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Travel Info & Tips Europe's International Train Routes #2 (Hungary, Italy, Norway, Poland, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Netherlands, UK)
Europe's International Train Routes #2

Europe's International Train Routes #2 (Hungary, Italy, Norway, Poland, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Netherlands, UK)

For those who want to take a sustainable travel approach and explore Europe by train, this guide features the key European international railway routes from 9 countries

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Welcome to part two of the guide to the frequently wonderful, occasionally quirky topic of European international train routes and services - here is part one.

As you'll see towards the bottom of the menu, ShowMeTheJourney has also produced a summary of what can occur when a train travels over a border.

General notes:

Europe's international rail routes

A couple of points to be aware of before you dive into the all the gorgeous info:

(1) All of the direct international express day and night trains have been included on the 'Trains From' guides - all that's missing are a few, minor local routes that are unlikely to be used by tourists.

The 'Trains To' lists will become more complete, as more countries are added to our Train Travel Guides.

(2) We also haven't included absolutely every place that the trains call at on the route guides, instead we have focused on the destinations which tourists are most likely to head to.

(3) The departure times included with the info are the usual departure times, but treat them as a guide and confirm before travelling, as the typical schedule may be altered on your travel dates

(4) You don't need to pay particular attention to the points at which the trains cross the borders, most express trains won't even call at the towns on either side of a border - though some do.

(5) Click on the city names (when available) to access even more useful info about specific journeys, such as which trains are used, what to be aware of when booking tickets - and which websites sell them.

Trains from Hungary:

Trains from Hungary

Aside from the Railjet trains to and from Austria, most of the international trains from and to Hungary have a retro-aura.
But don't let that put you off, these trains can be comparatively spacious and comfortable.

As a result travelling by train to and from Hungary can be a more memorable experience, than being sealed inside a high speed train and being whizzed across a border.

to Austria (and Germany & Switzerland:

Most of the trains from Hungary to Austria take one of three routes.

(1) via Hegyeshalom

This is the only border crossing on which the long-distance express trains travel from Hungary to Austria.
The FOUR train services which come this way are:

(1) Railjets which take this route; Budapest – Gyor – Wien/Vienna – St Polten – Linz – Salzburg* – Munchen/Munich
Connect in Munich for ICE trains to multiple destinations including Frankfurt (Main), Hamburg, Koln/Cologne, Nurnberg and Stuttgart.
*One Railjet per day follows this route as far as Salzburg and then from there takes this route; Innsbruck > Feldkirch > Buchs > Zurich providing an option for travelling by day by train from Hungary to Switzerland.

(2) During the day in the hours when no Railjet to Wien/Vienna is scheduled, Hungarian IC/EC trains (which are in effect Hungarian InterCity trains) also take the Budapest – Wien/Vienna route.
The morning departure is the overnight train from Buccuresti, which conveys seats for daytime use.
One of these trains to Wien/Vienna has commenced its journey at Cluj Napoca in Romania and makes calls at cities in eastern Hungary including Püspökladány and Szolnok. (This service is currently suspended)
Another of these trains makes an early morning departure from Debrecen and also calls in Szolnok.

(3) A couple of regional REX trains per day travel from Gyor to Wien/Vienna.

(4) The overnight trains from Budapest to Munchen/Munich and Zurich.
However, these trains travel through Austria in the middle of the night, though the train to Zurich does make a morning call in Feldkirch.
(For the time being the overnight train from Budapest to Munich/Munchen is operating with no sleeping cars.

(2) via Sopron

On Monday – Friday* hourly regional trains depart Sopron for Wiener-Neustadt, the journey between the two cities only takes around 40mins

Sopron is served by frequent trains from Szombathely; and Wiener Neustadt has frequent trains to Wien/Vienna, as well as trains heading south to Bruck an der Mur, Graz and Klagenfurt.
*Less frequent trains take this route at weekends.

(3) via Szentgotthard

A new daily IC train departs Budapest-Keleti at 16:15 and takes a Budapest - Gyor - Szombathely - Szentgotthard - Graz route.

Also up to seven local trains per day from the Hungarian border town, Szentgotthard travel to Graz.
Szentgotthard is served by trains from Szombathely.

to Croatia:

One daily EC/IC train takes this route; Budapest Deli station – Slofok* – Fonyod* – Gyekenyes – Zagreb.
*These are resort towns on Lake Balaton.

In the summer months there is also a Budapest – Split overnight train which calls at Zagreb.

to Romania:

The long-distance trains from Hungary to Romania take two routes.

(1) the route via Biharkeresztes

The trains which take this border crossing are travelling from Hungary into the Transylvania region of Romania; though according to the European Rail Timetable, the schedules of these trains will subject to alteration when travelling before November 6th.

The four daily train services which come this way are:

  • A morning IC train named the 'Hargitha' which takes a Budapest-Keleti → Oradea → Cluj Napoca → Brasov route; it is usually scheduled to depart from Budapest at 07:40.
  • An IC train named 'the Transilvania' usually departs from Budapest-Keleti at 13:40 for Oradea and Cluj Napoca; this train commences its journey at Wien/Vienna hbf in Austria, so it also calls at Gyor and Budapest-Kelenfold.
  • An overnight train service from Budapest to Bucuresti named 'the Dacia' takes this route and calls in Cluj Napoca and Brasov, but there is a part of the train named the 'Corvin' which travels no further than Cluj Napoca; this 'Corvin' train conveys seats, couchettes and both 1st and 2nd class sleeping cabins.
    This 'Dacia' train, which also conveys seats, couchettes and both 1st and 2nd class sleeping cabins, is typically scheduled to depart from Budapest-Keleti at 22:45 and it is scheduled to arrive in Bucuresti Nord station at 17:13.
    The 'Dacia' train also commences its journey at Wien Hbf in Vienna, from where it is usually scheduled to depart at 19:42.
  • There is also an overnight train from Budapest to Brasov named 'the Corona' which also takes this route, but it arrives in Cluj Napoca at 02:00am.

(2) the route via Curtici to Arad

The trains on this route depart from Keleti station in Budapest every other, in the odd hours;
All timings are taken from the usual scheduled timetable:

  • The daytime express IC service from Budapest to Bucuresti/Bucharest which is named 'the Traianus', it typically departs from Budapest at 07:10 and takes a Budapest-Keleti → Bekescsaba → Curtici → Arad → Timisoara → Craiova → Bucuresti route.
    This train is scheduled to arrive atBucuresti Nord station in the Romanian capital until after 23:30.
  • An IC train which typically departs from Budapest at 09:10 and takes take a Budapest-Keleti → Bekescsaba → Curtici → Arad → Brasov route
  • IC train which typically depart from Budapest 11:10 and 17:10 which take the same route as far as Arad.
  • An IC train which typically departs from Keleti station in Budapest at 13:10 and takes the Budapest-Keleti → Bekescsaba → Curtici – Arad → Timisoara route
    All of these IC trains are 2nd class only and reservations are optional when making the journey over the border to Romania; reservations are only mandatory when taking journeys within Hungary by these trains.

There are two overnight trains which travel on this route from Budapest to Brasov and on to Bucuresti/Bucharest.
1: The 15:10 departure from Budapest is a train named the 'Muntenia' and it is scheduled to arrive at Bucuresti Nord station in the Romanian capital at 08:06; in time for connections on to eastern Romania.
This train conveys seats and couchettes, but no sleeping cabins are available.

The summer only (June 5th - October 5th) 'Bosphorus Express' train from Bucuresti/Bucharest to Istanbul is scheduled to depart from the Romanian capital at 10:55.
So this 'Muntenia' service offers the best connection for a Budapest to Istanbul journey.

2: The 19:10 departure from Budapest is a train named the 'Ister' and it is scheduled to arrive at Bucuresti Nord station in the Romanian capital at 11:50; in time for connections on to eastern Romania.
This train is named the 'Ister' and it conveys seats, couchettes and both 1st and 2nd class sleeping cabins

Note that a third option for an overnight journey from the Hungarian to the Romanian capitals is 'Dacia' train which takes a different route (see above), it also conveys seats, couchettes and both 1st and 2nd class sleeping cabins,.
It is typically scheduled to depart from Budapest-Keleti at 22:45 and it is scheduled to arrive in Bucuresti Nord station at 17:13.
est to Istanbul**](/travel-info-and-tips/orient-express-test/) will require an overnight stop in Bucresti/Bucharest.

(4) There are two overnight trains from Budapest to Brasov and on to Bucuresti/Bucharest.
The 19:05/19:10 departure is scheduled to arrive in the Romanian capital at 12:30, in time for connections on to eastern Romania, this train is named the 'Ister'/
The 23:10 departure, which commences its journey in Wien at 19:42, is scheduled to arrive in Bucuresti/Bucharest at 16:35, this train is named the 'Dacia'.

to Serbia:

Two EC trains* per day and an overnight train used travel on a Budapest-Keleti – Subotica – Novi Sad – Beograd/Belgrade route, but the the route is being completely reconstructed, so direct trains won't be available until 2024 (at the earliest).

The section of the route between Novi Sad and Beograd/Belgrade has reopened, but the reaching Novi Sad from Budapest, is for the time being extremely awkward.
Particularly as the alternative route, which involves taking trains to Zagreb from Budapest and connecting in Zagreb for Beograd is also unavailable, due to yet more works on a railway route in Serbia.

According to the European Train Timetable; the current typical schedule is:

  • Take the 11:53 train from Budapest-Nyugati station to Szeged
  • A bus from Szeged to Kelebia
  • A train over the border from Kelebia to Subotica
  • A bus from Subotica to Novi Sad
  • A train from Novi Sad to Beograd/Belgrade
    If all the connections are on time you will arrive in the Serbian capital at 21:48.
    Rail tickets are not valid on the bus between Subotica and Novi Sad.

*One of these EC trains USUALLY commences its journey in Wien/Vienna and also calls at Gyor, but this service has also been suspended.

to Slovakia (and Czechia & Poland & Belarus & Russia):

The trains from Hungary to Slovakia and beyond primarily take one of two routes.

(1) the route via Szob and on to Bratislava

Only daytime and overnight express trains travel on this route over the border from Hungary to Slovakia, there aren't any local trains that come this way.
Most of these trains then travel cross Slovakia and head on to Czechia, Germany and Poland.

The daytime trains are:

  • Two trains operated by Regiojet which depart from Deli station in Budapest for Praha/Pragu via Bratislava.
  • The daily EC trains, which now depart from Nyugati station station in Budapest and take two routes:

(1) The Budapest → Vac → Szob → Bratislava → Bréclav → Brno → Pardubice → Praha/Prague is taken by 6 x trains per day.
Though the 'Hungaria' train which travels on beyond Praha to Decin - Dresden - Berlin, has been suspended until Sept 1st due to works on the railway in Czechia

(2) Budapest → Vac → Szob → Bratislava → Bréclav → Ostrava → Katowice → Warsazawa.
And this daily EC train has had its journey extended, so that it now travels beyond Warszawa/Warsaw to Terespol on the border with a Berlarus.

The overnight trains on this route are:
(1) A Nightjet service from Budapest to Berlin via Wroclaw. Until Sept 1st this is now the only direct train from Hungary to Germany
(2) The Euronight train from Budapest to Warszawa.
(3) The Euronight train from Budapest to Praha/Prague.

These trains now also depart from [* Nyugati station station in Budapest and not Keleti station.

(2) the route via Hidasnemeti to Kosice

Seven IC trains per day take a Budapest → Fuzesabony → Miskolc → Kosice route.
They depart from Budapest Keleti station every every two hours and the journey time is around 2hr 30min.

to Slovenia:

Trains now take two different routes from Budapest to Ljubljana; and beyond.

** the route via Hodos**

One EC/IC train per day departs Deli station in Budapest for Ljubljana, it typically leaves the Hungarian capital at 09:00 and arrives in Ljubljana at 16:35.
This train is named 'the Citadella' and it also calls at Ormoz and Zidani-Most.

In the summer months there is also an overnight train on this route from Budapest to Koper and Rijeka which calls at Ljubljana.
It is named the 'Istra' and conveys 2nd class seats, couchettes and sleeping cabins; it departs Deli station at 20:35 and is due to arrive in the Slovenian capital at around 06:30.

** the route via Graz in Austria**

A relatively new direct train has been introduced on a Budapest → Szombathely → Graz → Maribor → Zidani-Most → Ljubljana route; so Maribor now has a direct train from Budapest
It typically departs from *Keleti station in Budapest daily at 16:15, but it isn't scheduled to arrive in Ljubljana until shortly before 01:00.

to Ukraine:

Chop > Mukacheve

For the time being a train named the eaves from Budpaest-Keleti station at 19:40, it travels overnight to Lviv where it is scheduled to arrive at 10:14 and then travels on to Kyiv/Kiev during the day, arriving in the Ukrainian capital at 17:21.

The option for departing from Budapest in the morning involves taking the 07:23 train from Nyugati station in Budapest it is named 'the Latorca' and it travels over the border to terminate in Mukachevo
Though the train on to Lviv, which conveys sleeping cars to Kviv/Kiev, is scheduled to leave Mukacheve more than 2hrs 30mins after the train from Budapest will have arrived there.
According to the European Rail Timetable, this onwad

Trains from Italy

Trains from and to Italy

Because the Alps form a barrier between Italy and the countries to the north, virtually all of the international rail routes from and to Italy are wonderfully scenic; and the one non-Alpine route (via Ventimiglia) takes one of Europe's most spectacular coastal routes.

Add in the fact that some of Europe's most impressive international trains link Italy to Austria, France and Switzerland and you can see why the train is a fab choice for travelling from/to Italy.

to Austria (and Germany):

The trains from Italy to Austria take one of three routes:

via Brennero
From Austria to Italy by train

Three train services make this spectacular border crossing:

(1) Five EC trains per day take this route:

Verona – Roverta - Trento – Bolzano – Fortezza – Brennero – Innsbruck – Jenbach – Worgl – Kufstein – Munich/Munchen
On Mon-Fri three of these trains commence their journeys in Bologna (two trains start in Bologna at weekends).
If you want to make a daytime journey from Firenze/Florence or Roma to Munchen/Munich, you can make a connection between trains in Bologna.

A daily train* commences its journey in Venezia/Venice and also calls at Padova/Padua and Vicenza.
*Two trains at weekends.

(2) Hourly Austrian local S-Bahn trains depart Brennero for Innsbruck and Brennero is served by

  • Regionale** trains from Merano via Bolzano, and
  • Regionale Veloce trains which take a Bologna - Verona – Roverta - Trento – Bolzano – Fortezza – Brennero route

Users of Eurail and Interrail passes aiming to avoid the rail pass reservation fees payable on the EC trains can target these Regionale trains
*Rail pass users should note that the Regionale trains on this route are not operated by Trenitalia, therefore rail passes aren’t valid.

(3) A new Railjet service to eastern Austria departs from Bolzano/Bozen daily at 07:45 and also makes calls in Bressanone, Fortezza, Vipiteno and Brennero.
It travels via Innsbruck and then calls calls at Salzburg (12:03), Linz (13:14), St. Polten (14:00) before arriving in Wien Hbf, the main station in Vienna at 14:30.
A connecting train departs from Trento at 06:40.

via San Candido

Hourly trains travel from Fortezza to Lienz.
Fortezza is served by trains from Bologna, Bolzano, Venezia and Verona.

Lienz has a sporadic service of S-Bahn trains to Klagenfurt via Villach.
Depart Fortezza at 12:50 and in Lienz you can connect into an IC train to Vienna/Wien Hbf which travels via Villach and Klagenfurt.

However, rail pass users travelling this way should note that Trenitalia does not operate the route between Fortezza and San Candido, so rail passes are not valid on this section of the route.

via Tarvisio

Two Railjet trains per day come this way on the Venezia/Venice – Treviso – Udine – Tarvisio – Villach – Klagenfurt – Leoben – Bruck an der Mur – Wien/Vienna route.
The first of these trains arrives in Wien/Vienna in time for connections on to Budapest, Katowice and Praha by daytime trains, as well as into the overnight train to Bucharest/Bucuresti

In addition two regional trains per day travel on this part of the route: Udine > Tarvisio> Villach.
Rail pass users who want to avoid rail pass reservation fees can take these trains.

The Nightjet overnight trains from Italy to Austria* on these three routes also take this border crossing;

(1) Milano – Brescia – Desenzano del Garda – Peschiera del Garda – Verona – Vicenza -- Padova/Padua – Leoben – Bruck an der Mur – Wien/Vienna
The only direct train from Milano to Wien/Vienna

(2) Roma – Arezzo – Firenze/Florence – Bologna - Leoben – Bruck an der Mur – Wien/Vienna
The only direct train from Firenze/Florence and Roma to Wien/Vienna.

(3) Venezia/Venice – Treviso – Udine - Tarvisio - Linz - St Polten - Wien/Vienna.

*All of these trains are divided on arrival in Salzburg or Villach and the other part of the train travels to Munchen/Munich.
So Munich/Munchen is also served by overnight trains from Firenze; Milano; Roma and Venezia.

to Slovenia (and Austria)

Travelling through the Sava River gorge in Slovenia east of Ljubljana Travelling through the Sava River gorge in Slovenia east of Ljubljana

The most significant new addition to the European rail timetable in 2021 is the new direct EC express train which is scheduled to depart from Trieste Centrale daily at 13:03 on a journey to Wien/Vienna via Ljubljana, Maribor and Graz.
It is due to arrive in the Austrian capital just after 22:00.
It's possible to take this train and connect in Ljubljana for Zagreb, though you'll have more than two hours in which to explore the city between trains.

A 'Freece' train which depart Milano Centrale at 07:45 and Verona Porta Nuova at 09:00 is due into Trieste around an hour before the departure of the EC train.

A connection into this EC train is usually scheduled to depart from Venezia S. Lucia at 10:39.

Two Italian regional trains also now travel from Trieste (at 09:02 and 19:07 to Villa Opicina, where there connect with trains on to Ljubljana
They depart Trieste at 09:03 and 19:09 (this second train of the day commences its journey in Udine at 17:54).
The daily Intercity train from Roma (10:22) and Bologna (14:47) and Venezia Mestre (16:40) is due into Trieste at 18:37, so should also offer a good connection on to Ljubljana.

to France:

The Alpine mountains and their foothills straddle the Italian-Franco border, hence there are only TWO routes between the two countries travelled by trains

Ventimiglia - Menton

Now that the direct Milano to Nice/Marseille trains have been withdrawn the only remaining rail connection between the Italian and French Rivieras are the 1 or 2 x local trains per hour on the the Ventimiglia – Menton – Monte Carlo – Nice - Antibes – Cannes – Grasse route.
There are four express trains per day from Milano to Ventimiglia which connect with local trains on to France.

Ventimiglia also has Regionale trains from Genova, Albenga and San Remo, which connect into these trains to France.

Bardonecchia - Modane
Taking a train from Italy to France

Three x TGV France/Italy trains per day take this route; Milano-Porta Garibaldi – Novara - Torino-Porta Susa - Oulx – Bardonecchia – Modane - Chambery - Paris Gare de Lyon

Two x Frecciarossa 1000 trains operated by Trenitalia now also take this Milano to Paris route, but they depart daily from Milano Centrale at 06:25 and 15:53.
The departure at 15:53 has taken over from the TGV services as the direct train from Milano to Lyon.

via Limone

2 x trains per day USUALLY take a Cuneo - Limone - Tende - Breil sur Roya - Ventimiglia route

There are trains from Torino-Porta Nuova station to Cuneo and at Breil sur Roya connections are available into trains to Nice.

to Germany:

The direct trains from Italy to Germany either travel through Austria or Switzerland.

via Austria - Daytime:

Five EC trains per day take this route; Verona – Roverta - Trento – Bolzano – Fortezza – Brennero – Innsbruck – Jenbach – Worgl – Kufstein – Munich/Munchen

On Mon-Fri three of these trains commence their journeys in Bologna (two trains start in Bologna at weekends).
If you want to make a daytime journey from Firenze/Florence or Roma to Munchen/Munich, you can make a connection between trains in Bologna.

A daily train* commences its journey in Venezia/Venice and also calls at Padova/Padua and Vicenza.
*Two trains at weekends.

Connect in Munich for ICE trains to multiple destinations in Germany including Berlin, Frankfurt (Main), Hannover, Hamburg, Koln/Cologne, Leipzig, Nurnberg and Stuttgart.

via Austria - Overnight:

The Nightjet overnight trains from Italy to Germany on these three routes travel across Austria;

(1) Milano – Brescia – Desenzano del Garda – Peschiera del Garda – Verona – Vicenza -- Padova/Padua – Munich/Munchen
The only direct train from Milano to Germany

(2) Roma – Arezzo – Firenze/Florence – Bologna - Munich/Munchen
The only direct train from Firenze/Florence and Roma to Germany

(3) Venezia/Venice – Treviso – Udine - Tarvisio - Munich/Munchen

via Switzerland

One EC train per day takes this route:
Milano – Stresa – Domodossola – Brig – Visp – Spiez* - Thun – Bern – Olten – Basel - Freiburg – Karlsruhe – Mannheim – Frankfurt (Main)
This the only direct daytime train service from Milan to Germany.

to Switzerland:

Trains from Italy to Switzerland follow one of four spectacular routes:

via Chiasso (The Gotthard route)

These FOUR train services all take this route from Italy to Switzerland:

(1) There are up to 10 x EC trains per day which take a Milano – Como – Chiasso – Lugano – Bellinzona – Arth-Goldau* – Zug – Zurich route.
*Connect in Arth-Goldau for trains to Basel via Luzern and Olten.
Connect in Zurich for Frankfurt (Main), Hamburg, Innsbruck, Munchen/Munich, Salzburg and Stuttgart.

One of these trains commences its journey in Venezia/Venice and also calls at Padua/Padova – Vicenza – Verona – Peschiera del Garda – Brescia.
While another of this trains now starts from Genova Piazza Principe at 16:12, which provides a convenient connection between the Cinque Terre, to the the south of Genova, and Switzerland.
Another one of these EC services to Switzerland commences its journey in Bologna at 17:26

(2) One EC train per day takes this route; Milano (08:10) – Como – Chiasso – Lugano – Bellinzona – Arth-Goldau – Luzern – Olten - Basel.

(3) Hourly regional services take a Milano – Como – Chiasso – Lugano – Locarno route.
Connect in Guibiasco for Swiss IR trains to Basel and Zurich via Faido and Airolo

(4) Hourly local trains take this route Chiasso – Lugano – Bellinzona.
These trains connect in Bellinzona to Swiss IC trains to Zurich via Zug or Basel via Luzern.
Hourly Regionale trains to Chiasso depart from Milano Porta Garibaldi station.

Domodossola > Brig (The Simplon Route):
From Italy to Switzerland by train

These FOUR train services all travel through The Simplon Tunnel when making their way from Italy to Switzerland:

(1) Four EC trains per day take this route:

Milano – Stresa – Domodossola – Brig* – Sion – Montreux – Lausanne - Geneva

One of these trains commences its journey in Venezia/Venice and also calls at Padua/Padova – Vicenza – Verona – Peschiera del Garda – Brescia.
*Connect in Brig for Zermatt.
Connect in Geneve for Lyon.

(2) Three EC trains per day take this route:
Milano – Stresa – Domodossola – Brig – Visp – Spiez* - Thun – Bern – Olten – Basel
Connect in Basel for Berlin, Dijon, Frankfurt (Main), Freiburg, Hamburg, Koln/Cologne, Mulhouse and Strasbourg
*Connect in Spiez for Interlaken.

(3) Every two hours, in the odd hours, local trains travel from Domodossola are usually scheduled to travel through The Simplon Tunnel to Brig; and on to Bern via Spiez (where connections are available to Interlaken and Zweisimmen) and Thun.
These regional trains are a useful option for rail pass users looking to avoid paying the rail pass reservation fees on the EC trains.

via Camedo:

There are hourly ‘Centovali Express’ trains during the day, operated by F.A.R.T. which take this route from Domodossola to Locarno.

via Campocologno:
The most beautiful railway route from Italy to Switzerland

Up to 11 trains per day, which are operated by RhB, depart Tirano for St Moritz via Poschiavo and Pontresina - and Tirano has trains from Milano.
Easy connections are available in Pontresina into trains to Scuol-Tarasp via Samedan and in Samedan another connection can be made into trains heading to Chur.
Or as an alternative to the regular trains you can travel direct from Tirano to Chur on The Bernina Express.

Connect in Chur for trains to Zurich and for trains to Buchs, where transfers are available into trains heading to Innsbruck and Salzburg.

From Norway to Sweden

The trains from Norway to Sweden take one of four routes:

Ed > Kronsjo:

The number of trains which travel over this border crossing has increased as up to four Norwegian Regiontog trains per day now take this route:
Oslo – Moss – Fredrikstaad - Halden – Oxenered* - Goteborg/Gothenburg
* connect in Oxenered for Karlstad.

These trains are now scheduled to depart from Oslo
- on Monday to Friday at 06:01; 10:01; 14:01 and 18:01
- on Saturdays at 08:01; 14:01 and 18:01.
- on Sundays at 10:01; 14:01 and 18:01.
Take that 06:01 train on weekdays and it's possible to reach Hamburg in Germany by the end of the day, by making connections in Goteborg and Kobenhavn.

All but the 18:01 departures offer easy connections in Goteborg C station into trains on to Kobenhavn/Copenhagen.

Or an alternative is to take the Stena Line ferry from Oslo to Frederikshavn in Denmark, it travels overnight and it's possible to be in Hamburg at 18:02 by changing trains in Aalborg and Aarhus.

via Storlien:

Two trains per day depart from Trondheim and travel via Hell over the border to Storlien.

Swedish regional trains on from Storlien to Sundsvall via Ostersund are timed to connect with these trains.
If you take the morning train from Trondheim, when you get to Sundsvall, you can connect into a Snabbtag train on to Stockholm via Galve and Uppsala.

via Charlottenberg:
Take a beautiful train journey from Sweden to Norway

This route is taken by Swedish IC trains* Oslo – Kongsvinger - Charlottenberg - Arvika - Karlstad - Hallsberg - Stockholm.

via Riksgransen:

This crossing is taken by the nightly SJ Night Train on this route: Narvik - Boden - Sundsvall - Galve - Uppsala - Stockholm,
There are also two daytime trains from Narvik to Boden, one of which continues beyond Boden to arrive in Luleá.

Trains from Poland

Trains from Poland

Poland is a large country with fewer international trains and rail routes than you might expect, though the number of services crossing its main rail border with Czechia has increased in recent years; with Krakow being the main beneficiary.

to Belarus (and Russia):

Nightly trains takes this route; Warszawa - Brest – Lubin – Minsk – Smolensk – Moskva/Moscow.
However, the long-standing ‘Polonez' overnight service has been discontinued.

There is also a daily daytime train to Brest which is usually scheduled to depart from Warszawa Centralna at 08:40.

To Czechia (and Austria & Slovakia & Hungary):

Most of the trains from Poland to The Czech Republic take one of two routes.

via Bohumin:

All of the express trains from Poland to Czechia and beyond take this route, the SEVEN different train services are:

(1) One x EC train per day which takes a Krakow – Katowice - Ostrava – Olomouc – Pardubice – Praha/Prague route.

(2) On Fridays and Sundays year round 2 x trains operated by Leo Express take the Krakow – Katowice - Ostrava – Olomouc – Pardubice – Praha/Prague route.
In July and August these 2 x trains depart daily

(3) One x EC train per day which takes a Przyemysl - Rzeszow - Krakow - Katowice – Ostrava – Bréclav - Wien/Vienna - Graz route.
This had been a direct train from Krakow to Wien/Vienna, but this service has now had its range of destinations extended at both ends of the route.

(4) Three x EC trains per day which take a Warszawa – Katowice - Ostrava – Olomouc – Pardubice – Praha/Prague route.

(5) One x EC train per day that takes a Gydnia - Gdasnk - Warszawa – Katowice – Ostrava – Bréclav - Wien/Vienna route.

(6) One x EC train per day that takes a Warszawa – Katowice – Ostrava – Bréclav - Wien/Vienna route.

(7) 1 x EC train per day which takes a Brest - Terespol Warszawa – Katowice – Ostrava – Bréclav – Bratislava - Vac - Budapest route.
This train now commences its journey in Belarus at Brest and also conveys sleeping cars from Minsk

In summary Ostrava is served by 4 x trains per day from Warszawa/Warsaw.

The night trains which travel via Bohumin are on these routes

  • Moskva/Moscow - Minsk - Brest - Warszawa – Krakow – Olomouc – Pardubice – Praha/Prague
  • Warszawa – Krakow – Wien/Vienna
  • Minsk - Brest - Warszawa – Krakow - Bratislava - Vac - Budapest

via Miedzylesie:

LeoExpress had introduced a new service departing from Wroclaw on Saturday and Sunday mornings only at 05:58 - with a Prague arrival in Hlvani (hln) station at 10:27, but these trains were suspended at the start of the pandemic and have yet to resume.

The only other trains which currently travel this way, are up to five local services per day from Wroclaw, which cross the border to terminate in Lichkov ; where they ‘connect with Czech local trains to Usti nad Orlici.
There are then hourly trains from Usti nad Orlici to Praha/Prague, Pardubice and Brno.

to Germany (and from Ukraine to Germany):

Most of the trains trains from Poland to Germany take one of two routes.

Rzepin > Frankfurt (Oder):

Two daytime express train services and overnight trains make this border crossing:

The two daytime express train services are:

(1) Three or four EC trains per day, which are branded ‘Berlin-Warszawa Express’, take this route: Warszawa - Poznan - Rzepin - Frankfurt (Oder) - Berlin.

(2) One EC train per day which takes this route: Gydnia - Gdansk– Bydgoszcz – Poznan – Rzepin - Frankfurt (Oder) – Berlin.
Connect in Berlin for onward trains to a swathe of other destinations including Amsterdam, Basel, Dresden, Frankfurt (Main), Hamburg, Hannover, Koln/Cologne, Munchen/Munich, Nurnberg and Stuttgart.

On Saturday and Mondays nights it’s possible to travel overnight from Warszawa to Berlin on the ‘Talgo’ train, which will have commenced its journey in Moscow.
On Wednesday afternoons, the TransEuropean Express’ from Moscow departs Warszawa for its overnight journey to Paris.
These services from Russia remain suspended.

An overnight train which now comes this way is a train to Berlin from Przyemysl (departs 19:57) via Rzeszow and Krakow (departs 00:06).
In Przyemysl it has a connecting train from Kiev via Lviv which crosses the Ukranian/Polish border.
This service remains suspended.

via Szczechin:

Up to nine trains today travel from the Polish spa town, Szczechin over the border to Angermunde; and up to four of these trains travel beyond Angermunde to terminate in Berlin.
If the timings of the direct trains to Berlin don't suit, then you can make connections in Angermunde.

via Forst:

On Fridays (departs 19:42) and Sundays (departs 17:23) only an express train service leaves Wroclaw and travels to Berlin via Cottbus.

Also on Saturdays and Sundays two local daily services depart Wroclaw for Forst with connections on to Cottbus, from where further connections are avaiable to Berlin and Dresden.

Zgorzelec > Gorlitz:

Four trains per day depart from Wroclaw for Zgorzelec, where they connect with trains on to Dresden via Cottbus.
The first two connections of the day from Wroclaw, arrive in Dresden in time for connections on to Berlin and Frankfurt (Main) (and Praha/Prague) while the first three connections allow for onward travel to Leipzig.

to Slovakia (local trains):

Up to four local trains per day travel across the border from Zwardon to Zilina.

Other local trains from Katowice connect into the afternoon departures on from Zwardon.

to Ukraine:

(1) The ‘Kyiv Express’ departs Warszawa Centralna daily at 18:05 for its overnight journey to Kiev/Kyiv, it also calls at other towns in Poland including Lukow and Lublin.

Two trains per day, both of which are afternoon departures, which according to the European Rail Timetable leave at head over the border from Przemysl in south-eastern Poland to Lviv and on to Kiev/Kyiv.
There is also an overnight train from Przemysl to Odessa.
Przemysl has fairly frequent trains from Krakow.

Trains from Spain:

Trains from and to Spain

Spain is served by comparatively few international rail services.
Only four routes taken by trains cross its long border with France and just 4 - 7 trains per day use the high speed line that connects the two countries.
Despite this comparatively sparse high speed train service, it apparently justified the removal of all the overnight trains from Spain to France.

On both the Atlantic and Mediterranean coasts the local/regional trains are more frequent, but connections with trains on to other destinations in France need to be planned with care.

to France:

Figueres >Perpignan:

This is the high speed line from Spain to France and the only trains which use it are the services branded RENFE-SNCF, which take these four routes:

(1) Two or Four* trains per day take this route: Barcelona – Girona - Figueres-Vilafant - PerpignanNarbonne - (Beziérs) - Montpellier-St Roch – Nimes - Valence – Paris Gare de Lyon
*Two trains per day is the year round service, but up to four trains per day operate in the summer.
Only one train per day is now available on this route.

(2) One train per day takes this route: Barcelona – Girona - Figueres-Vilafant - Perpignan – Narbonne - Beziers - Montpellier-St Roch – Nimes – Valence - Lyon

(3) One train per day takes this route: Madrid - Zaragoza – Barcelona – Girona - Figueres-Vilafant - Perpignan – Narbonne - Beziers - Montpellier-St Roch – Nimes – Avignon TGV – Aix-en-Provence TGV - Marseille
This is the only direct train which travels between Madrid and France.

Port Bou > Cerbere:

The express trains from Spain to France on the Mediterranean coast take the high speed line, but French regional TER trains still travel this older scenic route, from Port Bou on the Spanish side of the border to Cerbére on the French side of the border - and beyond to other cities in south-west France.

There are also regional Spanish trains from Barcelona to Port Bou, but somewhat bizarrely the connections between these Spanish trains and the French trains in Port Bou station are comparatively poorly timed.
The French operator, SNCF, and the Spanish railway operator, RENFE have evidently made little effort to co-ordinate their respective timetables.

The timings are particularly awkward on Mondays-Fridays, when some trains from Barcelona arrive in Port Bou only minutes after a train on to France has departed - and some other transfers on Mon-Friday are dependent on making a two minute connection between trains!

Irun > Hendaye/Hendaia #1:

The TGVs which travel from Paris to Irun, commence their journeys back to the French capital in Hendaye, so connect in Hendaye for a TGV to Paris via Bordeaux.

There is also usually a daily train from cities in north-west Spain including A Coruna and Leon, which terminates in Hendaye/Hendaia, but it doesn't make a connection into trains to other destinations in France.

Irun > Hendaye/Hendaia #2:

Hourly local ‘Euskotren’ trains connect San Sebastian/Donastia to Hendaia/Hendaye via Irun.
Other hourly ‘Euskotren’ trains connect Bilbao to San Sebastian/Donastia.
In Hendaia/Hendaye you can then connect into TGVs on to Paris via Bordeaux.

Puigcerda > Latour De Carol:
From Barcelona to Toulouse by train through the Pyrenees

Five trains per day depart Barcelona for Latour De Carol via Vic and Puigcerda.

TER trains link La Tour De Carol to Toulouse via Foix, and they generally offer good connections with the trains from Barcelona.

So taking this route is comparatively straightforward; and if you have an InterRail or Eurail pass, you can avoid the rail pass reservation fees charged on the high speed services, if you take these trains.

to Portugal:

The train services between Spain and Portugal have been drastically impacted by the pandemic

The overnight Trenhotel services to Lisbon from Madrid and from Irun via Burgos were the only direct trains from Spain to the Portuguese capital and they have now been permanently withdrawn.

Tul > Valenca:

Two relatively new 'Celta' train services per day* take this route: Vigo - Valenca - Vana do Castelo - Nine - Porto.
*The trains usually depart from Guixar station in Vigo- daily at 08:58 and 19:56 and the journey from Vigo to Porto takes around 1hr 20mins.

The morning departure from Vigo has good connections in Porto with an IC train on to Lisboa/Lisbon.
The evening departure from Vigo has a 'connection' from a train that has taken an A Coruna - Santiago de Compostela - Pontevedra route.

Madrid to Porto:
If you won't mind spending more than three hours in Vigo

via Elvas:

At 10:18 a daily train, which calls at Merida, departs Madrid-Atocha, and at Merida it has a THREE MINUTE connection into a train on to Badajoz.
This train then has a 20 minute connection into the one train per day, on from Badajoz, which crosses the border to terminate in Entroncamento.
Then in Entroncamento, the train from Badajoz has a 23 minute connection into a train on to Lisboa/Lisbon.

However, according to the European Rail Timetable, when setting off from Madrid these connections aren't guaranteed.
Meaning that the one daily train from Badajoz over the border will aim to depart on time, regardless of whether the trains have made their 2 min connection back in Merida.

Though you shouldn't have any problems if you commence the journey in Badajoz, there are later trains on from Entroncamento to Lisboa/Lisbon.

Trains from Sweden

Trains from and to Sweden

Sweden has six international rail connections, one link to Denmark, one to Germany) and four with Norway; and they all have a wow factor!

to Denmark:

TWO train services cross the Oresund Bridge – the only rail link between Sweden and Denmark:

(1) Up to 7 x Snabbtag trains per day take this route; Stockholm - Norrkoping - Mjolby - Nassjo – Alvesta - Hassleholm - Lund - Malmo* - Kastrup Airport - Kobenhavn H
*Tickets are not available for journeys from Malmo on these trains.

Though these trains typically have poor connections with the trains on to Hamburg from Kobenhavn.
The best option is usually to take one of the Snabbtag trains which travel no further than Malmo and then connect there for an Oresundtag train on to Kobenhavn, where the Hamburg trains can be joined.

(2) Three x Oresundtag trains per hour take this route:
Lund - Malmo - Kastrup Airport - Kobenhavn H* – Norreport – Osterport – Nivaa

*Kobenhavn H is the main station in Copenhagen, but Norreport station is closer to the city centre - and Osterport serves the northern part of central Copenhagen.

These three trains services all take a different route to Lund, thereby providing direct trains from multiple towns in southern Sweden to Denmark - on which rail pass users don't have to pay any reservation fees:

  • Goteborg - Helsingborg – Lund
    So Goteborg has an hourly train service to Kobenhavn.
  • Kalmar - Alvesta - Hassleholm - Lund
  • Karlskrona - Kristianstad – Lund

to Germany:

Swedish operator Snälltåget now provides an overnight train from Stockholm to Berlin via Malmo and Hamburg.
For details of its timetable and dates of operation, check out its website.

to Norway:

The trains from Sweden to Norway take one of four routes.

via Charlottenberg
Taking a train from Sweden to Norway

Swedish IC trains* take this route:

Stockholm – Hallsberg – Karlstad – Arvika – Charlottenberg – Kongsvinger – Olso

Ed > Kronsjo:

The number of trains which travel over this border crossing has increased as up to four Norwegian Regiontog trains per day now take this route: (NEW)
Goteborg/Gothenburg – Oxenered – Halden – Fredrikstaad – Moss - Oslo

**These services are being turned round at Halden due to the pandemic.

Heading north the trains to Oslo are now scheduled to depart from Goteborg at:
on Mon-Fri at 06:10; 10:15; 14:15; 18:10
on Saturday at 8:15: 14:15; 18:10
on Sunday at 10:15; 14:15; 18:10

This new timetable has also opened up new journey possibilities for travelling from southern Sweden to western Norway by train.

For those prepared to gamble on making an 11 min connection at Oslo S station on a Saturday, it has become theoretically possible to depart from Goteborg at 08:15 and connect into a train on to Bergen that usually departs Oslo at 12:03.

A welcome improvement on Mondays to Fridays and Sundays is that the later train on to Bergen from Oslo at 15:43 now has a viable connection from Goteborg - depart by the 10:15 and the connecting time in Oslo will be under two hours.
By departing from Kobenhavn at 05:27, on Mondays to Fridays it's also possible to travel from Kobenhavn to Bergen by train during the day.

On Mondays to Fridays and Sundays there is also a new connection available in Oslo for those travelling from Goteborg to Trondheim - though the 10:15 from Sweden is due in to Oslo only 11mins before a train on to Trondheim will be departing.

via Storlien:

Two trains per day depart from the Swedish border town of Storlien for Trondheim, these trains travel via Hell.
Swedish regional trains from Sundsvall to Storlien via Ostersund are timed to connect with these trains over the border to Norway.

On Saturdays a Snabbtag train, which is usually scheduled to depart from Stockholm C at 10:21, has an eight minute connection into a train on to Storlein, but on the other days of the week a train which is usually scheduled to depart Stockholm at 09:21, allows over an hour to make the connection in Sundsvall.
Take these trains from Stockholm and you should arrive in Trondheim at 20:20 - the train on from Storlein will usually be heading beyond Trondheim to Heimdal.

via Riksgransen:

This crossing is taken by the nightly SJ Night Train on this route:
Stockholm – Uppsala – Galve – Sundsvall – Boden – Narvik (this train is currently being turned around in Boden).

There are also two daytime trains from Boden to Narvik, one of which commences its journey in Luleá.

Trains from Switzerland

Trains from and to Switzerland

Thanks to its central European location, Switzerland is served by multiple international train services, and those from Austria and Italy also take rail routes that are among the most spectacular in all of Europe.

Some of Switzerland's international rail routes are also provided by its beautiful independent mountain railways.
It can be worth taking a detour to use them to depart from, or arrive in Switzerland; and if you will be travelling with a Eurail or InterRail pass, using them to access Switzerland can contribute to a pass being value for money.

to Austria:

The trains from Switzerland to Austria only take one of two routes.

Buchs > Feldkirch:

Making the beautiful train journey from Switzerland to Austria

The three long-distance train services which travel this way are:

(1) The Railljet trains which operate every other hour on the Zurich – Sargans – Buchs* - Feldkirch – St Anton – InnsbruckSalzburg – Linz – St Polten – Wien/Vienna route.
One of these trains has its journey extended beyond Wien to Budapest via Gyor.
Another of these Railjet trains has now had its journey extended to Bratislava.

*Buchs has trains from Chur, Landquart and St Gallen and a bus link with Leichtenstien.

(2) One EC train per day, named the 'Transalpin', which takes a Zurich – Sargans – Buchs - Feldkirch – St Anton – Innsbruck - Kitzbuhel - Zell Am See - Graz route.

(3) The overnight trains on these four routes:

  • Zurich – Sargans – Buchs – Graz
  • Zurich – Sargans – Buchs – Villach - Jesenice – Lesce-Bled (for Lake Bled) – Ljubljana – Zidani Most – Dobova – Zagreb
    (From June 13th to Sept 20th, it's possible to make connections in Zagreb for onward travel to Beograd/Belgrade, Sofia, Athens and Istanbul).
  • Zurich – Sargans – Buchs – Wien/Vienna – Gyor - Budapest
  • Zurich - Praha/Prag

The only other trains which take this route are the local commuter trains, which shuttle across the border between Buchs and Feldkirch during the early mornings and late afternoons on Monday to Friday.

St Margrethen > Bregenz:

The only trains which makes this border crossing are the six daily EC trains on the improved Zurich - Zurich Flughafen/Airport -- St Gallen – St Margrethen* - Bregenz - Lindau - Munchen/Munich route.
*St Margrethen is served by trains which have travelled from Chur via Landquart.

to France:

The trains from Switzerland to France take one of six routes.

Geneva > Bellegarde:

These five train services all cross this border between Switzerland and France:

(1) Up to eight Lyria trains per day take this route; Geneve – Bellegarde – Paris (three trains per day on this route now commence the journey in Lausanne)

(2) The Lyria train on this route; Geneve – Bellegarde – Lyon – Avignon-TGV – Aix-en-Provence-TGV – Marseille will now only be departing between July 4th and August 30th.

(3) Up to ten TER trains per day travel from Geneve to Lyon via Bellegarde

(4) Infrequent local trains travel from Geneva as far as Bellgarde.

(5) Four TER trains per day take this route; Geneve – Bellegarde – Culoz - Aix-les-Bains - Chambery –Grenoble (two of these trains continue beyond Grenoble to Valence).

Geneve > Annemasse:

After a lengthy closure for rebuilding, this route has re-opened and new hourly Regional Express services link destinations on the north shore of Lake Geneva, including Montreux and Lausanne, to Annemasse in France.
In some hours connections are available in Annemasse to and from Evian Les-Bains or St-Gervais-Les-Bains - from where there are onward connections to Chamonix.

There are also hourly local trains from Geneve to Annecy which travel via Annemasse

In Geneve these train services now call all both at the main station, which previously hadn't been linked to Annemasse, and the re-opened Geneve-Eaux-Vives station.

Vallorbe > Frasne:

The only trains which come this way are the three Lyria trains per day that take a Lausanne - Vallorbe - Frasne – Dole – Dijon – Paris route.
Trains from Neuchatel via Pontarlier to Frasne connect into these trains.

The other trans from Lausanne to Paris now travel via Geneve - see above

via La Locle:

Three TER trains per day travel this way from La Chaux des Fonds to Besancon-Voite, the town centre station in Besancon.
There are trains to La Chaux des Fonds from Biel and Neuchatel.
These trains connect in Besancon into TGVs to Paris and there are also TER trains from Besancon to Belfort and Dijon.

Basel > St Louis, Haut Rhin:

These THREE train services all cross this border between Switzerland and France:

(1) Up to six Lyria trains per day take this route; ZurichBasel – Mulhouse – Dijon* - Paris gare de Lyon
*Not all of these trains call at Dijon

(2) In most hours there are TER trains which take this route; Basel – Mulhouse – Colmar - Strasbourg

(3) There are also local trains from Basel to Mulhouse.

via Vallorcine (The Mont Blanc Express route):
Travelling the route of the Mont Blanc Express from Switzerland to France

Every hour during the day, trains operated by TMR depart Martigny for Vallorcine.
Martigny station is served by trains which depart at least hourly from Geneve, Brig, Lausanne, Montreux, Sion and Visp.

At Vallorcine connections are available into trains which travel on to St Gervais via Chamonix.

Some of these trains make connections in St Gervais with TER trains on to Annecy or Lyon.

to Germany (and The Netherlands):

The River Rhine and Lake Constance, also known as the Bodensee both provide natural barriers along the Swiss/German border, so there are only TWO routes used by long-distance express trains between Switzerland and Germany.

(The trains on the Zurich > Munchen/Munich route travel through Austria because the eastern end of the Bodensee is in Austria).

Basel SBB > Basel Bad Bahnhof:

Basel Bad Bahnhof is in Switzerland, but is managed as though it is a German station, so train services that only travel into Germany from this station have been excluded from this summary.

These train services below are those which travel between Basel SBB (the main station in Basel) and Basel Bad Bahnhof – when we include Basel on the routes, the trains call at both stations in the city.

The train services which travel this way include the ICE trains on these THREE routes:

(1) Interlaken - Spiez – Thun - Bern - Olten - Basel - Freiburg - Baden Baden - Kalrsruhe - Mannheim - Frankfurt (Main) - Kassel – Berlin (3 x trains per day from Interlaken)

(2) ZurichBasel - Freiburg - Baden Baden - Kalrsruhe – Mannheim - Frankfurt (Main) -- Kassel Hannover - Hamburg (5 x trains per day)
Two of these trains commence their journey in Chur at 10:39 and 12:39 and travel to Zurich via Landquart.
The brand new ICE 4 trains now operate on this route.

(3) Basel - Freiburg – Kalrsruhe - Mannheim – Frankfurt Airport/Flughafen - Seigburg/Bonn - Koln/Cologne (- Wuppertal - Dortmund) (6 x trains per day).
One of the trains on this route has its journey extended to Dusseldorf – Duisburg- Oberhausen – Arnhem – Utrecht – Amsterdam.
This is the only direct train service, day or night, from Switzerland to The Netherlands.

The daily EC trains which also come this way are on these three routes:

(1) Interlaken - Bern - Basel – Freiburg - Karlsruhe - Mannheim - Koblenz – Bonn - Koln/Cologne - Dusseldorf - Dortmund - Bremen - Hamburg

(2) Zurich - Basel - Freiburg – Baden Baden - Karlsruhe - Mannheim - Koblenz - Koln/Cologne - Dusseldorf - Dortmund - Bremen - Hamburg

(3) Brig – Visp – Spiez – Thun – Bern - Olten - Basel - Freiburg – Baden Baden - Karlsruhe – Mannheim – Frankfurt (Main)
This train commences its journey in Milano.

Overnight Nightjet trains on these three routes also come this way:

(1) ZurichBasel – Hannover - Hamburg
(2) ZurichBasel – Magdeburg - Berlin
(3) Zurich - Basel - Koln/Cologne - Arnhem - Utrecht - Amsterdam

Schaffhausen > Singen:
The most beautiful railway route from Switzerland to Germany

Three train services make this border crossing;

(1) German IC trains on this route; Zurich – Schaffhausen – Singen - Rottweil – Horb – Stuttgart

(2) Swiss IC trains on a Zurich – Schaffhausen – Singen route (these trains connect in Singen with IC trains on Stuttgart)
The train service is arranged so that when travelling from Zurich to Stuttgart, in alternate hours there is a direct train, but in other hours a connection is required in Singen.
Sit on the right when travelling from Zurich for a spectacular view of the Schaffhausen Falls.

(3) German Regio trains on a Ulm – Frederichshafen – Radofzell - Singen – Schaffhausen – Waldshut – Basel (Bad Bahnhof) route.

to Italy:

The trains from Switzerland to Italy take one of four spectacular routes.

Brig > Domodossola (The Simplon Route):

These four train services all take this beautiful railway line from Switzerland to Italy;

(1) Four EC trains per day take this route:

Geneve - Lausanne - Montreux - Sion - Brig - Domodossola - Stresa - Milano
One of these trains continues its journey beyond Milano to Brescia - Peschiera del Garda - Verona – Vicenza - Padua/Padova – Venezia St Lucia.

(2) Three EC trains per day take this route:
Basel - Olten - Bern - Thun - Spiez *- Visp - Brig- Domodossola - Stresa - Milano.
*Trains from Interlaken make connections in Spiez.
Connect in Milano for cities to the south including Ancona, Bologna, Firenze/Florence, Genova, Napoli, Nice, Pisa, Rimini and Roma - none of these destinations have direct trains from Switzerland.

(3) One Swiss IC train per day, which departs from Basel at 10:26 and takes this route: Basel - Olten - Bern - Thun - Spiez - Visp - Brig - Domodossola.

(4) Up to seven x daily regional trains, on which rail pass users don't have to pay any reservation fees, are now USUALLY scheduled to depart from Bern to take the spectacular route via Kandersteg to Brig; and then travel on to Domodossola.
All of these regional trains also call at Speiz, where connections are available from Zwiesimmen and Interlaken.

via Chiasso (The Gotthard route)::

These train services all take this railway route from Switzerland to Italy;

(1) There are now up to 10 x EC trains per day which take a Zurich - Zug - Arth-Goldau* - Bellinzona - Lugano - Como - Milano route
*Trains from Basel via Luzern connect with these trains in Arth-Goldau/

One of these trains continues its journey beyond Milano to Brescia - Peschiera del Garda - Verona – Vicenza - Padua/Padova – Venezia St Lucia.
And another daily train now continues beyond Milano to arrive in Genova/Genoa; while yet another service now provides a direct link between Zurich and Bologna.

Connect in Milano for cities to the south including Ancona, Firenze/Florence, Genova, Napoli, Nice, Pisa, Rimini and Roma - none of these destinations have direct trains from Switzerland.

(2) One EC train* per day takes this route; Basel – Olten – Luzern - Arth-Goldau - Bellinzona - Lugano - Como – Milano
*This train commences its journey in Frankfurt (Main)

(3) Hourly regional trains now take this route: Locarno - Lugano - Chiasso - Como - Milano.
Connections into these trains at Guibiasco are available when taking the IR trains on the Basel/Zurich to Locarno route via Airolo and Faido.

(4) Hourly local trains take this route – Bellinzona – Lugano - Chiasso
Regionale trains to Milano Porta Garibaldi station connect with these trains in Chiasso.

via Camedo:
Taking the Centovali Express from Italy to Switzerland

There are hourly ‘Centovali Express’ trains during the day, operated by F.A.R.T. which take this route from Locarno to Domodossola.

Locarno is served by trains from Bellinzona (which has frequent trains from Basel, Lugano, Luzern and Zurich) and in Domodossola connections are available to Milano, Stresa and Arona.

via Campocologno:

Up to 11 trains per day, which are operated by RhB, depart from St Moritz for Tirano for via Pontresina and Poschiavo.

Regionale trains link Tirano with Milano via the Lake Como towns of Colico and Lecco.

Easy connections are available in Pontresina from trains from Scuol-Tarasp, which have travelled via Samedan - and in Samedan another connection can be made from trains that have travelled from Chur.
So a journey by regular trains from Chur to Tirano involves two simple as can be connections.
Or as an alternative to the regular trains, you can travel direct from Chur to Tirano on the Bernina Express.

If you will be using a rail pass then travelling from Zurich to Milano on this route and making additional connections in Chur and Tirano, is the most spectacular means of taking a train from northern Switzerland to northern Italy.

Trains from The Netherlands:

Trains from and to Holland

The Netherlands has recently been reconnected to the European overnight train network thanks to a service which connects Amsterdam with Vienna/Wien
The number of local cross-border routes with Germany has also increased, so travelling to and from The Netherlands by train has never been easier.

to Belgium (and France & Great Britain):

Most of the trains from The Netherlands to Belgium and beyond take one of three routes.

the high speed line:

Three train services currently travel on the high speed line from Belgium to The Netherlands.

(1) Up to 14 x Thalys trains per day take this route: Amsterdam - Schiphol Airport - Rotterdam - Antwerpen Central - Bruxelles-MidiParis
These are the only direct trains from The Netherlands to Paris, but if you will be heading to destinations to the south of the French capital, it can be worth connecting into the TGV trains on from Bruxelles-Midi to other French cities.
By taking them you can then avoid having to make a cross-Paris transfer between stations.

(2) 2 x Thalys trains per day take this route: Amsterdam - Schiphol Airport - Rotterdam - Antwerpen Central - Bruxelles-Midi - Paris CDG Aeroport - Marne la Vallée for Disneyland Paris.
These services are still suspended.
In the winter months there are also ‘Thalys Niege’ services which are direct from Amsterdam and Rotterdam to Bourg St-Maurice and in the summer there are ‘Thalys Du Soliel services direct to Marseille via Avignon.

(3) InterCity-Direct trains also take the high speed line, but they don’t travel at high speed.
These trains operate hourly on this route: Rotterdam - Breda* - Antwerpen Central - Antwerpen Berchem – Mechelen - Bruxelles Aeroport - Bruxelles Nord - Bruxelles-Central - Bruxelles-Midi.
Three of these trains per day commence their journeys at Den Haag HS, but the rest of these trains travel from Amsterdam via Schiphol.

Connect in Antwerpen for trains to Gent/Ghent; it can also be quicker to travel to Brugge/Bruge via Gent, but for destinations in eastern and southern Belgium (and Luxembourg) the best option is to make a connection in Bruxelles.

*=Connections are available in Breda from trains that have travelled from Arnhem via Den Bosch and Nijmegen.
These InterCity-Bruxelles trains no longer travel via Roosendaal and Dordrecht.

There also direct Eurostar services from Amsterdam to London**](/train-travel-info/journeys/from-amsterdam-to-london-by-train/) which take this route and then travel through Bruxelles and on to the high speed lines which leads to The Channel Tunnel

Roosendaal > Essen:

Trains still use the older line between Belgium and The Netherlands, they depart hourly from Roosendaal* and travel over the border via Essen on to Antwerpen Centraal.

*Roosendaal is served by Dutch IC trains from Amsterdam, which make calls in Leiden, Delft and Dordrecht, as well as trains from Vlissingen via Middledburg.

via Vise:

Hourly local trains depart from Maastricht and head to Liege.
Maastricht is served by Dutch IC trains from Amsterdam, which travel via Utrecht, Den Bosch and Eindhoven.

to Germany (and Austria & Switzerland)

Trains from The Netherlands to Germany take one of five routes.

via Emmerich:

Four train services now take the main railway line from The Netherlands to Germany.

(1) The ICE trains on these two routes:

  • Amsterdam-Central – Utrecht* – Arnhem - Oberhausen – Duisburg – Dusseldorf - Koln/Cologne – Seigburg/Bonn – Frankfurt Airport/Flughafen – Frankfurt (Main) (6 or 7 trains per day)
    Connections are available in Frankfurt (Main) on to multiple other destinations including, Dresden, Linz, Munchen/Munich, Nurnberg, Stuttgart and Wien/Vienna.
  • Amsterdam-Central – Utrecht* – Arnhem - Oberhausen – Duisburg – Dusseldorf - Koln/Cologne – Seigburg/Bonn – Frankfurt Airport/Flughafen - Mannheim – Kalrsruhe - Freiburg – Basel Bad - Basel SBB (1 x train per day)
    The only direct daily train from The Netherlands to Switzerland
    *=There are frequent trains from Rotterdam to Utrecht.

(2) Hourly Regio trains which take an Arnhem – Emmerich - Oberhausen – Duisburg – Dusseldorf route.

(3) The Nightjet service from Amsterdam to Vienna/Wien via Linz, which departs every evening and also calls at Utrecht, Arnhem and Linz.

(4) The new Nightjet service from Amsterdam to Basel and Zurich, which also calls in Utrecht and Amsterdam.

via Bad Bentheim:

Every two hours during the day Intercity-Berlijn trains take this route:
Amsterdam-Central - Hilversum - Amersfoort – Deventer - Hengelo - Bad Bentheim - Rheine – Osnabruck* – Hannover - Wolfsburg – Berlin.
*Connect in Osnabruck for trains to Hamburg via Bremen.

Hourly Regio trains now also cross this border on this route; Hengelo > Bad Bentheim > Rheine > Osnabruck > Bielefeld.
Hengelo is served by hourly Dutch IC trains on these routes;

  • Schiphol – Amsterdam Zuid - Hilversum* - Amersfoort – Deventer - Hengelo
  • Den Haag/The Hague – Gouda – Utrecht – Amersfoort* – Deventer - Hengelo
    *If you will be travelling from Amsterdam Centraal, you can make connections into these trains at these stations.

via Gronau:

Hourly local trains from Enschede cross the border and travel to Dortmund.

Connections are available in Enschende from hourly Dutch IC trains on these routes:

  • Schiphol – Amsterdam Zuid - Hilversum - Amersfoort – Deventer – Hengelo - Enschede
  • Den Haag/The Hague – Gouda – Utrecht - Amersfoort – Deventer - Hengelo - Enschede

*If you will be travelling from Amsterdam Centraal, you can make connections into these trains at these stations.

Venlo > Monchengladbach:

The only regular train services which make this border crossing are the hourly daytime Regio trains operate on this route; Venlo - Monchengladbach – Neuss - Dusseldorf - Wuppertal - Hagen - Hamm (West).

Connecting Dutch IC trains operate hourly on this route; Amsterdam Centraal – Utrecht - Den Bosch – Eindhoven* – Venlo.
*= Dutch IC trains operate on this route Den Haag – Rotterdam – Breda - Eindhoven.

On Fridays only between December 19th and March 12th, the Alpen Express also takes this route - this overnight train connects these Dutch cities - Amsterdam, Den Bosch, Den Haag, Eindhoven, Haarlem, Leiden, Utrecht and Venlo with multiple Austrian ski resorts

via Bad Nieuweschans:

Trains take this route from Groningen to Leer, which has hourly trains to a swathe of German towns and cities including Bremen, Duisburg, Dusseldorf, Hannover, Koln/Cologne and Oldenburg.

Trains from the UK:

Travelling from the UK by Eurostar
The only international trains from the UK are the Eurostar trains to Belgium, France - and now The Netherlands.

We summarise the direct routes taken by the Eurostar trains below, but if you want to travel from the UK by train beyond those three countries - this London to Europe guide will tell you all you need to know!

via The Channel Tunnel

According to the ticketing availability, the service level on the London <> Paris route will be operating around 40% of the usual departures for the time being,

On the London <>Bruxelles via Lille route, the number of departures is increasing to four per day from November 1st,
One of these London to Bruxelles departures,m the train at 11:04, travels beyond Bruxelles to provide the the direct link from London to Amsterdam via Rotterdam.

However, the seasonal direct London <> Marseille via Lyon and Avignon services will not be available in 2020.

Tickets are currently not available for journeys to and from Ashford or Ebbsfleet.

The usual service

Eurostar trains take these six routes:

(1) London - Ebbsfleet* - Ashford** - Paris (14 - 17 x departures by day by e300 and e320 trains)

(2) London - Ebbsfleet* - Ashford** - Calais*** - Lille - Bruxelles/Brussel (8 - 10 x departures by day by e300 and e320 trains)
* Three or Four trains per day, final departure is at 13:15

(3) London - Bruxelles - Rotterdam - Amsterdam (two or three departures per day by e320 trains)
These services are suspended until further notice.

(4) London - Ashford - Lyon - Avignon - Marseille by e300 trains
Departure dates in 2021 are to be confirmed

(5) London* - Ebbsfleet - Ashford - Marne La Valléé for Disneyland Paris by e300 trains
Departs on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday year round and daily (usually) in school holidays.

(6) London - Ashford - Moutiers - Aime la Plagne - Bourg St-Maurice by e300 trains

When trains cross borders:

We expect that those responsible for border controls across Europe, won’t appreciate us sharing specific details of our international journey experiences.

Though it may be stating the obvious to point out that taking an international European train, can inevitably be a different experience to making a domestic journey.

What is also true, is that there can be variations in how trains travel across borders, which seems to have little to do with whether countries have signed up to the Schengen agreement.

When making an international train journey in Europe you will encounter one of these FIVE scenarios.

(1) The journey will in fact be little different to a domestic journey, no announcements will be made be made on the train when a border crossing occurs - and you won’t be aware of any immigration or customs staff on the train.
You won’t be asked to show your passport either prior to boarding, or during the journey.

You will therefore travel seamlessly from one country to another and the only thing that will alert you to the fact that you’ve crossed a border, will be your mobile devices connecting to new service providers.

(2) Border staff will carry out checks while the train is in transit.

In this scenario you MAY be randomly singled out for additional checks and questioning to do with your travel plans and the amount of currency you have with you etc.

If this happens to you, try to avoid wondering why some of your fellow passengers haven’t even been asked to show their passports.

This random checking is no doubt an effective strategy, so just politely accept whatever scenario you find yourself encountering – and don’t question why it’s occurring.

(3) Checks will be carried out at the border station(s)

The train will stop at the last station before a border and/or the first station after a border.
Border control staff will then board and pass through the train, before it leaves the station.
In this scenario, most, or all passengers, will have to show their passports and answer questions about their journey – and some of the border staff may have dogs.

(4) If you leave or join train at a station on either side of a border, you may have to pass through passport and customs controls at the station.

So give yourself extra time to board a train, in case you do encounter this scenario, don’t assume that a train will wait for you because you’re still in a queue for passport control.

(5) All passengers may have to leave the train to pass through border control.

This scenario will likely not be apparent, when you book tickets, look up the journey details or board the train.

It’s also not a very common scenario, but you should be aware to the possibility that it may occur.
When it is happening announcements will be made on board, alerting travellers to the fact that you need to leave the train.
However, these announcements may not be made in English, so if when a train stops at a station near a border, virtually all of your fellow travellers gather their belongings and leave the train, don’t assume that they’ve reached their final destination.
Find a fellow traveller who can explain what’s occurring.

Also you may, or may not, re-board the same train, but regardless of that, you’ll need to take all your belongings with you.
You may need to board a bus, which will convey you across a border, and take you to the first station on the other side.

Night Trains:

If you will be travelling in a sleeping cabin on an international night train, the usual scenario is that your hand your tickets and passports to the attendant who manages the sleeping cars, when you board the train.

Meaning that when/if border checks are carried out in the middle of the night, the sleeping car attendant will deal with the border staff on your behalf – leaving you to sleep on in your bed.

If you’re travelling in a couchette, you may retain your passport and tickets, you definitely will if you will be travelling in a seat.
When you retain your ticket and passport, you can be woken in the middle of the night, in order to speak to the border control staff.

Other sources of info:

We wouldn't have been able to produce this guide without the European Rail Timetable.

If you want or need to look up the departure and arrival details on 1000s of routes across Europe, then using this timetable is essential for double-checking the details of journeys that you can find online.

We particularly relied on its maps that accurately show the routes of the trains.

Also our guide is a summary - but for more detailed info look no further than Seat61.

This website TrainTracks.EU is written in German, but if need be it's worth translating its articles as many of them cover the less obvious routes and trains.

Author

Simon Harper

I wanted to share my passion for train travel and explain how anyone can take the fantastic journeys I have taken.

ShowMeTheJourney

This is one of more than 100 train travel guides available on ShowMeTheJourney, which will make it easier to take the train journeys you want or need to make. As always, all images were captured on trips taken by ShowMeTheJourney.