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Please quote 'Seat 61' when you call. Although they don't package rail travel with their holidays, it's easy to reach Scotland on daytime trains or the overnight Caledonian Sleepers, see the Caledonian Sleepers page. If you want a holiday in Europe with travel by train rather than plane, but would prefer to travel with a group of fellow travellers, a tour manager and all the legwork done for you, several companies offer escorted tours from the UK to Italy, Switzerland, Spain, France, eastern Europe and even Morocco by train, with regular departures from London by Eurostar, no airport hassles and no whole days spent in cramped coach seats on motorways.

Great Rail Journeys are the original train-travel holiday specialists. They run five-star inclusive tours from the UK to many European countries, with 1st class train travel and 5-star hotels. Check the tour details online, then call to book or use their online booking form. Rail Discoveries , www. Put together your own holiday Why not go independent?! Nothing stops you deciding where you want to go, booking a hotel and a train ticket or two, and heading off independently. It can seem daunting if you've always booked a package holiday, but it's really easy to book train travel from London to anywhere in Europe and choose your accommodation separately.


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None of the big package tour companies offer an overland option instead of a flight for their packages to Morocco, Greece, Malta and so on, so booking independently is the way to go. Here are some ideas:. Then find a hotel or guesthouse at a decent accommodation site such as www. It's easy to travel from London to anywhere in Italy by train. Plan and book your train travel to Italy following the steps shown on the London to Italy page. If you need transport between cities once in Italy, just use www.

You can book online, or simply buy your ticket at the station when you get to Italy. Feel free to stop off in Paris on the way if you like, it makes no difference to the cost. Choose your holiday location: You can reach Ibiza or Majorca by ferry from Barcelona. You can even reach Tenerife and the Canary Islands by sea, though this is a voyage taking three nights from Cadiz.

Browse the Spain page on www. It's easy to travel from London to anywhere in Spain by train. Plan and book your train travel to Spain following the steps shown on the London to Spain page. If you need train travel between cities within Spain, just use www.

Future Flying Trains

Feel free to stop off in Paris on the way if you like, it makes no difference to the cost - either book London-Paris and Paris-Spain separately, or use Loco2's 'More options' feature to add a stopover. Morocco is fantastic, and getting there by train is easy. Leave London in the morning, spend the night in Barcelona, and step ashore in Morocco the following evening. The journey is an experience in itself, and you can stop off on the way to see something of Spain, too.

Far more to write home about than a cramped flight! The London to Morocco page explains how to plan and book train travel from London to Tangier and Marrakech. It takes little over 36 hours, with a night in a hotel in Barcelona. Why not travel down over the weekend? If you want to stop off for longer in Barcelona, try www.

Once in Tangier, the Continental Hotel is the recommended option - historic, atmospheric, pretty comfortable and remarkably affordable, contact details are shown on the London to Morocco page. Train tickets from Tangier to Casablanca and Marrakech can easily be bought when you get to Tangier, see Moroccan train information here. After spending a few days in Marrakech, why not hire a car for a few days www.

Greece is a wonderful, relaxing destination, especially with no airports and planes to stress you out on the way. You can travel by train and ferry, stepping ashore in Corfu or mainland Greece just 48 hours after leaving London.

Mini-cruises by ferry...

The journey is an experience, and you can stop off on the way to see something of Italy if you like. The fastest and cheapest way is by train to Bari or Venice in Italy then ferry to Greece, a wonderful journey. Then simply use the seat61 How to buy European train tickets page to find train travel options and how to buy the cheapest tickets between these cities. Railpasses are available see the railpass page but you will usually find normal tickets the cheapest and simplest option, especially if you can pre-book the cheapest fares.

Take a train to Norway, see the London to Norway page. Then for an unforgettable voyage along the Norwegian coastline, book a trip on the coastal steamers of Hurtigruten Line. See the Skiing holidays by train page. It's been named as the World's Leading Hotel Comparison Site in the World Travel Awards and I recommend it to find hotels in even the smallest places and to check that another retailer isn't selling the same hotel for less.

You can usually book with free cancellation - this allows you to confirm your accommodation at no risk before train booking opens. It also means you can hold accommodation while you finalise your itinerary, and alter your plans as they evolve - a feature I use all the time when putting a trip together. You must have heard the term Fly-Drive often enough, so why not Rail-Drive?

Holidays by train | This year, take a holiday without flying!

I travelled to Marrakech by train and ferry, then hired a car for 3 days and drove south over the High Atlas mountains, perhaps the most amazing 3 days car hire I've ever paid for! Start by trying Holiday Autos, www. The award-winning website www. Take out decent travel insurance, it's essential An annual multi-trip policy is usually cheapest even for just 2 or 3 trips a year - I have an annual policy myself. However, don't expect travel insurance to bail you out of every missed connection, see the advice on missed connections here.

In the UK, use www. If you have a pre-existing medical condition or are over 65, see www. If you're a UK citizen travelling in Europe, you should apply for a free European Health Insurance Card, which entitles you to free or reduced rate health care if you become ill or get injured in many European countries, under a reciprocal arrangement with the NHS.

This replaced the old E forms as from January The EHIC card is available from ww.


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It doesn't remove the need for travel insurance, though. Taking out an extra credit card costs nothing, but if you keep it in a different part of your luggage you won't be left stranded if your wallet gets stolen. In addition, some credit cards are better for overseas travel than others.

Back to 'Rail travel to Europe' general page. Back to home page. The Man in Seat Home About News Contact Guestbook. Train travel in Britain Take a holiday without the plane Here are some ideas City breaks to Paris, Brussels, Bruges or Lille: City breaks to Amsterdam: City breaks to Amsterdam by cruise ferry from the north of England or Scotland: Short breaks in the UK. Take the Caledonian Sleeper for a short break in the Highlands of Scotland It uses sensors and computer analytics to monitor the feedback from the track and improve the smoothness of the tilting, says Kennell.

The system has been installed on new Twindexx trains that will soon enter service in Switzerland. The Zefiro is also being fitted with an active suspension system, which uses data collected from sensors to detect when the train enters a curve, to prevent too much strain on the suspension.

This allows the train to travel around curves at higher speeds, says Kennell. The system is also designed to detect sudden irregularities in the track ahead of the wheels, so that the active system can react and the passengers do not feel the effect. However, not everybody believes in the benefit of tilt. Several Asian countries have solved the infrastructure issue by thinking completely out of the box — and opting for Maglev technology, which uses completely different tracks.

But if they were to run much faster than that, air turbulence quickly reduces comfort, says Sam Gurol, director of transportation programs at General Atomics in the United States, requiring tunnels with an evacuated tube to reduce the air resistance.


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But how fast could Maglevs go with the current infrastructure? Gurol says an even faster design is being tested, but it is unlikely to ever carry passengers. Of course this system does not carry people.

Don't fly take the train !! - Shosholoza Meyl Train

That said, maintaining passenger comfort is easier on Maglev trains. Recent research led by Lee Young Bum at the University of Ulsan College of Medicine in Seoul, South Korea, analysed the variations in heart rate in people travelling on a high-speed tilting train.

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The researchers found that visual stimuli, smell, noise, seat design, temperature, and humidity aboard all had an impact on comfort, and even recommend having a doctor on board to deal with passengers that suddenly feel unwell. And as the video below shows, maybe train operators could look to their high-flying cousins to get fresh ideas for dealing with high-speed travel. View image of This video is no longer available. British Airways recently started testing comfort levels on its planes. Fliers wear a band on their head, which transmit brainwaves via Bluetooth to LEDs embedded into the blanket, making them change colour.

If the blanket is blue, it means the traveller is relaxed, and often asleep. If it turns red, the passenger is likely to be stressed. An initial study found, perhaps unsurprisingly, that passengers seemed most stressed during take-off or landing, and were most contented when they were eating. Train designers may dream of the day a train can zoom as fast a plane. But it looks like it will be while yet before the notion will ever take off.