In Europe, trains are the most convenient modes of transport irrespective of the distance. Central Europe and Western Europe are well covered with a dense but widely used rail network that spans across the entire content. Europe’s trains are quite reliable over short distances because they are more frequent and cruise at fast speeds. They are still preferable to flying in cases of long distances as they are more spacious and comfortable besides having many scenic routes that you will enjoy to travel through. Also, you don’t have to waste precious time in long security checks like the ones in airports.
Unlike airports, railway terminals are located on the heart of cities so you will not have the hassle of arranging for other means of transport to get you to the city. This indeed makes rail travel to be cheaper and highly preferred by many who also can’t afford expensive air tickets. In Europe, every city with more than fifty thousand inhabitants is connected by the nationals’ rail grid and has railway stations that are served by frequent trains. Railway stations are also intertwined with major bus terminals thus saving you energy and time that you would take walking to a bus stop.
Most trains’ terminals are frequented by a train once in every two hours. Pricing is quite relative as the Western European countries have more luxurious trains that cruise at higher speeds thus their rates are quite higher compared to the Eastern Europe trains. Buying the ticket on the spot can turn out to be more expensive than air ticket, it’s always advisable to book your tickets in advance, and this way you will travel more conveniently and cozy (image by Paul Tomlin).
Trains are being expanded each year as higher speeds trains are being established, you can actually travel at amazing two hundred miles per hour. The existing trains are being upgraded and upon completion, the trains will be cruising at 125 miles per hour. Passengers have to be constant alert.
A great problem with rail transport is travel security, you really have to be alert about luggage theft, pick pocketing and other vices in crowd populated commuter trains, and you can avoid this by riding in the first class section. Another fault in the Europe Railway system is terrorism as bags are not screened to detect bombs; however incidences of terrorism are so rare and should not cause you qualms as an occasional traveler. Another problem that faces the Europe’s rail system is overcrowding and congestion especially at rush hours since people are trying to escape the jams, this leads to people overcrowding and it’s rather difficult to secure a seat in the second class cabins (image by trlandis).
Ride in Class
First class however still has plenty of seats but the prices are higher. Overcrowding is highest in urban agglomerations like Benelux, The Ruhr Region, South East England and Po valley. In some European countries some trains have silent compartments that you are prohibited to make noise in or even speak over your mobile phone. Booking a train has been simplified thanks to the internet; online platforms also offer trip coordination, ticket purchasing and scheduling. You can also organize ticketing and make group seating reservation online, all you will be left with is to enjoy a group sightseeing tour. Most ticket purchasing website give you a chance to also book car rentals, airline tickets, rail travel and your preferred accommodation all in one platform. Larger groups of more than ten also enjoy discounted tickets.
Make sure you enjoy travelling by rail during you next vacation in Europe and remember to take care of the precautions discussed above, you are rest assured that their rail systems is one of the most convenient and very reliable transport systems that you will definitely admire.
Featured image courtesy: vxla
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