How to use our on board the Trains info

In Europe specific trains are normally used for each route, with one type of train providing a fast service and another providing the slower alternative.

This has a big impact on the travel experience, so we're produced our unique TRAIN GUIDES.
All you need to know about travelling on European trains
If you’ve never travelled by train in mainland Europe before, the fact that the types of train used on journeys are fixed, can be an odd concept to grasp - but we're here to help!

If you’re flying from London to New York, you won’t be told by the airline whether you will be travelling on an A-380, a 747, a Dreamliner or a 777 etc.

That’s because it doesn’t particularly matter which type of plane you will be travelling by, it’s primarily the airline itself, which makes a difference to your travel experience.

However, train travel in mainland Europe isn’t like this - hence our GUIDES


Take a train from Zurich to Salzburg and you will be on a Railjet, between Amsterdam and Koln/Cologne you will be on an ICE 3, between Paris and Marseille you will be on a TGV Duplex etc.

All Railjets, ICE 3 and TGV Duplex trains are similar to each other, so have the same on board ambience and facilities etc.

It's why we have striven to give an insight into which train you will be travelling by on all of our JOURNEY GUIDES.

What we mean by train services:

We’re trying to keep this simple, but sometimes the train notes refer to a specific train, such as an ICE 3 or a Railjet, but they can also refer to a service.

For example two different types of train are used on Lyria services and many different types of train are used on TER train services in France.

Our GUIDES make this distinction clear because we match how the train operators refer to their services.

Though if you travel on a TER train service, it won’t particularly matter if the train is relatively old or new.

Because what you can be sure of if you take a TER service, is that the train won’t have any catering facilities - and you won’t save any money if you book the journey by TER train in advance. Etc etc.

How the type of train affects tickets and rail passes:

The terms of using a ticket or rail pass are also defined by each of these types of train and/or train services.

For example, seat reservations are optional on Railjets and ICE 3s, so rail pass users don’t have to pay a reservation fee/supplement to use them.

In contrast reservations are compulsory on all TGV (inOui) train services - they’re automatically included when you buy a ticket, but rail pass users will need to book the reservation.

When you are planning a journey, particularly worth knowing about are the ticketing terms and conditions, which are applied to the type of train you will be travelling by.

On many routes there is a choice between different train services and you can usually save money by taking the slower option.

When that is the case the different options are shown at-a-glance on our Popular Journey GUIDES.

Targeting Faster Trains:

Price doesn’t have to be the sole factor in choosing which train service to take, the faster train is also likely to be comparatively more comfortable.

It’s why we have include the trains on our Popular Journey guides, as they can make such a difference to the overall journey.

Some train services between cities are also faster than others because they use a high speed line.

Irrespective of the on-board ambience, travelling across the ground at more than 250 km/h can make such a huge difference to the travel experience, that we’ve highlighted which services/trains are high speed.
European high speed trains
Though just because you will be travelling on a high speed train, actually travelling at high speed isn't a given - on some routes high speed trains can spend most, or all of the journey, at normal speed.

On Board:

As well as listing the facilities you will or won't find on board, from restaurant cars to Wi-Fi, we also give an insight into how to board express trains - so that you can be train smart.

Discover when there’s no need to rush to find a seat or the exits, and where to stow your luggage etc.

Why we sometimes include more than one type of train on the journey guides:

On some identical routes, in terms of travel time and price, two (or more) different trains provide the service.

On ShowMeTheJourney, the train used on the majority of departures will be listed first.

If more than two trains provide the service, the lesser used alternatives are included in the journey notes.

So what are you waiting for, come on board!

The Other Things We Do:

In addition to our train info for European travel, we've also put together;