Problems of traveling across Europe by train

Last week we travelled by Eurostar . We were going to Amsterdam . We stayed in Premier inn but had to leave before breakfast. So i took a tin of rice pudding and a tin opener and ate it before leaving the hotel. So we got to St pancras early. and got our train but at Brussels the train manager told that a technical problem would mean we had to get out and travel on to Amsterdam by intercity. .When we got to Amsterdam we had then to Travel onwards to Heerlen in the south getting there at 1740.
After the weekend we travelled back to Amsterdam becoming tourists for three nights,
We were going to the annual Border Meeting. It is a meeting of Quakers from The Netherlands Germany Belgium and France.


That’s quite a trek, props for doing it all by train - I think I’d have given into the temptation to fly to Eindhoven!

Unfortunately Eurostar is pausing its service to NL (both Amsterdam and Rotterdam) for almost a year from next summer.

I have since found that it would have been a lot quicker by rail from Brussels to Heerlen via Aachen.


I am one of those people who enjoys traveling by rail as part of the trip, especially when it’s across Europe, so I’d have really enjoyed this.


Love a Eurostar trip, though the post-brexit system is slower and more expensive and generally less pleasant. Longer check in times

If you are booking a through-trip, I’d advise either booking through Eurostar, SNCF or Deutsche Bahn, not with the Belgian company is it is a pain. I haven’t done a Eurostar-thalys combination since they merged, but that might be smoother now.


Another train travel fan here :+1: as we plan to no longer fly (as much as possible) - longhaul or otherwise - trains are our preferred mode of travel. It’s a great way to see landscape and architecture change between countries.

Last summer we travelled to a wedding in Sweden by train, breaking the journey in Northern Germany. If it weren’t for petsistent issues with DB, it would have been a perfect trip. The crossing of the Øresund from Copenhagen to Malmö on the famous Bridge was a highlight! :ok_hand:


You should try ‘The problems of travelling across The Pennines by train’ - it’s no joke, 1 in 8 trains from Huddersfield (our nearest mainline station) were cancelled this year. And that does not include the trains which were : Late, Delayed, Replaced with a substitute bus service.

An absolute disgrace.


Brexit in a sentence…


I went to Lille back in May. Absolute joy…

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I have seen the press about transpennine express . But this has not been my experience. I have been lucky. I went to Wales earlier this year via MAnchester got s train and a seat both ways. Earlier in the year I was booked fist classon a cross country to Edinburgh. Some one threw themselves in front of a train which threw the whole system into chaos . After hagging around at Leeds for 90mins i got a transpennine express to Newcastle where i changed . I was two hours late , I put in a claim and my full fare repaid.

I have travelled around Europe by train many times, the journey from Innsbruck to Verona is particularly enchanting as you go through the Dolomites and gradually see German gothic railway station signs turn to Italian names.
Another gem is arriving at Venice station, walking out and seeing the Grand Canal and breathing in all its aromatic glory…
A regular trip has been the summer journey from St Pancras to Avignon without having to change. You sit and watch the north European plain become Burgundian escarpments and thence along the Rhone valley whizzing past all those steep sided vineyards…it is riveting.


I also love pootling around Europe by train, and just realised this could become a long post… but I will just pick out some highlights…

The Swiss rail system is fabulous - so well integrated, and of course they have an advantage of great views (Bernina Express is fabulous).

Paris to Geneva, a great way to start a skiing holiday, with no airport hassles.

Either route south from Koblenz (Germany) along the Rhein. But best to stop off regularly to trawl the vineyards.

Finally, in the Rhône, the Train de l’Ardèche heritage steam train, a perfect way to fill a few hours in-between blissful exploration of the best of a wonderful wine region…


I’ll second that. Zurich to Ascona was probably my favourite train journey.

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Yes that journey thru the Dolomites is nice, once you get out of that long tunnel north of Bolzano theres the Brenner pass and then theres that loop around St Jodok. I did it one morning after it had snowed the night before


An interesting feature about Zurich railway station is that because trains go all over Europe, from there, and also to the East you have an opportunity to see all sorts of different nationalities’ passenger rolling stock.


We’ve just done London to Toulouse by train over 10 days or so. Highlight was the five hour trip from Clermont-Ferrand to Nîmes, stunning scenery, quiet train carriage. We’ve found booking in advance can give cheap first class fares and more room. Also while in Nîmes we went to the coast for 2 euros return which was a bargain.


We travelled back to Amsterdam central from Heerlem by a double decker train . It was a direct train right across the Netherlands. We sitting in a carriage chatting away . A man sitting near us got up and walked down to another seat further down the carriage. Later on a woman came up to us pointed to our window which said Silent Carriage! . Beccause we were in a strange country everything was interesting and we just did not notice what was right next to us. We appologised and shut up.

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A few years back we toured Portugal by train. The highlight was the high speed trip from Lisbon to Porto. We booked 1st Class, and pre booked a meal. Our fellow passengers were rather envious when the catering team came along and set out the meal at our table Great value.


Perhaps because Leeds to Newcastle does not go across the Pennines?

I’m not picking a pedant argument, honestly. The problem is some of the services are fine, others are far from it - and it varies from day to day - passengers can no longer depend on the service for travel to work.

London to Paris.

It’s fantastic especially if you time your journey around midday with a picnic.

We opened up our mini-packed lunch of smoked salmon & chablis + strawberries - a tad apprehensive that others might not approve. Yet all around us others were popping champagne and tucking into full blown hampers !