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There's something romantic about travel by train, and there are some great railway adventures to be had throughout the world.

Commuters reading this might disagree, as they sleep walk to work every morning on overcrowded trains and return in the evening to find their favourite window seat taken by a grubby traveller who hasn't showered for a week.

Travel by Train

I've been the suite-and-tied, nine-to-five commuter and I've been the curious traveller.

And I prefer being the traveller in need of shampoo and hot water; sorry if I was in your seat.

Train Travel -- Click here for European Train Timetables.

Railway Adventures

I'll feature some of the great railway adventures in future articles, but this space is reserved to help you plan your own departures.

Trains are a great way to travel. They'll pick you up and drop you off in the middle of major cities, and they travel through some of the best countryside on the planet. Slide up to the glass and look through your moving lens to the world.

European trains are frequent, you can get a ticket for an immediate departure and they generally run on time; although you shouldn't take arrival times for granted in Italy, where major train stations even have a ritardo column for late train arrivals.

If a train is always late, why don't they simply change the timetable?

Train travel in China and India can try your patience as you struggle to get a ticket for the next day, and they can be extremely overcrowded.

Oh well, if you're not travelling on business, what's the rush? Sit back and enjoy the journey.

Car hire is all very well, but on the train you'll meet more of the country's people; some of the longer train journeys can even turn into a party.

Making Plans

Once you have your flight ticket, you'll already know where you'll start.

How much time do you have, how many countries or states do you want to visit and how much ground do you wish to cover will be questions already half-answered.

More and more major airports have convenient train connections into the city, and there are numerous train passes to help you get the most out of your time and money.

For the budget-minded, overnight trains are a great way to save on accommodation, and you'll wake up in a new city, or even a new country. The romantic can enjoy a lakeside breakfast on the move, with views of snow-covered mountain peaks.

To get the best out of your journey, it always helps to have a rough idea of when the trains will be where. There are some parts of the countryside that really must be seen in daylight, and you wouldn't want to arrive in a strange place at three in the morning.

Our featured sites will help you get the most out of rail travel, from choosing passes and finding out more about countries, to getting information on train times.

Train times and special offers are subject to change, and you should always double check at the station in person.

Just because you have a train ticket or a rail pass, does not always mean that you'll get a seat. If that's important, you'll need to pay a supplement for seat reservations. On some trains these supplements are compulsory, even if the train is half empty.

Eurail Global Pass:
North Americans can travel around more then 20 European countries in 1st class for a fraction the cost of buying individual tickets.

Featured Sites

Imagemap for railway sites of the world -- train timetables and rail routes.

You may prefer to get on a train at the start of it's journey, but this is not always possible. Boarding a train further down the line can mean you'll have trouble finding a seat, and reservations are not accepted once the train has left it's starting station.

Rail Travel
Rail Passes and Tickets

If you find an empty compartment, be sure to check that the seats are not reserved - you'll get asked to move if they are.

Rail Tours are another great way to travel by train, without having to queue up at the ticket office.

Bon Route!


Europe Travel Notes.

European Interactive Timetable:
Enter your departure point and intended destination. An excellent interactive database that returns the train times and amount of train changes between two points in Europe.

European Rail Passes
Get right into the heart of Europe's major cities, or explore the outlying parts of a country. Rail travel in Europe is made more attractive by a combination of passes to suit the needs of the traveller. Be smart and jump the queue by ordering your rail pass online.

Austria: (Austria Travel Notes)
Austrian Railways: (OBB)
The Austrian Railways site is only in German, but it's easy enough to enter von and nach -- from and too, and click on Verbindung suchen.

Croatia: (Croatia Travel Notes)
Croatian Railways: (HZ)
The site is in Croatian but you should be able to find the train timetable easy enough.

Czech Republic: (Czech Republic Travel Notes)
Ceske Drahy: (CSD)
Czech Railways Electronic Timetable.

Denmark: (Denmark Travel Notes)
Danske Statsbaner: (DSB)
The DSB Journey Planner covers train routes in Denmark and major international connections.

Estonia: (Estonia Travel Notes)
Estonian Rail: (Rongid)
Tallinn - Lelle, Viljandi, P�rnu
P�rnu, Viljandi, Lelle - Tallinn

Estonia by Ferry:

Ecker� Line:
Times may change but as a guide, ferries leave Helsinki at 8am and return from Tallin at 6pm. The journey takes about three and a half hours.

Linda Line:
Fast crossings between Helsinki and Tallin. Currently not available in English.

Nordic Jet Line:
The crossing between Helsinki and Tallin takes around 1hr 40mins.

Silja Line:
Ferry services from Estonia... to Finland and Sweden. Not in English at present.

Tallink: Estonia-Finland and Estonia-Sweden.

Check the schedules of ships on the Tallinn-Helsinki route.

Finland: (Finland Travel Notes)
Valtionrautatiet: (VR)
VR Passenger Services operate 250 train connections per day throughout Finland. There are also three daily trains from from Helsinki to Russia.

France: (France Travel Notes)
French Railways: (SNCF)
Search your travel itineraries on the mainlines of French and European railways.

Germany: (Germany Travel Notes)
Deutsche Bahn: (DB)
Visitors to Germany can get plenty of rail information from Deutsche Bahn, including special offers.

Greece: (Greece Travel Notes)
Greek Railways: (OSE)
The Greek Railways website might be a little more useful for visitors to Greece if most of it wasn't in Greek.

Greek Railways Organisation:
Map of the Greek railway system and contact numbers.

Holland: (Netherlands Travel Notes)
Nederlands Spoorwegen: (NS)
Departure and arrival search for trains in Holland.

Hungary: (Hungary Travel Notes)
Hungarian Railways: (MAV)
Interactive route planner schedules return your best connections within Hungary and to or from neighbouring countries.

Ireland: (Ireland Travel Notes)
RailNet: (RN)
RailNet offers visitors an interactive imagemap for choosing your start and departure times in Ireland.

Italy: (Italy Travel Notes)
Ferrovie dello Stato: (FS)
Ferrovie dello Stato's official timetable, although it doesn't tell you how late the trains are running.

Norway: (Norway Travel Notes)
Norges Statsbaner: (NSB)
Experience Norway by train -- Interactive travel planner from NSB: the Norwegian State Railways.

Poland: (Poland Travel Notes)
Polish Railways: (PKP)
Search the timetables for trains to and from Poland, and within the country itself.

The Polish Train Page:
Jeffrey Dobek has travelled all over Poland by train and includes photo reports of trips he's taken on the PKP.

Russia: (Russia Travel Notes)
Russkiye Zheleznye Dorogi (RZD)

Ministry of Railway of the Russian Federation:
Includes a virtual museum of Russian rolling stock, train stations, railway brides, and beautiful landscapes that you'll see if you tavel around Russia by train.

Russian Railway Times:
Timetable for trains in Russia and the CIS.

Russia by Train:
How to get to and around Russia by train.

Slovakia: (Slovakia Travel Notes)
Zeleznice Slovenskej Republik: (ZSR)
Train schedule for railways of the Slovak Republic.

Slovenia: (Slovenia Travel Notes)
Slovenia Railways: (SZ)
The passenger trains of the Slovenian Railways connect all parts of Slovenia. Train timetable in Slovenian.

Spain: (Spain Travel Notes)
Spanish Railways: (RENFE)
The Spanish Railways timetable does not return results if you need to change trains, instead you will be given the full list of arrival stations that correspond with your departing station -- in one journey.

Sweden: (Sweden Travel Notes)
Statens Jarnvager: (SJ)
SJ and L�nstrafiken timetable for Swedish trains and buses.

Switzerland: (Switzerland Travel Notes)
Swiss Rail: (SBB/CFF/FSS)
The electronic timetable information for all public transport connections in Switzerland.

UK: (UK Travel Notes)
Network Rail:
On 3rd October, 2002, Network Rail completed the acquisition of Railtrack PLC. Railtrack PLC is now the operating company within the Network Rail Group of companies and is responsible for maintaining the tracks, signals, tunnels, bridges, viaducts, level crossings and stations.

Rail UK:
View the site in standard class or first class.

Connecting London with Paris, Lille and Brussels.

Orient Express:
The restored Venice Simplon-Orient Express itinerary is for those who like to travel in style and have the bucks to burn.


Canada Travel Notes.

VIA Rail Canada:
VIA Rail trains can take you to places where no road leads and where no plane can land. Leave your kayak or bike in the baggage car and head off to discover the Canadian wilderness.

BC Rail:
Canada's third largest railway, operates exclusively in British Columbia and has interline connections to all rail-served points in North America.

Canada by Rail:
A one-stop resource to bring together Canada’s exciting tourist opportunities. Find links to rail tours, rail-related museums and other venues of interest in numerous regions of Canada.

Northern Ontario Trains:
The Northlander runs from Toronto to Hearst and The Little Bear from Cochrane to Moosonee.

Ontario Northland:
As a passenger with Ontario Northland, you can use the same ticket and pay the same fare whether you travel by motor coach or train -- from Toronto to North Bay and Moosonee.

Port Stanley Terminal Rail:
Port Stanley Terminal Rail operates over a scenic seven mile portion of the former London & Port Stanley Railway, between Port Stanley and St. Thomas, Ontario.

Rocky Mountaineer Railtours:
As a provider of travel services specializing in rail tours through Canada’s West and the Canadian Rockies, Rocky Mountaineer Railtours has become the largest privately-owned passenger rail service in North America.


Alaska Railroad:
Explore the tour possibilities on the last full-service railroad in the United States.

Amtrak Destinations:
You'll find everything you need to begin experiencing the wonders of an Amtrak vacation.

Amtrak Cascades:
The Amtrak Cascades link the Pacific Northwest with British Columbia: from Eugene to Vancouver.

Amtrak West:
Whenever you take Amtrak out West, you'll see the land of pioneering, the wagon train, fortunes won and lost, arid deserts and yellow oceans of wheat.

The Coast Starlight:
Amtrak's connection to scenic and popular destinations along the West Coast: from Los Angeles to Seattle.

The Empire Builder:
Amtrak's route connecting Chicago, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Fargo, and Spokane; where you can board a connecting service to Portland, or carry on to Seattle.

Metrolink is the rail system serving commuters throughout Southern California.

New Jersey Transit:
Unofficial NJ Transit commuter train schedules transcribed from the published NJ Transit schedules. For official information, contact NJ Transit at 1-800-772-2222 from NJ, 1-215-569-3752 from Pennsylvania, 1-973-762-5100 from NY and elsewhere.

Train Hopping:
Train Hoppers, also known as hobos, are people that catch a ride on a freight train, hopping into a boxcar or on the back of other types of cars. This is usually done without the permission of the railroad involved, and we are not recommending that you do so yourselves.


General Tourist Information.

Subway Navigator:
The subway navigator helps you find routes on subway systems in various cities around the world.

Thomas The Tank Engine:
Ok, we're all kids at heart.

Train Web:
Information and photographs relating to passenger, freight and model trains in the U.S. and worldwide, plus items of interest to the professional rail industry. Excellent resource for fans of the train.


Asia Travel Notes.

China: (China Travel Notes)
China Rail Travel:
An independent, non-state owned travel company (registered in the United Kingdom) providing independent travel arrangement for both budget and luxury travelers.

China Train Timetables:
Train times for trains in China -- in Chinese.

Hong Kong: (Hong Kong Travel Notes)
Cowloon-Kanton Railway: (CKR)
The Corporation currently operates two domestic passenger rail services. East Rail operates suburban mass transit services between Hung Hom and the boundary at Lo Wu. Light Rail provides passenger services for the fast-developing North West New Territories. Both networks are supported by feeder bus.

Mass Transit Railway:
A futurist approach to getting the message across.

India: (India Travel Notes)
Indian Railways:
India's railway system is the largest in Asia with over 62,000 km of track passing through 7,000 stations. Enter your departure and destination to get the major Indian trains serving that route.

The Royal Orient:
The Royal Orient takes passengers from Delhi through the previously undiscovered state of Gujarat.

Palace on Wheels:
Travel like a king in the Palace on Wheels. The train is built in the style of the saloon coaches of the former maharajahs and makes its journey through beautiful Rajasthan.

Japan: (Japan Travel Notes)
Japan Railways: (JR)
Japan is expensive, so if you're going to travel around the country by train you should consider the Japan Rail Pass.

Narita Express:
Provides fast, frequent, and comfortable services to passengers travelling between Narita International Airport and Tokyo Metropolitan areas.

Malaysia: (Malaysia Travel Notes)
Malaysia Railways: (KTM Berhad)
Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad Intercity trains serving the Malay peninsula -- remember that trafficking in illegal drugs carries the death penalty.

Singapore: (Singapore Travel Notes)
Singapore Rapid Transit: (SMRT)
To find out the fare and the time taken to travel from one Singapore station to another select the boarding station and the alighting station.


Africa Travel Notes.

Kenya: (Kenya Travel Notes)
Kenya Railways:
Kenya Railways operates Nairobi-Mombasa, Nairobi-Kisumu and Mombasa-Kampala.

South Africa: (South Africa Travel Notes)
South African Railways: (Spoornet)
South Africa's passenger network.

Blue Train:
For many years The Blue Train's route was exclusively between Pretoria and Cape Town. Now they've also added an occasional service from Pretoria to the Victoria Falls, in Zimbabwe.

Rovos Rail Safaris: (Southern Africa)
The golden age of luxury train travel has been renewed in the heart of the African bush.


Oceania ravel Notes.

Australia: (Australia Travel Notes)
Indian Pacific:
Sydney - Adelaide - Perth, a train journey that spans a continent from coast to coast .

Alice Springs:
The Ghan:
The Ghan travels once a week between Melbourne and Alice Springs, stopping off at Adelaide along the way.

Dandenong Ranges:
Puffing Billy:
The Puffing Billy Railway is Australia's premier steam railway and one of the country's major tourist attractions. Running 24.5 km from Belgrave (in the Dandenong Ranges, 40km from Melbourne) to Emerald Lake (Lakeside) and Gembrook.

The Overland:
A convenient, comfortable overnight service, five times a week, between Melbourne and Adelaide.

West Coast Railway:
Services from Melbourne to Mount Gambier and Casterton.

New South Wales:
Countrylink’s rail and coach network reaches 334 destinations in New South Wales, the A.C.T. (Australian Capital Territory), Queensland and Victoria.

Western Australia by Rail:
The Prospector connects Perth with Kalgoorlie; The Avon runs from Northam to Perth; while The Australind brings Perth and Bunbury closer together.

Queensland Rail Traveltrains have Queensland covered. North, south, east or west, there's a Traveltrain service that can take you to the most interesting and beautiful destinations in Queensland.

CityRail is the principal urban public transport provider in Sydney and the surrounding region: Hunter, Central Coast, Blue Mountains, Southern Highlands and South Coast.

Sydney Ferries:
Cruising the Harbour with Sydney Ferries is one of the most pleasurable things to do in Sydney. A day or evening cruise will show you the wonderful waters of Sydney Harbour, Middle Harbour and the Parramatta River.

Transportation for the state of Victoria.

New Zealand: (New Zealand Travel Notes)

The World famous TranzAlpine train leaves Christchurch on the east coast, crosses the fertile farmlands of the Canterbury Plains, winds its way through the stunning Waimakariri Gorge, passes over massive viaducts, crosses New Zealand's greatest mountain range, the Southern Alps, and travels through lush beech forests and past serene lakes, before arriving in Greymouth on the beautiful West Coast.

By Michel.

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