EUROPEAN RAILWAYS

TRAIN SERVICES AND STATIONS

Unlike in the United States, where transportation policies and priorities resulted in the decline of passenger trains, this did not happen in Europe and much of the rest of the world. Much of Europe continues to be connected with frequent rail service, often with hourly memory patterns.

Such passenger services require major train stations at the larger cities. Stations with multiple tracks, allowing for frequent terminating and connecting trains. Except for Chicago, the Northeast Corridor and the West Coast, these grand old stations in the U. S. have basically disappeared, or have been adapted for other purposes.

But in Europe, the railways and these passenger stations remain alive and well. Many classic old stations, and many modern stations. Many European cities received significant bomb damage during World War II, requiring the rebuilding of many stations. But even the classic old stations have been brought up to date on the inside, offering the amenities of a modern passenger rail system.

Described here are the train operations at the largest stations in various European countries. Typical track numbering and usage is described for each station. Information is based on timetables issued December 2015, and is subject to change.


NETHERLANDS

BELGIUM

GERMANY

AUSTRIA

SWITZERLAND

FRANCE

ITALY

DENMARK/NORWAY/SWEDEN

GREAT BRITAIN


LINKS

The European Railway Server - this Web site serves as an excellent starting point for information on European railways, with links to official railway Web sites and unofficial railfan Web sites.

Railways Through Europe/Maps - overview maps of the railways in each European country. Including single and double track lines, and electrification voltages.


In the British Isles, road vehicles drive on the left and the railways use left hand operation. In the continent of Europe, road vehicles drive on the right. But railways vary with left hand and right hand operation. Unless noted, the railways use right hand operation.

It is more normal in Europe for passengers ride backwards, than it is in the U. S. Seats are often fixed in facing pairs. And many European passenger coaches have had compartments, with an aisle along the side and doorways leading into the compartments with facing seats. For a through train stopping at a stub station, the train would normally reverse directions. With traditional locomotive hauled trains, a new locomotive would couple at the other end. And when that train departed, the old locomotive followed the train out. With multiple unit trains or push pull trains or high speed trains with power cars at both ends, they would simply change ends.