Trains and stations
On this page, you'll find useful train tips to make sure you have a smooth journey across Europe. If you have any other questions about European train travel, ask our helpful Customer Service team.
Double check your station
Many larger cities have multiple train stations, and trains to and from the city do not always stop at all of them. Double check exactly which station you need to depart from so you don’t miss your train. If there is a specific station in a city you want to arrive at, also check that the train you’re taking stop there.
Train information and schedules
Most European railways have a website where you can check train platform information, schedules and make online reservations. Train platform information and departure schedules are almost always available at the trains stations. At larger stations, computerised boards provide up-to-the-minute information. On the platforms, you’ll also usually find displays confirming the next train’s departure time and destination.
Getting on and off trains
You’ve checked the schedule and know the departure track, now you’re ready to board! If you’ve made a reservation, you’ll find the car and seat number printed on the ticket. Displays on platforms at some stations show the composition of long-distance and overnight trains, and indicate where your car will stop on the platform. Be ready to board the train the minute it arrives; station stops are often very short.
1st and 2nd class
You can see if a car is 1st or 2nd class by the numbers posted near the train’s door or on a window. Pay close attention to destination displays and/or car numbers near the door. Trains can be split and sent in different directions, so make sure the car you’re in is going where you want to go. Once you’ve found your car, finding your seat is easy. If you’ve reserved a seat in a compartment, look for a sign on or next to the compartment door and match the seat number on your ticket to the one on the list. For open car reserved seating, seat numbers are on the headrest.
Are we there yet?
Station stops aren’t always announced, or may be announced in a foreign language. Take note of your scheduled arrival time and the names of the last stations before your stop so you’ll be prepared to exit the train when it arrives at your destination. Station names are clearly visible at platforms.
Most major railway stations have baggage carts, left-luggage offices or coin-operated lockers for storage of your luggage. Aboard the train, luggage racks are found above seats or at the end of the car, but do keep an eye on your baggage as the railway is not responsible for lost or stolen bags. Since you will generally be carrying your baggage around yourself on your trip, it’s a good idea to pack as light as possible.
Train traveller information
At most larger train stations there are facilities to rent or store a bicycle. The rules for taking a bike on the train are different per country and sometimes even per train. Sometimes bikes may be carried free of charge, often you have to buy a separate ticket for the bike at the station. Some trains have special compartments for bicycles. There may be rules that you can only bring a bike outside rush hours.
You can find information about transporting bicycles at the websites of individual railway companies. In the Deutsche Bahn search tool you can select 'Carriage of bicycle' at the bottom of the tool, so you only see trains that can carry bicycles in the search results.