Rail Travel

tickets, bookings and information on UK and international trains, tube and light railways.

sustainable and ethical travel












Travelling by Rail:

Great Britain is extraodinarily well endowed with rail lines (despite the drastic cuts that followed the Beeching Report in 1963). It now has over 10,000 miles of railway track on the mainland, serving 2500 stations, with a further 300 miles of track in Northern Ireland. There are some thirty different train operators. Inevitably the routes are subject to a complex ticketing structure -always ask what the difference in price would be to travel at different times, or to buy two singles rather than a return ticket. Moneysavingexpert.com has some good tips for getting the best price on train tickets.

Trains are super sustainable in comparison with plane travel. According to figures published by Eurostar, the CO2 emmissions resulting from a return trip to Paris, are around ten times higher for the plane.

Happily the building of the channel tunnel put many international rail routes within direct. reach of the UK, although the traditional of young people doing Europe by Eurorail has declined witrh the advent of cheap airfares. From November 2007, Eurostar launched direct high speed services from St Pancras, putting Paris just 135 minutes and Brussels 111 minutes from North London.

The Eurostar and France's high speed train, the TGV, will get you to your destination rapidly, but nothing gives the same elegance as the legendary Venice-Simplon Orient Express, which offers exclusive travel from London to Paris, Prague, Vienna, Warsaw, Krakow, Venice, Rome and Istanbul.

Most of the major international Rail Companies are listed below; for more information on national and international rail travel, see the brilliant site The Man in Seat 61.

Rail tickets

  • European Rail -specialists in European Rail and Eurail passes.
  • Eurostar -the high-speed train service linking London, Ashford, Paris, Brussels, Lille, Avignon, Calais, Disneyland Resort Paris and the French Alps.
  • The TrainLine - tickets to any UK National Rail station.
  • Orient Express -the ultimate in train journeys throughout the UK, Europe, South East Asia and Peru.

General information

  • Books, maps and railway guides -a selected list.
  • Department for Transport -government department responsible for all aspects of transport policy.
  • European Rail Guide - European rail pass and ticket sales and European travel information.
  • National Rail -gateway to the rail network information on air-rail and sea-rail routes, rail maps and much more.
  • Network Rail -the company resonsible for the rail infrastructure -website includes rail timetables.
  • Translink: Company responsible for all public transport (bus and rail) in Northern Ireland.
  • Transportwatch -site authored by transport planner Paul Writhrington, that sets out to be non-governmental point of reference for factual data dealing with Transport generally and road and rail in particular.
  • Rail Future -the UK's independant voice for train and railway users
  • Railway ForumTrade association for entire rail industry.
  • Railway Industry AssociationTrade association for rail supply industry.
  • Railway Touring Co -organise tours in vintage steam trains and fantastic locations -routes include Hill Stations of India, The Devil's Nose in Ecuador, Trans Sinerian Express, Hedjaz Railway and many other classic routes.
  • The Office of the Rail Regulator -appointed unde the 1993 Railways Act, responsible for all aspects of regulating the rail system.
  • Seat 61 -the Man in Seat 61 is a wonderful personal website devoted to world rail travel..
  • Train taxi -guide to taxis serving all train, tram, metro and underground railways in great Britain.

International rail routes

Combined rail, underground and light rail routes

Railway Operators

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Featured books:

Europe by Rail Independent Traveller's Guides
Thomas Cook
6 Mar 2008
Price in UK pounds
Price in US dollars

Thomas Cook European Rail Timetable
Thomas Cook Publishing
Price in UK pounds
Price in US dollars

USA by Rail (Country Guides)
John Pitt
Aug 2008
Price in UK pounds
Price in US dollars

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