True New Train Services and Routes

New Train Services and Routes

The majority of European train timetables had and annual major update on the second Sunday in December 2017 and there will also be further new and improved services to come in 2018.
 

What you can find below is a summary of the key changes to direct trains on popular routes - both those which occured back in late 2017 and those still to come in 2018.


Click on the links you will find below, to access further details of how you can now travel by train on each route.

SUMMARY OF MAJOR CHANGES:

- Direct Eurostar trains from London to Amsterdam and Rotterdam, from April 4th onwards.

- A new high speed line has transformed the Berlin to Munchen/Munich route;

- The train service between Wien/Vienna and Venezia/Venice has been doubled;

- New direct trains between Frankfurt (Main) and Milano;

- Daily direct trains between Zurich and Venezia/Venice:

- The overnight train between Berlin and both Budapest AND Vienna/Wien has been withdrawn.
 

NEW SERVICES:

1: London to Rotterdam and Amsterdam by direct Eurostar:


From April 4th Eurostar will begin operating its long planned service of direct trains from London to Amsterdam, which will also call at Rotterdam, so you can travel from London to Rotterdam on direct trains

Tickets are on sale NOW on all official ticket agents.

London to The Netherlands by Eurostar

The trains will depart from London St Pancras International daily at 08:31 and 17:31 and the journey time to Amsterdam will be only 3hr 41 min - it will take less time to travel to Amsterdam from London by train than it takes to travel to Cornwall or Scotland.

The journey time to Rotterdam will only be 3hr 1min - similar to how long it takes to travel by train from London to Newcastle!

These new direct trains from London to the Netherlands will not call at Ebbsfleet International or Ashford International and they will also pass through Antwerpen.

For the time being the service of the direct trains will be only be in one direction, from the UK to The Netherlands, the direct trains from Amsterdam to London via Rotterdam will be introduced at a date to be confirmed later this year.

The passport and check-in facilities at Amsterdam Centraal and Rotterdam Centraal stations will need to be ready first.


2: Frankfurt to Milano:
 

München is now no longer the only major German city with direct trains to and from Italy as there is a new daily train from Frankfurt (Main) to Milano and from Milano to Frankfurt (Main).
 

In Germany in both directions these trains also call at Mannheim, Karlsruhe and Freiburg and the train heading south to Italy also calls at Baden-Baden.

However, in Switzerland the southbound train takes a different route to the northbound train.

The train from Frankfurt also provides a service to Luzern and to Lugano, but the train from Milano travels via Stresa, Brig, Visp and Bern – so those locations now have direct trains to, but not from, Frankfurt.

Heading south you can see views like these:





Heading north you can see views like these:



 

SERVICE IMPROVEMENTS:

1: Berlin - Munchen via Nurnberg


The headline news is the opening of the high speed line in Germany located between Erfurt and Nürnberg – a 190km long extension of the high speed line between Halle/Leipzig and Erfurt.

high speed train line between Halle/Leipzig and Erfurt
The new route has significantly reduced many journey times including enabling the enabling of the fastest ever train service between from Berlin to München/Munich and from München/Munich to Berlin – newly introduced ICE-Sprinter services now travel between the two cities in under 4 hours!


The more frequent regular service of ICE trains now take only 4hr 35mins – around 1hr 40mins faster than previously!


Other services/routes that are now also faster than ever before include:
Berlin to Nürnberg/Nuremberg
München/Munich to Leipzig


2: More ICE trains to/from Leipzig

Another change connected to the opening of the new high speed line is that the ICE trains which used to take a Berlin - Kassel - Frankfurt - Stuttgart - Ulm- Munchen/Munich route, now take a Berlin - Leipzig - Erfurt - Frankfurt - Stuttgart - Ulm -  Munchen/Munich route.

So now there are new direct ICE trains between Leipzig and both Stuttgart and Ulm.

And there is now an hourly service of ICE trains on the  Berlin and Leipzig AND Frankfurt - Leipzig routes -  a doubling of the service of ICE trains between Leipzig and both Berlin and Frankfurt (Main).

3: Direct ICE trains between Berlin and Frankfurt Flughafen/Airport:

The gap left on the timetable on the Berlin - Frankfurt (Main) route through Kassel by the diversion of the Berlin - Stuttgart - Ulm - Augsburg - Munchen service via Leipzig, has been plugged by a new ICE route.

This new route provides Berlin with its first regular service of ICE trains to/from Frankfurt Airport/Flughafen - trains depart every other hour in both directions.

Prior to this change Berlin had been the only major city in Germany not linked to the country's major international airport by direct ICE trains.


4: More trains on the Venezia/Venice - Wien/Vienna route:

Two trains per day now operate in each direction from Venezia/Venice to Wien/Vienna and from Wien/Vienna to Venezia/Venice  - there had previously been only 1 x train per day in each direction.
 

As a result of these changes, when travelling north from Venezia/Venice, it’s now possible to travel the full length of this spectacular route in daylight – and avoid the late night arrival in Wien/Vienna.

Views that are now available when travelling from Venezia to Wien by direct train include these spectacular views below - which can be seen as the train travels over the incredible Semmering pass between Bruck an der Mur and Wiener Neustadt.
From the Venezia to Wien train



When heading south there is now an alternative to having to set an alarm clock in order to depart from the Austrian capital before 06:30.

This train service is now also operated by the rather fabulous Railjets.


5: A change of terminal for some international trains to and from Budapest:

The daytime* EC trains from Budapest to:
Praha/Prague
Berlin
Hamburg
Warsaw

 

and those to Budapest from:
Berlin
Hamburg
Praha/Prague
Warsaw 

 

have had 20 mins cut from their schedules as the now arrive at and depart from Budapest-Nyugati station and NOT Budapest-Keleti station.
These trains used to spend 20 mins travelling through the Budapest suburbs.



*The overnight trains between Budapest and both Praha/Prague and Warszawa/Warsaw will still depart from/arrive at Budapest-Keleti station.

6: Daily direct trains between Venezia/Venice and Zurich:
 

The direct trains from Venezia/Venice to Zurich and Zurich to Venezia/Venice are now daily, they had previously only operated at weekends.

As a result there is now also a daily direct train service from Venezia/Venice to Lugano and from Lugano to Venezia/Venice.

7: Direct daytime trains between Praha/Prague and Krakow:
 

The direct daytime trains from Praha/Prague to Krakow and from Krakow to Praha/Prague, which had been brought back in the summer, are now a permanent addition to the timetables and will operate year round.

8: Improvements on the Stuttgart - Zurich route:

The train service on the wonderful route between Zurich and Stuttgart has been improved, as it's now possible to travel between the two cities in either direction by train hourly.

Which is good news, as this is by far our favourite of the Germany to Switzerland railway routes due to the views of the Schaffhausen Falls

The Schaffhausen Falls from the Stuttgart to Zurich train

Although the marketing of the route has somewhat disguised the fact that the doubling of the service frequency, from what had been a train every hour, doesn't mean that there has been an increase in the number of direct trains between the two cities.

Instead the frequency of the service between Stuttgart and Singen has been doubled to an hourly service, using the new Intercity 2 trains - and at Singen these trains have guaranteed easy connections with trains to and from Zurich.


9: More trains between Munchen/Munich and Praha/Prague/Prag:

There are now 7 x trains per day now  from München/Munich to Praha/Prague and from Praha/Prague to München/Munichthere had previously been only 4 x trains per day in each direction.

10: More trains between Stockholm and Goteborg/Gothenburg

There are now more trains than ever before between Stockholm and Göteborg and the total of non-stop trains per week has also been increased.
 

We’ll be making additions to this list as more timetable enhancements are confirmed - and a big thanks to the compilers of the wondrous European Rail Timetable for saving us and everyone else the bother of combing the timetables to spot the changes.

WITHDRAWN SERVICES:
 

The major change in 2016 was the significant reduction in overnight trains, particularly in Western Europe and unfortunately this negative impact on European overnight train travel has continued 

1: The overnight train service in both directions between Berlin and both Budapest and Wien/Vienna has been discontinued.


There are still direct daytime trains from Berlin to Budapest and from Budapest to Berlin, but there are now no longer any direct trains between Berlin and Wien/Vienna.

To make a train journey from Berlin to Wien/Vienna and from Wien/Vienna to Berlin you will now have to travel during the day and change trains in Praha/Prague.


2: SNCF has also reduced the number of overnight train services it operates, with the most notable withdrawal being the 'Train Bleu' overnight service between Paris and Nice.

So now the only means of travelling between Paris and Nice by direct train is to travel by day on the TGV.

 

SERVICE CHANGES:
 

The city that seems to be the biggest loser in the latest timetable changes is Nice.

Along with the withdrawl of the of the overnight train between Nice and Paris other service changes include:

(i) The Lyria train service between Geneve and the south of France now only operates in both directions between Geneve and Marseilles - it now no longer travels beyond Marseille to/from Nice.

(ii) The daily Intercités train between Nice and Bordeaux has also been withdrawn in both directions.

As a result of these changes the only trains that call at Marseille en route between Nice and other cities in France are the TGV trains between Nice and Lyon/Lille.
(The TGVs between Paris and Nice don't call at Marseille).

Another consequence of the discontinuation of the Lyria service beyond Marseille is that this train HAD a good connection in Lyon with the direct Eurostar from London (on the dates when it operates).
But now the only options for journeys by train from London to destinations between Toulon and Nice is to make connections in Lille or Paris.
 

FURTHER CHANGES IN 2018:
 

Some major updates to the timetable weren’t ready for the major timetable change in December 2017, so will take place during 2018.
 

The main further changes to come are:
 

1: From April 9 the Intercity Brussels service in both directions between Bruxelles and Amsterdam will be diverted from its current route to call at Breda.

These trains will then use the Dutch high speed line between Breda and Rotterdam, though they won’t travel the route at high speed - so will still be slower than the Thalys trains.

The Intercity Brussels service will also be switched to using the high speed line between Rotterdam and Amsterdam so will no longer serve Den Haag/The Hague.
Though some direct trains between Bruxelles and Den Haag Centraal station will be introduced.

Connections between Bruxelles and other Dutch cities including Den Bosch, Eindhoven, Nijmegen and Tilburg will then be available at Breda.


2: The Contournement Nîmes-Montpellier  high speed line in France will be used by passenger trains from July 7th

When it opens some trains between Paris and Montpellier will be switched to the new line and will call at the new station Montpellier-Sud/Montpellier-Odysseum - which will be linked to the city centre by tram.

The prime beneficiary of the new line will be a new Marseille - Avignon TGV -  Montpellier - Toulouse - Bordeaux service of 2 x TGVs per day in each direction, which will then supplement the regular service of IC trains on this route.
 

However, it seems as though the majority of TGVs which connect Paris and Lyon to Montpellier will still (initially) call at Montpellier-St Roch station.
 

3. There had been a plan to suspend the direct train services in both directions between Oslo and Stockholm during the entirety of 2018 due to the need to carry out works on the line.

However, the commencement of the work has been seemingly deferred, with the new dates at which it is to be carried out, still to be confirmed.