International passenger

trains in 20th Century Europe

International passenger trains in 20th Century Europe

Why this site?



The major transport systems in play in 20th Century Europe were rail, air, road and shipping of which rail was the leading international mode of travel of choice for much of the century. This site focuses on  a number of international rail routes in  Europe and looks in some detail at the way these spine routes changed in the 20th Century. More importantly this site deals with international services using these networks and it is designed to give the viewer a representative view of how services were developed. This site matches historical fact e.g. border changes, with changes in service on the surviving network bringing both aspects together in one place. Service data has been culled from railway timetables at set points in the 20th Century.  In short, this site gives a flavour of main routes, how they developed and performed and how they changed.

An important feature is the provision of performance data which is not exclusively devoted to speed. It shows how performance changed at varying points in the 20th Century to give a broader picture of service behaviour. This story has not been told hitherto in any pan-European form. The literature abounds with publications describing national networks but little has been done to paint the international scene. This site aims to fill that void. For example,  for the development of trains from Paris to Warszawa, of the frequency of trains from Berlin to Paris look no further. Geographical names. Place names are given in their contemporary, non Anglicised, version which facilitates finding them on current maps.  A word of caution. Eg Warszawa instead of Warsaw.


Devoted exclusively to high speed, luxury travel. It doesn't pretend to be a fully detailed, accurate survey of services of major spine routes of Europe. This would be a mammoth undertaking which would be time consuming. Instead it aims to give a flavour or suggest a trend in explaining service development and performance. It can be added to and the site developers would welcome it.  


Anyone having an interest in rail travel, especially international travel. Among these will be transport historians/geographers, rail journalists, political geographers, historians and rail enthusiasts all of whom should find something of relevance to their own interests here.

Train Timetables Train Performance tables International passenger trains in 20th Century Europe Sleeping Cars


No part of this web site publication may be reproduced or utilised in any form by any means whatsoever without the prior permission of the authors. Although all reasonable care has been taken in the preparation of the web site, neither the publishers nor the authors of the site can accept any liability for any consequence arising from the accuracy or use of the information contained within.  

Welcome to