Rail Travel Europe
Cheaper and Faster than Flying

Everything you want to know about Rail Travel Europe is in this article. With the fast-growing introduction of the fast trains in Europe, it is cheaper and faster to move by train than fly within Europe.

Central Train Station in Amsterdam

Central Train Station in Amsterdam

Example of some of the routes by high-speed train.

  • Paris to Amsterdam        3hr 20min
  • Paris to Barcelona            6hr 15min
  • Madrid to Barcelona       2hr 45min
  • Paris to Geneva 3hr 05min
  • Paris to Rome    11hr 15min
  • Rome to Venice 3hr 05min
  • Amsterdam to Berlin       6hr 20min
  • Berlin to Prague                4hr 40min
  • Prague to Vienna             4hr 25min
  • Vienna to Budapest        2hr 50min

Train Station in Salzburg Austria

Train Station in Salzburg Austria

Train Companies in Europe

Everything you need to know about Rail Travel Europe


ÖBB the Austrian Federal Railways is the nation’s train company. It covers destinations in Germany, Hungary, Italy, Switzerland and the Czech Republic.

Westbahn operates between Vienna and Salzburg running every hour with several stops on the way.


SNCB serves the domestic routes of Belgium and several international ones, such as Brussels to Paris Nord via Lille; Keuven to Ans; Liège to the German border; and from Antwerpen-Centraal to Rotterdam Centraal train stations.

Czech Republic

České Dráhy, often abbreviated ČD, is the Czech Republic's main train company. It operates both regional and long-distance train routes throughout the Czech Republic.


SNCF operates all of France's national rail services including the high-speed TGV network. More than 800 high-speed SNCF trains depart every day., carrying over 100 million passengers every year.


Deutsche Bahn, Germany's national train company is the largest in Europe, transporting approximately 2 billion passengers per year. Deutsche Bahn's high-speed Intercity-Express (ICE) trains connect major cities in Germany as well as some select international destinations in Belgium, Switzerland, Austria, France, Denmark and the Netherlands.


Trenitalia, owned by the Italian government, is Italy's main train company. It offers both regional and long-distance routes and many international connections to select destinations in France, Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.

Italo is a privately-owned high-speed train company that connects 16 train stations in 13 Italian cities. It operates 3 high-speed train lines through Italy, from Verona to Naples; from Venice to Salerno; and from Turin to Salerno.


Rail Travel Europe

AVE high-speed train from Madrid to Barcelona

AVE high-speed train from Madrid to Barcelona


Renfe Operadora is Spain's national train company. Renfe's high-speed AVE trains travel up to 350 km/h and connect Madrid with other major cities in Spain including Seville, Barcelona, Valencia, Toledo, Cordoba, and Malaga.

The Netherlands

Nederlandse Spoorwegen or NS is the main train company in the Netherlands. NS runs 4,800 domestic trains in the Netherlands every day, serving approximately 1.1 million passengers.


SBB, Swiss Federal Railways is Switzerland's national rail company and operates the majority of national and international train traffic. SBB also operates international Euro City and Euro Night trains in Switzerland.


SJ is Sweden's main train company, which has been around for over 160 years. Over 130 000 people travel with SJ from over 275 stations in Sweden every day. SJ also travels internationally to other Scandinavian cities including Oslo and Copenhagen.

Rail Travel Europe

Train systems in the United Kingdom

Train systems in the United Kingdom

The United Kingdom

Abellio Greater Anglia Trains is Eastern England's primary train company Its network covers Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex, Cambridge shire and parts of Hertfordshire.

Arriva Trains Wales operate on 5 routes between the Midlands and Northern Wales; between South Wales and Northern Wales or Manchester; along the South Wales Coast Line to Cardiff and Swansea; along the North Wales Coast Line to Crewe and Manchester; while also operating a network of commuter train lines in and around Cardiff.

C2C is predominantly a London commuter railway, providing services along the London, Tilbury and Southend Railway line, from London Fenchurch Street to East London and along the southern part of Essex.

East Coast, Virgin Trains East Coast operates passenger trains on the UK's East Coast Mainline. East Coast runs trains between Scotland, the North East of the UK, Yorkshire, and London. East Coast's high-speed trains have been running since March 1st 2015.

East Midlands Trains, operates two types of trains, long-distance trains connecting London St Pancras train station with destinations throughout the UK and regional trains.

First Great Western, is the main train company for the west and south-west counties in the UK including Devon, Somerset, Cornwall, Gloucestershire, Bedfordshire, Wiltshire, and Bristol.

First Hull Trains operate just one train from Hull to London, which stops at Brough, Howden, Selby, Doncaster, Retford, Grantham, and Stevenage along the way.


St Pancras Train Station in London

St Pancras Train Station in London

First Transpennine Express operates intercity trains on 3 main routes across Northern England. They connect Liverpool and Manchester with Leeds, York, Sheffield and Doncaster.

Merseyrail operates trains throughout Liverpool, the surrounding area, and the rest of Merseyside. Over 100,000 passengers utilize its network every week with aproximately 800 trains departing every day.

Northern Rail operates most trains in Northern England between Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle and Sheffield.

Scotrail runs trains throughout Northern England connecting Newcastle and Carlisle with London.

Southern trains run between London, East and West Sussex, Surrey, Kent, and Hampshire.

South West Trains operates the majority of commuter trains from London Waterloo station to destinations in South West London.

Virgin Trains operates long-distance trains on the West Coast Main Line between Greater London, the West Midlands, North West England, North Wales and Scotland.

Rail Travel Europe

Map of the routes of Eurail Pass

Map of the routes of Eurail Pass

International Trains in Europe

To travel internationally in Europe, you may probably use the cooperation of two or more rail companies. Most cities are connected by high-speed trains that cut the travel time in half.

International train routes in Europe are often offered via cooperation between two or more national rail companies.

Eurail Pass

If you are planning on taking multiple train trips you can also select a Eurail pass which offers a variety of European train travel options.

For more information visit Eurail Pass Website


image credits for rail travel europe

amsterdam by rob dammers
austria by huaki igawa
france by sergei ashmarin
germany by s terfloth
italy by hpgruesen
spain by jose ibañez
uk by onofre bouvila

all courtesy of wikimedia commons

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