerpen
Changes to travel by train between Britain and Amsterdam
Details of how the suspension of the FYRA trains and their temporary 'replacement' by IC trains affects train travel between Britan and Amsterdam is available HERE
Some positives amidst the chaos
Amidst the calamity of the suspension of the FYRA train service from Amsterdam - Brussels there are two positives for travel by train between The Netherlands and Belgium.
1: Direct trains are once again operating on Mon-Fri from The Hague/Den Haag to Brussels/Bruxelles, this direct journey had been removed when the FYRA train service was introduced.
2: Eurail and InterRail pass users don't have to pay a supplement to travel on the IC trains from Rotterdam and The Hague.
The optional routing for avoiding the supplements charged on the FYRA and Thalys trains was (and still will be at some future date) a more awkward journey involving connections at Roosendaal and Antwerp.
Whether rail pass users still have to pay a supplement on the FYRA train from Amsterdam to Rotterdam to is less clear, but for rail pass users that want to avoid these possible charges, there are other direct trains from Amsterdam to Rotterdam on which no supplements are charged.
FROM AMSTERDAM TO BRUSSELS/BRUXELLES on MON-FRI from March 11th until a date tbc
The Thalys train service has not been affected by withdrawal of the FYRA trains.
Departure times of the Thalys trains from Amsterdam to Brussels are available HERE
On Mon-Fridays these IC (conventional express trains) will operate on a The Hague/Den Haag - Rotterdam - Antwerp - Brussels/Bruxelles route.
The Mon-Fri schedule/timetable that will be in place, until the FYRA train services resume, is as follows:
*= The IC trains also call at Bruxelles (Centraal) and Bruxelles (Nord) stations, prior to arrival at Bruxelles (Midi).
As can be seen the journey time from Amsterdam (Centraal) to Bruxelles (Midi) station by this combination of IC and FYRA trains is (typically) 2hrs 47 mins; in comparison to the 1hr 55min average journey time of the Thalys (THA) trains.
The IC trains depart from Den Hagg (HS) station at 07:29; 09:29; 11:29; 13:29; 15:29; 17:29; 19:29 and 21:29.
FROM AMSTERDAM TO BRUSSELS/BRUXELLES ON SAT/SUN from March 11th until a date tbc
At weekends the replacement IC trains will operate only between The Hague/Den Haag - Rotterdam - Antwerp.
At weekends connections are possible from Antwerp to Brussels/Bruxelles.
However, until the FYRA service resumes, if you want to avoid the higher ticket prices (and expensive supplements) on the Thalys (THA) trains when travelling from Amsterdam to Brussels at weekends, you will have to change trains twice in both Rotterdam AND Antwerp.
The weekend schedule/timetable that will be in place until the FYRA train services resume is as follows:
*= The IC trains also call at Bruxelles (Centraal) and Bruxelles (Nord) stations, prior to arrival at Bruxelles (Midi).
As can be seen the journey time from Bruxelles (Midi) station to Amsterdam (Centraal) station, by this combination of IC and FYRA trains at weekends is typically 3hrs 35min; in comparison to the 1hr 55min average journey time of the Thalys (THA) trains.
FROM BRUSSELS/BRUXELLES TO AMSTERDAM ON MON-FRI from March 11th until a date tbc
Departure times of the Thalys trains from Brussels are available HERE (look up trains to Amsterdam/Rotterdam/Schiphol).
On Mon-Fridays the IC (conventional express trains) will operate on a Brussels/Bruxelles - Antwerp - Rotterdam - The Hague/Den Haag route.
The Mon-Fri schedule/timetable that will be in place, until the FYRA train services resume, is as follows:
*= The IC trains also depart from Bruxelles (Centraal) and Bruxelles (Nord) stations.
As can be seen the journey time from Bruxelles (Midi) station to Amsterdam (Centraal) station by this combination of IC and FYRA trains is (typically) 2hrs 47 mins; in comparison to the 1hr 55min average journey time of the Thalys (THA) trains.
FROM BRUSSELS/BRUXELLES TO AMSTERDAM ON SAT/SUN from March 11th until a date tbc
At weekends the replacement IC trains will operate only between Antwerp - Rotterdam - and The Hague/Den Haag.
At weekends connections are possible from Brussels/Bruxelles to Antwerp.
However, until the FYRA service resumes, if you want to avoid the higher ticket prices (and expensive supplements) on the Thalys (THA) trains when travelling from Brussels to Amsterdam at weekends, you will have to change trains twice in Antwerp AND Rotterdam.
The weekend schedule/timetable that will be in place until the FYRA train services resume is as follows:
*= The IC trains also depart from Bruxelles (Centraal) and Bruxelles (Nord) stations.
As can be seen the journey time from Bruxelles (Midi) station to Amsterdam (Centraal) station, by this combination of IC and FYRA trains at weekends is typically 3hrs 32min; in comparison to the 1hr 55min average journey time of the Thalys (THA) trains.
The majority of countries on continental Europe including France, Germany, Italy and Switzerland updated their respective railway timetables on December 9th 2012.
The new schedules also affect international train services between countries.
The new timings of the majority of trains will be in effect until December 2013, but there will be further amendments in the summer months.
On the new timetables there are comparatively few amendments to long distance trains that solely operate within Belgium, Germany and Switzerland - which is why they haven't been included below.
We’ve summarised the
major changes to domestic and international train that came into effect on December 9th below – a link to further information on ThereByTrain.com indicates that we’ve already updated the respective page(s) on the website.
We’ll update them all as soon as we can, but a full time day time job and multiple pages that need amending isn’t an ideal combination.
International DAY Trains – Amendments:
The following European international daytime train services were amended on December 9th 2012:
- The IC/(EC) train service between Amsterdam and Berlin has been diverted to operate from Schiphol Airport station and now operates direct between Amsterdam (Centraa) station and Berlin hbf.
This alteration also means that one less change of train is required when travelling by day by train in either direction between Amsterdam and both Hamburg and Copenhagen/Kobenhavn. More info HERE
- The EC train service between Berlin and Krakow (the only direct international day train to/from Krakow) has been cut back and is now only operating between Berlin and Wroclaw – with awkward connections on to Krakow
- In 2011 the direct EC train between Munich/Munchen and Belgrade/Beograd was cut back to operate between Villach in Austria and Beograd only, with connections at Villach to/from Munchen.
Now it has been cut back at the eastern end of its journey and no longer operates in either direction over the Croatia/Serbia border, it now only runs between Villach and Vinkovici in Croatia.
As a result it is no longer possible to travel by day by train between Munich/Munchen and Belgrade/Beograd, though there is still a direct daily EC train in both directions on the Munich/Munchen - Ljubljana and Zagreb route. More info HERE
- Eurostar’s new timetable has few changes to the services between London and Brussels/Bruxelles, but trains between London and Paris have been retimed, particularly the afternoon departures from London
However, connections at Lille have been overhauled, the number of TGV trains between Lille and other destinations in France has been cut, particularly on the Lille – Montpellier/Strasbourg routes.
As a result the fastest journey times when travelling by train from London to virtually all destinations in France (south of Paris) are now possible by travelling via Paris, and not by making connections at Lille.
- The train between Basel and Milan/Milano that was the only train of the day to travel the Basel – Lucerne – Lugano – Como – Milan route (all other trains between Basel and Milan travel via Brig), has now been cut back to operate in both directions only between Lucerne and Milano, but the new schedule is more convenient in terms of arrival and departure times at Lucerne.
According to the Thomas Cook Timetable this Milano-Lucerne/Lucerne – Milano train is not an EC train, but an IC train. If that is the case the supplements that rail pass users have to pay on the EC trains between Italy and Switzerland may not apply - if you travel by this train please let us know.
The tilting EC trains (formerly operated by Cisalpino) on the ‘The Gotthard Route’; Milano – Como – Lugano – Zurich are evidently still being unreliable. The timetable now has a note saying that trains on this route may be up to 40mins slower in both directions if a non-tilting train has to be substituted for a tilting train.
- One of the two daily trains between Berlin and Vienna/Wien via Prague and Breclav no longer operates beyond Breclav, but there are connections at Breclav to/from Vienna.
There are multiple other daily trains between Vienna-Wien and Prague/Praha via Breclav.
- The Railjet RJ trains between Vienna/Wien and both Munich/Munchen and Zurich and the ICE trains on the Vienna – Linz – Frankfurt/Hamburg routes will now arrive at their destinations 20 mins earlier. They’re now using the new higher speed railway route that’s opened between Vienna and Linz.
International DAY Trains - Additions:
The following European international daytime train services were introduced on December 9th 2012:
- A new Alleo (AEO) train service has been introduced in both directions between Basel and Marseilles.
- It is now possible to travel by day by train in both directions between Budapest and Bucharest/Buccuresti. A new IC train service has been introduced. More info HERE
If you’re considering travelling to/from Istanbul by train, the route via Bucharest/Buccuresti now has the edge over travelling the alternative route between central Europe and Istanbul via Beograd and Sofia.
- There is a new rail link between Paris and central Switzerland. The daily TGV from Paris to Berne has been extended to Interlaken. However, in the opposite direction the service only departs from Interlaken at weekends.
- A useful new service for those who prefer to travel to ski resorts by train is a new Saturday train between Lille and Brig that also calls at Aigle, Martigny and Sierre. More info HERE
International DAY Trains - Withdrawals:
The following European international daytime train services were discontinued on December 8th 2012:
- The daily train in both directions between Budapest and Ljubljana, on the shortest route via Hodos, has disappeared from the timetable.
It is still possible to travel between the Hungarian and Slovenian capitals by train, the daily train between Budapast and Zagreb has been extended to operate to/from Ljubljana.
However, the journey time between there and Budapest is now more than two hours longer! More info HERE
One of the two daily trains between Budapest and Zagreb has also been withdrawn, leaving a single daily service in each direction between the Hungarian and Croatian capitals.
- One of the two daily direct trains between Vienna/Wien and Zagreb has been discontinued, the withdrawn train used to take an alternative route via Szombathely and Nagykanizsa, so south west Hungary has been deprived of its direct rail link with the Austrian capital.
The remaining train between Vienna/Wien and Budapest is that which takes the route via Graz.
- All of the IC trains between Ljubljana and Zagreb in both directions have ceased operating, halving the number of trains between the Croatian and Slovenian capitals.
The only remaining trains are the longer distance trains that operate beyond Ljubljana to/from Austria. More info HERE
- The trains in either direction between Sarajevo and both Budapest and Belgrade/Beograd have been discontinued, leaving the daily train in both directions between Sarajevo and Zagreb as the only remaining international train service to/from Bosnia. More information HERE
- The 2x daily trains between Prague/Praha and Nuremberg have been withdrawn, in effect they have been diverted to operate on the Prague/Praha – Munich/Munchen route , which now has 4 x trains per day in each direction.
These trains are slower than the parallel bus service – on which rail passes are valid (if you pay the reservation fee), but who wants to take a bus when you can take the train!?!
International Overnight Trains – Amendments:
The following European international overnight train services were amended on December 9th 2012:
- The ‘Jan-Kiepura’ train service to/from Amsterdam and Cologne(Koln)and Warsaw/Warszawa no longer operates beyond Minsk, so now doesn’t depart from /arrive at Moscow/Moskva.
However, connections to/from Moscow/Moskva are straightforward, the 'Jan Kiepura' train is joined together with the Basel - Moscow/Moskva train for the journey throgh Poland.
- You’ll need to be fairly determined to travel between Istanbul and either Bucharest/Buccuresti or Sofia by train in 2013!
Much of the railway route on the Turkish border is closed for work on the line until a date tbc. The replacement bus service is inevitably a poor substitution for a bed on the train.
Travellers also have to transfer between the bus and the train(s) (that are still operating on the part of the route, not affected by the work) in the middle of the night!
- On the dates that it operates, the ‘Dacia’ Euronight (EN) train service to/from Bucharest/Buccuresti is again operating between the Romanian capital and Vienna/Wien, it had been cut back to operate between Budapest and Bucharest only.
International Overnight Trains - Additions:
The following European international overnight train services were introduced on December 9th 2012:
- Overnight train operator, Thello (TLO) has restored the rail link between Paris and Bologna, Florence/Firenze and Rome/Roma. Heading south the train departs from the Gare de Lyon in Paris at 19:14 on Mon-Fri and 18:45 at weekends.
- Overnight train operator , CityNightLine (CNL) has introduced a new direct train service in both directions between Munich/Munchen and Milan/Milano.
The train is scheduled to spends hours parked outside Verona, but the lack of movement should help with a good night's sleep! More info HERE
International NIGHT Trains - Withdrawals:
The following European international overnight train services were discontinued on December 8th 2012:
- Elipsos (ELP) withdrew trains on the (1) Barcelona – Geneva –Bern – Zurich and (2) Barcelona – Torino – Milano routes. More info HERE
This severs the direct rail link between Italy and Spain, but as pointed out by @4000Islander on Twitter, the stunning scenery around the Mediterranean Coast results in a journey best appreciated in daylight.
From the summer it should be possible to travel from between Italy and Spain in single day by train, but until then an overnight stay somewhere on the French Mediterranean coast is required, hopefully not much of a hardship when there are multiple stunning towns/destinations to choose from.
The coming introduction of the new fastest ever daytime rail links between Geneva and Barcelona is partial compensation for the cancellation of the direct overnight train service.
- The overnight train between Belgarde/Beograd and Sofia has ceased operating until a date tbc. The cities are still linked in ‘theory’ by a daytime train service, we say ‘in theory’ because buses are often substituted for trains for much of the journey on this route.
The major changes to the times of trains within Austria that came into effect on December 9th 2012 are as follows:
- A new higher speed line has opened between Vienna and St Polten, as a result long distance trains between Vienna/Wien and Bregenz, Innsbruck, Linz and Salzburg are 18-20 mins faster with earlier arrival times in Vienna as a result.
- The new central rail hub station for Vienna, the ‘Wien hbf’ has opened, but is initially only being used by a handful of local and regional train services, but these do include the trains between Vienna/Wien and Brastislava and the slow trains between Vienna/Wien and Gyor
It is highly likely that many of the long distance train services to/from Vienna/Wien will be diverted to use Wien hbf from December 2014, follow ThereByTrain on facebook or Twitter for news of these changes.
The major changes to the times of trains within France that came into effect on December 9th 2012 are as follows:
- The railway line between Valence and Grenoble will be closed throughout the majority of 2013 with buses replacing trains for much of the journey.
Train services affected include the direct regional trains between Avignon/Valence and Annecy/Geneva. Alternatives to taking the bus include the TGVs between Avignon/ Valence and Geneva; or making train connections at Lyon (Part Dieu) station.
- There are fewer long distance IC trains on the Bordeaux-Tolouse- Montpellier-Marseilles route, which will be affected by sporadic work on the line for much of 2013. However, there will probably be additional services in the summer months
- There are comparatively major alterations to the timetable on the Paris-French Alps (Annecy/Chamberry) and Paris-Bordeaux routes.
The latter is also affected by engineering work on the line between Bordeaux and the Spanish border at Hendaye/Irun. Trains to/from Paris that operate beyond Bordeaux to/from destinations including Hendaye and Tarbes have been retimed.
- There have been more minor alterations to TGVs between Paris and Brittany (Nantes/Rennes/Brest) with services departing earlier or later by a couple of minutes in comparison to the 2012 timetable. .
- The number of TGVs services to/from Lille, that use the high speed network of lines that surround central Paris, have been reduced. There are fewer direct trains between Lille and Brittany (Nantes/Rennes) and between Lille and Nimes/Montpellier.
The Lille – Strasbourg service has been reduced to one train per day, but there are connections from Lille into a TGV to/from Strasbourg that departs from/arrives at the Aeroport CDG TGV station.
There are few major changes to long distance train services operated by state operator, FS, but the policy of renaming its categories of high speed has now been completed. The train type’ Eurostar Italia’ has been dropped and all services that were previously branded ‘Eurostar Italia’ ‘ES’ are now Frecciagento services.
FS has now also completely dropped the train type 'AV', that previously applied to trains that used the high speed lines in Italy for all orpart of the journey. Italian timetables had already started using the terms Frecciarosa for trains that solely use the high speed lines and ‘Frecciagento’ for trains that use the high speed line network for part of the journey only.
For the sake of consistency we’re going to match this policy on ThereByTrain and introduce ‘FR’ and ‘FG’ as codes for Italian trains in place of AV. But we’re sure to initially miss some instances in which we’ve used AV, so if you still see AV on ThereByTrain you’ll know that we’re referring to an Italian high speed train.
Independent high speed train operator Italo has increased its number of train services, particularly to/from Turin/Torino.
The major changes to the times of trains within TheNetherlands, that came into effect on December 9th 2012 are as follows:
- A new railway line has opened between Leylstad and Zwolle, it is now used by IC trains between Amsterdam and destinations in north-east Holland including Groningen and Leeuwarden, and as a result these train services have had their journey times cut by approximately 20 mins in each direction.
- Other services that won’t use then new line, including those between both The Hague/Den Haag and Rotterdam – north east Netherlands have also been revised.
- There are also reductions in the number of trains that are joined together for most of the journey and then divide to reach different destinations, travellers will have to change trains more often in 2013.
Future likely timetable changes during 2013:
There will be further changes to train timetables during 2012, those we know about it include;
- The high speed line between Barcelona and Figueres that will be used by TGV trains between Barcelona and France will open in 2013 (it was due to be operating from the timetable change on December 9th 2012).
The existing services between Paris and Figueres, that have connections to/from Barcelona, are currently due to be retimed from July 7th (a timetable change that had been planned for April). There is a slim possibility that the line between Barcelona and Figueres will open on this date which will allow direct TGVs in either direction between Barcelona and Paris/Geneva.
- International train operator, Thello (the providers of the overnight trains between Paris and Italy) is still planning to begin operating day trains in the summer of 2013 on two routes; (1) Nice – Geonva – Mialno and (2) Lyon – Torino.
Keep up to date with changes to European train services by following ThereByTrain on Twitter
From Dec 9th 2012, trains will begin using a faster rail line that is opening between
Vienna/Wien and St Polten.
As a result the schedules of express trains between Vienna/Wien and Linz will be speeded up by approximately 15 minutes.
The following groups of trains services are amongst those that
will be operating to a faster schedule:
- Railjet trains between Vienna/Wien and Bregenz, Munich/Munchen, Innsbruck, Salzburg and Zurich
- OEC trains between Vienna/Wien and Bregenz, Innsbruck and Salzburg
- ICE trains between Vienna/Wien and Cologne/Koln, Frankfurt (Main), Hamburg and Nuremberg
As a result arrival and departure times in Vienna/Wien will be amended from December 9th 21012 and we'll be adding these changes to ThereByTrain.com as
close as possible to that date.
In 2013 the period in which the Saturdays only direct Eurostar train between London (St Pancras International) and Avignon (Centre) is being greatly extended.
The service will operate on 26 Saturdays in 2013, an increase on the 10 days on which the train operated in 2012.
According to the Thomas Cook European Rail Timetable, in 2013 the Eurostar train will operate between London and Avignon/Provence every Saturday from April 20th to October 5th and in the opposite direction to London from Apr 27th to Oct 12th.
The train will depart from London (St Pancras International) at 07:17 and Ashford (International) at 07:55.
It will arrive in Avignon (Centre) at 13:53.
In the other direction it will depart from Avignon (Centre) at 16:27 and arrive in Ashford (International) at 20:37 and London (St Pancras International) at 21:11.
The journey time between London and Avignon is 5hr 36mins.
As it name implies Avignon (Centre) is adjacent to the heart of the city and is therefore much more convenient when travelling to Avignon itself than Avignon (TGV)
station which is outside of the city.
As suggested by the name of the station, TGVs for onward travel from Avignon to Marseilles, Toulon and The French Riviera including Nice, depart from Avignon (TGV)
and not Avignon (Centre).
A shuttle bus operates between Avignon (Centre) and Avignon (TGV)
For this reason it can be easier to make connections in Lille or Paris when travelling between London and Marseilles.
There are no convenient connections at Avignon between the direct Eurostar train and TGVs to/from Nimes, Montpellier, Beziers, Narbonne and Perpignan .
Direct onward connections are possible to/from the Eurostar train at Avignon (Centre).
There are slow, but scenic, local /regional trains between Avignon (Centre) and multiple other destinations including Arles, Beziers, Marseilles, Mirimas, Montpellier, Narbonne and Nimes.
We'll add details of these connections when the French timetable is published for 2013.
More information on Eurostar trains is available in our comprehensive guide.
Trains will depart daily from Amsterdam (Centraal) at the times listed below (the time in brackets is the arrival time at Berlin hbf):
- 07:02 (13:19)
- 09:02 (15:20)
- 11:02 (17:20)
- 13:02 (19:19)
- 15:02 (21:19)
Trains will depart daily from Berlin hbf at the times listed below (the time in brackets is the arrival time at Amsterdam (Centraal)):
- 06:37 (12:59) Mon - Sat
- 08:37 (14:59)
- 10:37 (16:59)
- 12:37 (18:59)
- 14:37 (20:59)
- 16:37 (22:59)
Trains currently operate between Amsterdam Schiphol Airport station and Berlin, but from December 9th the trains are being diverted to operate to/from Amsterdam (Centraal) station in the heart of the city.
This switch will cut out the current need to make connections at Hilversum when travelling between Amsterdam (Centraal) station and Berlin, Hannover and Osnabruck by train.
The new schedule is particularly good news for
Eurail and InterRail pass users.
Amsterdam and Berlin are popular destinations on many itineraries and it will now be easier to travel between these must see cities by train.
No supplements and reservations are required on these IC/EC trains.
A new rail link jas opened between Poland's leading international airport, Warszawa Frederic Chopin and central Warsaw/Warsawa.
Modern trains, provided by local train operator, SKW, link the airport from a new station beneath Terminal A (the main terminal) and
several stations in Warsaw/Warszawa - including Wschodnia station
There are also less frequent (hourly) trains operated by KM which link the airport with both Centralna and
From the airport
There are between three and five trains per hour from the airport to the city centre, the trains don't have a set pattern of departure times,
but you shouldn't have to wait more than 20 mins for a train.
If you're heading to the city centre you need to take the train to either Scódmiescie
or Centralna stations (if the next train is calling at Centralna and not Scódmiescie don't wait for the next train to Scódmiescie).
The journey time to/from central Warsaw/Warszawa is approximately 20-25 mins .
Click HERE for further information including train times.
If you're connecting to long distance trains to other cities in Poland
there is no need to wait for a train to Centralna, or attempt the fairly awkward connection between the Scródmiescie and Centralna stations.
your train from the airport is calling at Scródmiescie and Wschodnia staions (and NOT Centralna), our advice is to connect into the long distance
trains at Wschodnia.
It is served by virtually all the express trains that call at Centralna and at Wschodnia, the trains from the airport share
the station with the long distance trains.
Wschodnia station has also been recently modernised and as many travellers cite Centralna as being
awkward to use, Wschodnia is a good alternative - it's also in the open air and not underground.
To the airport
When travelling to Warsaw Chopin airport from central Warsaw/Warzsawa look for trains that terminate at Warszawa Lotnisko Chopina station. This
station is directly linked to Terminal A at airport, which handles the majority of flight departures.
The stations closest to the city center, from where trains to the airport depart, are Centralna (the main station in central Warsaw/Warszawa) and
Scródmiescie PKP station (avoid Scródmiescie WKD station) .
The stations are comparatively close to each other, and are linked by underground passage
ways enabling passengers arriving by train at Centralna to connect into trains departing from Scródmiescie and vice versa.
Click HERE for further information including train times.
If you're heading to the airport from the east bank of the River Visla, there's no need to head into the city center.
All the above trains depart for Warszawa Lotnisko Chopina station from Wschodnia station, which is located on the east bank, so a minimum of 3x trains per hour depart from this station and the journey time is approximately 30-35mins.
If you're connecting to the airport from a long distance train arriving in Warsaw/Warzsawa, you can change to the airport at either Centralna or Wschnodia stations.
You'll see from above that there can be gaps of more than an hour between trains that depart from Centralna station to the airport, particularly in the afternoon and late evening.
If there's no train due to the airport within 40 mins of your arrival time at Centralna, it will be easier to change trains at Wschodnia, rather than trying to negotiate the link between Centralna and Scródmiescie (PKP) stations.
The AV high speed trains from/to Malpensa Airport and Bologna,Florence and Rome have now been withdrawn.
To travel to/from Milan Malpensa by train from any other city in Italy, you now need to change trains in Milan, it's much easier to make connections at Milan/Milano (Centrale) station and take the direct trains between there and the airport
Click HERE for details of train between Malpensa airport and Centrale station in Milan.
A new high speed train service now provides a direct rail link in both directions between Frankfurt (Main) and both Lyon and Marseilles - for
connections to/from the south of France.
Strasbourg also now has direct trains to/from Frankfurt(Main).
Previously a rail journey between Marseilles and Frankfurt would have involved a minumum of three changes of train or a substantial diversion
The 'Alleo' AEO trains, that provide the service,
travel on the newly opened LGV Rhin-Rhone between Lyon and Mulhouse, as well as the the high speed lines between Marseilles - Lyon and Mannheim -
The journey time in either direction between Frankfurt (Main) and Marseilles is 7hr 40mins and that between Frankfurt (Main) and Lyon is
TGV 'Duplex' trains sets that have both lower and upper decks are used on this 'Alleo' branded service (rail pass users should note that supplements
and terms and conditions that apply are for AEO and not TGV trains).
The new service provides much improved connections between popular tourist areas, it is now much simpler to travel in a day in either direction
between the likes of the French Mediterranean coast or the French Alps and the Rhine Valley or popular German cities such as Berlin, Cologne/Koln,
Hamburg and Munich.
Trains from France TO Germany (on the LGV Rhin-Rhone)
Trains depart from -
- Marseilles (St Charles) at 08:14;
- Aix-en-Provence (TGV) at 08:29;
- Avignon (TGV) at 08:51;
- Lyon (Part Dieu) at 10:04;
- Besancon (TGV) at 12:05;
- Strasbourg at 13:54
The train arrives in -
- Baden-Baden at 14:22
- Karlsruhe at 14:46
- Mannheim at 15:18
- Frankfurt (Main) hbf at 15:58
- (Mon-Sat) Local train depart Les Arcs* (06:06); Toulon (07:06) - arrive Marseilles (St Charles) at 08:04
- It is not possible to connect into the departure from Marseilles from destinations east of Les Arcs including Antibes, Cannes and
- Daily TGV Depart Montpellier (St Charles) (07:00); Nimes at (07:26) - arrive Lyon (Part Dieu) at 08:54
- (Mon-Fri) local train departs Narbonne (04:26); Beziers (04:46); Montpellier (05:39); Nimes (06:10); Arles (06:44)- arrive Marseiles (St
Charles) at 07:46
- (Mon-Sat) local train departs Bourg St Maurice (06:18); Moutiers-Salins (06:51); Albertville (07:22); Chamberry (07:58) - Lyon (Part Dieu) at
- Daily EC/IC depart Mannheim at 16:08 - arrives Mainz (16:46); Bingen (17:05); Koblenz (17:41); Bonn (18:20) and Cologne/Koln hbf (18:42)
- Daily ICE depart Mannheim at 15:35 - arrives Frankfurt Airport/Flughafen* (16:08); Cologne/Koln hbf (17:05)
- For travel to Frankfurt Airport make this connection at Mannheim, there is no need to travel via Frankfurt (Main)
- Daily ICE depart Mannheim at 15:32* - arrives Stuttgart (16:12); Ulm (17:09); Augsburg (17:55) and Munuch/Munchen hbf (18:27)
- For onward travel towards Munich make this connection at Mannheim, don't change trains at Karlsruhe
- Daily ICE depart Frankfurt (Main) hbf at 16:13 - arrives Berlin (hbf) (20:21)
- Daily ICE depart Frankfurt (Main) hbf at 16:58 - arrives Hannover (19:17); Hamburg hbf (20:38)
Trains from Germany TO France (on the LGV Rhin-Rhone)
Trains depart from -
- Frankfurt (Main) hbf at 14:00;
- Mannheim at 14:39;
- Karlsruhe at 15:11;
- Baden-Baden at 15:33
The train arrives in -
- Strasbourg at 16:03
- Mulhouse at 16:57
- Besancon (TGV) at 17:55
- Lyon (Part Dieu) at 19:56
- Avignion (TGV) at 21:08
- Aix-en-Provence (TGV) at 21:31
- Marseilles (St Charles) at 21:46
- Daily IC train depart Cologne/Koln hbf (11:18); Bonn (11:37); Koblenz (12:18); Bingen (12:52); Mainz (13:13) - arrive Mannheim at 13:52
- Daily ICE train depart Cologne/Koln hbf at 12:55 - arrive Mannheim at 14:24
- Daily ICE train depart Munich/Munchen hbf (11:28); Augsburg (12:03); Ulm (12:51); Stuttgart (13:49) - arrive Mannheim at 14:27*
- Earlier ICE train that arrives in Mannheim at 13:29 departs Munich (10:28) and Augsburg (11:03) an there is an IC train which arrives in
Mannheim at 14:04 that departs Ulm (11:57); Stuttgart (13:08); Heidelberg (13:54) arrives Mannheim at 14:06
- Daily ICE train depart Berlin hbf at 09:34 - arrive Frankfurt (Main) hbf at 13:44
- Daily ICE train depart Hamburg hbf (09:24); Hannover hbf (10:41) - arrive Mannheim at 13:53
- (Fridays only) TGV depart Aix-en-Provence (TGV) at 21:47 - arrives Toulon (22:40); Cannes (23:53); Antibes (00:06); Nice (00:26)
- Daily TGV depart Lyon (Part Dieu) at 20:10 - arrives Nimes (21:32); Montpellier (St Charles) (21:57)
- (Fri/Sun only) TGV depart Lyon (Part Dieu) at 20:10 - arrives Beziers (22:52); Narbonne (23:05); Perpignan (23:41)
- Daily local train depart Lyon (Part Dieu) at 20:14 - arrives Grenoble (21:33)
As a result of the opening of the latest high speed line in France, the LGV Rhin-Rhone, on December 11th 2011, the Lyria TGVL trains between Paris and Switzerland that previously used the Gare De l’Est in Paris now depart from/arrive at the Gare De Lyon.
They now use the same Paris terminal as the Lyria trains between Paris and Geneva, so all Lyria trains now depart from/arrive at the Gare De Lyon.
Due to the opening of the LGV Rhin-Rhone the trains between Paris and Basel/Zurich are now faster than ever before.
Journey times between Paris and Basel have been cut to only 3hr 3min from 3hr 35in and those between Zurich and Paris to 4hr 3min from 4hr 34min.
Due to the opening of the new high speed line, the LGV Rhin-Rhone, certain of the Lyria
TGVL trains between Paris and Basel/Zurich now operate via Dijon, providing new direct trains between Burgundy and Switzerland.
Trains to Basel and Zurich depart daily from Dijon at 10:01; 12:01 and 20:01 – the journey time to Basel is 1hr 25mins
Trains to Dijon depart from Zurich (hb) daily at 09:27; 13:34 and (15:34 not Sat) and from Basel (SBB) at 10:34; 14:34 and (16:34 not Saturday)
The latest high speed line in France, the LGV Rhin-Rhone opened on December 11th 2011.
The line has transformed train services between Lyon/Marseilles and Strasbourg as TGV trains now use the new high speed route between Belfort and Dijon (many trains on the new Strasbourg to Marseilles services don’t call at Dijon).
Journey times have been reduced to:
Marseilles – Strasbourg = 5hr 30mins
Lyon – Strasbourg = 3hr 40mins
Marseilles – Mulhouse = 4hr 40mins
Lyon – Mulhouse = 2hr 50mins
From Mar 23th a new high speed train (ICE or TGV tbc) will provide a new direct service in both directions between Frankfurt/Mannheim and Strasbourg, Mulhouse, Lyon, Avignon, Aix-en-Provence and Marseilles.
This train, which will transform connections between Germany and the south of France will depart daily from Frankfurt (Main) (hbf) at 14:00; Mannheim at 14:39 and Karlsruhe at 15:11.
It will arrive in Strasbourg (16:03); Mulhouse (16:57); Lyon (Part Dieu – 19:56); Avignon (TGV – 21:08); Aix-en-Provence (TGV – 21:31) and Marseilles (St Charles) at 21:46.
In the opposite direction the train will depart from Marseilles (ST Charles) at 08:14; Aix-en-Provence (TGV – 08:29); Avignon (TGV- 08:51); Lyon (Part Dieu – 10:04); Mulhouse (12:56) and Strasbourg at 13:54.
It will arrive in Baden-Baden at 14:22; Karlsruhe (14:46); Mannheim (15:18) and Frankfurt (Main) hbf at 15:58.
In order to travel overnight by train between Budapest and Venice, travellers now have to make connections in Vienna.
The most viable connection is to take the 17:10 Railjet (RJ) train from Budapest (Keleti) to Vienna/Wien (Westbahnhof) where this train is due to arrive at 20:00.
The overnight Allegro ALG train to Venice/Venezia departs from Wien (Westbahnhof) at 20:40 and arrives in Venezia (St Lucia) at 08:34.
The nightly ALG ‘Allegro’ train to Vienna/Wien departs from St Lucia station in Venice/Venezia at 21:05, it arrives in Wien (Westbahnhof) at 08:22.
A Railjet (RJ) train to Budapest departs from Wien (Westbahnhof) at 09:54, it arrives at Keleti station in Budapest at 12:49
The EuroNight train made calls at both Zagreb and Ljubljana at generally inconvenient times, but it’s withdrawal means that there are now no trains at all between both Croatia and Slovenia and Italy.
There are now no passenger trains at all across the Italy/Slovenia border severing all direct rail links between Italy and countries to the east.
The EuroNight also conveyed couchettes between Belgrade/Beograd and Venice, so this service has also been discontinued with unfortunately no viable rail replacement.
Rail pass holders can still travel between Ljubljana/Zagreb and Venice by using a bus connection between Villach and Venice.
Since December 11th 2011 it has been possible to travel direct between Switzerland and Hungary by train during the day.
A Railjet RJ train departs Zurich (hb) station at 10:40 and arrives in Budapest (Keleti) station at 21:59
In the opposite direction the Railjet departs from Budapest (Keleti) at 06:05 and arrives in Zurich (hb) at 17:20
From December 11th 2011, the direct
EC train that previously operated between Munich and Belgrade/Beograd has now been diverted to serve Klagenfurt in Austria.
As a result there are no longer any direct trains between Germany and Serbia. However, an apparently guaranteed connection is provided by a new EC train that departs Villach at 12:52 and arrives in Belgrade/Beograd at 23:40 (but this new train has no 1st class seats).
The connecting train departs Munich/Munchen hbf at 08:27 and arrives in Villach at 12:43.
On the previous timetable travellers often had to transfer between trains at Villach, despite a through train being advertised.
In the opposite direction the train departs Belgrade/Beograd at 05:13 and arrives in Villach at 17:03; from where the connecting EC train to Munich/Munchen departs at 17:16, it arrives in Munich at 21:33.
The trains between Villach and Belgrade also call at Ljubljana and Zagreb, but there are still direct trains between both Frankfurt and Munich and the capitals of Slovenia and Croatia.
The train to Zagreb departs from Munchen hbf at 12:27 and arrives in Ljubljana at 18:30 and Zagreb at 20:53.
In the other direction the EC train to Munich departs from Zagreb at 06:50 and from Ljubljana at 09:12.