While many countries may have their own train trackers on websites or via an app – did you know there is one which now covers 11 countries, which is effectively most of Central and Western Europe, including Eurostar to/from the UK ? You can find out current and historic punctuality records for all long-distance trains by train number or by station. You can also access diagrams to see how well parts of the European Rail Network are currently performing. Another useful feature is the ability to find the reliability and punctuality of particular connections, which can be useful if they are rather “tight”. The Countries covered are:- Germany, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Denmark, Poland, Switzerland, Austria, Czechia, Slovenia and Italy. You
This is the title of a comprehensive report which was published by Greenpeace last month. They investigated 112 routes across 27 European countries and came to the conclusion that on average travel by train costs twice as much as travel by plane. For each route they checked the fares for 9 different travel days. The worst example was the cost of travel on the same day from Barcelona to London, where the cheapest train fare was a whopping 30 times more expensive than the air fare. London-Barcelona is also one of the busiest air routes in Europe with a rather poor rail alternative at present in terms of cost, speed and frequency. The report outlines some suggested action points for
On the evening of Thursday 25th May the first European Sleeper left Berlin at 22.56 arriving in Brussels at around 9.30 the next morning. The return service to Berlin then left Brussels at 19.22 on Friday 26th May arriving in Berlin around 7.00 the next morning. This new service, running 3 times a week offers useful connections with the Eurostar service from Brussels to London and can also be joined at Rotterdam & Amsterdam. They hope to extend this service to Dresden and Prague next year. For further details see: https://www.europeansleeper.eu/en The launch of the new service got a lot of good publicity including this article in The Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/travel/2023/may/29/berlin-to-brussels-night-train-renaissance-gathers-speed-new-european-sleeper
Some of you may have come across the Euronews website. In case you missed this, they recently published a bulletin listing lots of news about new and improved services which will be running across many European countries this year. As well as lots of information, there are also some useful links to Traveller blogs- for example – 14 days around Italy and a rail trip across 9 different countries. There is even one by a seasoned rail campaigner who during 2 months last summer took 150 trains across 28 different countries in the European Economic area. See: https://www.euronews.com/travel/2022/12/28/flight-free-travel-europes-new-long-distance-train-routes-for-2022 And see also: https://www.euronews.com/travel/2022/07/22/meet-the-man-battling-to-fix-europe-s-trains-via-an-epic-40-day-journey
The Belgian Government have announced that they will subsidize the track access charges for all night trains serving Belgium. This is designed to encourage train operators to run more night trains from Brussels to other parts of Europe. From here in the UK, we have long supported the development of Brussels as a night train hub, where convenient connections can be made with daytime Eurostar services. See this link which should translate into English for further information: https://www.lok-report.de/news/europa/item/37144-belgien-europapremiere-foederalregierung-beschliesst-ein-system-zur-unterstuetzung-von-nachtzugbetreibern.htm We now call on the UK Government to find a way of reducing the track access charges for both HS1 and the Channel Tunnel, so we can enjoy cheaper, more frequent train services to & from Europe.
On the 16th September our colleagues from Back on Track in Belgium, Germany, Denmark & Sweden organised a series of events to promote the need for a Night Train from Brussels to Malmo in the south of Sweden. Such a service would be very useful for people in the UK, as we could then connect directly into this service via an afternoon Eurostar from London. We have posted a link to a clip from Back-on-Track Belgium, which illustrates the various events which took place on that day. The link also shows a suggested timetable and some information about the various towns and cities served along the route. Although most of the text is in English, there is a bit in
Recently, French Railways re-introduced the night train service from Paris to Nice. From the 1st July they will re-introduce another night train service from Paris to Tarbes, Lourdes, Pau, Bayonne, Biarritz and Hendaye in South West France. Have a look at our recently published leaflet which you can find at https://www.eurorailcampaignuk.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/NightTrainsLeaflet.pdf . You will find a list of all-year and seasonal services running across West and Central Europe as well as useful daytime connecting links.
Many European Train Operators have recently announced free train travel for all Ukrainians seeking asylum in The EU. We therefore call on the UK Government, Scottish Government, Welsh & Northern Ireland Assemblies and Eurostar to do the same until further notice for all Ukrainians seeking asylum in the UK.
For many years Brussels has been the best place to make easy daytime connections from Eurostar into Germany & beyond. The Belgian Government have recently announced they will be spending up to 2 million Euros, to see how Brussels can be used to accommodate the growing number of night trains planned in the next few years. For further information see: https://www.bruzz.be/mobiliteit/twee-miljoen-voor-uitbouw-van-brussel-als-nachttreinhub-2021-10-14