Plan your rail travel

Where are you going? - planning the journey

Booking journeys and travelling by rail has gradually become much easier over the past few years. Two important reasons have been the emergence of independent and authoritative information sites, like the Man in Seat 61, and integrated booking sites, like Loco2. Further changes are afoot, as Loco2 merges with RailEurope, which will hit the Loco2 website on Nov 6. Will this be more than a rebranding?

In the meantime, a recommended way to plan a rail journey is:

  Look at the options described in Man in Seat 61, and chose the appropriate or preferred route
Go to Loco2, and make the booking. It may be necessary to do this leg by leg, or in stages, to make sure you get the option you want.

Look below at the outline plans for the more popular destinations for ESC tours, and then plan and book your tickets as described.

If you are travelling as a group (or even just a pair), there is another element to bring into the mix: taxi and transfer services. Internet platforms like Get Transfer offer transfers for very competitive prices, especially for a group. Though not as green as riding rail all the way, it can make some journeys much more practicable by rail. For instance, Chamonix by rail is just not convenient and requires several changes, but a team could take the very convenient Eurostar journey to Lyon via Lille, and have a minibus booked from Lyon to Chamonix. So smooth!

The important transport hubs for the 2020 programme are listed below. This should cover a large part of the European travel needs for 2020. Much of the information in there links is from Seat 61 or Loco2, and some of the links just take you to the appropriate page there.

For information on driving to European destinations, follow this link, and for travel to other European destinations not listed here, here is a page with some links to useful sites.

If you have any comments on this page, or any useful information on low carbon travel options, please email us. We're particularly keen to get feedback which improves the information in this section.