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Timetable 2024: new connections and other novelties

  • 7 September 2023
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Hellow fellow rail travellers

Like every year, we can expect a timetable change around 10 December 2023.

All the railway companies are working hard to get the new timetable for 2024. Which means we will slowly get some insights and announcements in new offers, and changes in offers the next weeks.

If you’re planning for a big trip around Europe in ‘24, please note that information after 10 december 2023 is scarce. This will improve from medio october. Patience is key ;)

In this topic we try to bundle the relevant news and information about changes in offers on routes that are traditionally interesting for the typical Interrailer or Eurailers (night trains, long distance new international connections, opening of new lines, touristically intersting routes...).

So if you have any interesting updates, please share! It can only help travellers planning for ‘24 to know better what expect.

For your information:

  • It’s not very interesting to state that your daily commuter train is planned 5 min earlier than the year before. We’re really looking for routes and connections popular for Interrailers/Eurailers.
  • For all of you looking to plan your trips after December 9 2023, timetables will start to update from October on. No panic if no results show, just wait a couple of days/weeks and information will seep in. Please hold in mind that some train operators can be quite late with uploading the new schedule.
  • Rule of thumb: you can expect more or less the same offer as this year’s schedule. Want to plan ahead, then choose a random date somewhere next week and you’ll get a good indication of your route. The biggest changes are listed below.
  • If you have very specific questions about a specific connection, best create a seperate topic. This post will try to give a summary for the most significant changes on European rails for the ‘24 timetable.

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Significant Changes:

  • Thalys will merge into Eurostar somewhere in October. Creating a Eurostar Blue service (to/from the UK) and a Eurostar Red service (Paris-Brussels-Amsterdam/Köln). On some occasions this might increase capacity (on the Paris/Brussels/Amsterdam routes) hopefully leading to better availability and prices for travellers and pass holders wanting to take the Eurostar Red service.
     
  • Brussels and Paris will get a significant improvement in the night trains in 2024.
    • European Sleeper to Berlin, over Amsterdam, 3 trains a week. Will be highly likely to be extended to Dresden and Prague later in 2024. From Brussels/Amsterdam each Monday, Wednesday, Friday. From Berlin each Tuesday, Thursday, Sunday.
    • Nightjet changes its offer significantly: A new connection Paris/Brussels ↔ Berlin/Vienna, 3 trains per week. The part to Vienna will go via Mannheim, Stuttgart, Munich and Salzburg (instead of Nürnberg and Passau now). The part to Berlin will go over Frankfurt. Brussels/Paris to Berlin/Vienna on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday. Berlin/Vienna to Brussels/Paris on Monday, Wednesday, Friday.
    • European Sleeper and Berlin will leave from alternating days, connecting Brussels (and connections to the UK) and Berlin by night train 6 days a week. 3 times a week over Frankfurt, 3 times a week over Amsterdam.
       
  • Other Nightjet news:
    • New Nightjet train sets on the route Vienna/Innsbruck-Hamburg from December and than further on routes to Italy from later on.
  • Better connections to Austria from/to Germany:
    • A new Daily connection with ICE: Berlin-Frankfurt-Stuttgard-Munich-Innsbruck.
    • An extra connection per day on the ICE Berlin-Vienna.
    • New ICE4 train sets on trains Germany-Salzburg-Villach-Klagenfurt.
    • New Railjet trains from April ‘24 on the DB-ÖBB Eurocity Munich-Verona.

 

 

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The SJ EN will continue to run to Berlin after 30/9. Originally the train would only run to Hamburg from 1/10.

https://www.jarnvagsnyheter.se/20230912/15195/nattag-hela-strackan-till-berlin-aven-i-host?fbclid=IwAR3LUCKDXrrw-rRhDdIsavxaOA40Yl2T1aWiohRNoZdjS3o7jgHtAB28_Aw

If you have a reservation to/from Hamburg after 30/9 and want to travel to/from Berlin instead, please contact SJ Customer Support.

Press 6 to get to the special Customer Support for SJ EN.

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There will be a new direct train service from Vienna to Krakow and Wroclaw.

the Nightjet Vienna-Berlin will not run anymore via Poland but instead via Prague. This means an earlier arrival in Berlin.

There will be a second daily Vienna-Prague train via Ceske Velenice.

The Eurocity between Zürich and München will finally be running every two hours. The last gap will be filled with EC194/EC195 becoming daily.

There will be every two hours direct trains between Hamburg and Copenhagen. The direct Hamburg-Aarhus trains will be running only to Flensburg (?).

Also heard about a second direct Berlin-Krakow service

Edit: the route between Vienna and Bratislava hlavna stanica will be closed whole year (Slovak part), so better to travel via Kittsee to Bratislava Petrzalka

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Here’s something to be aware of.  It’s sort of hinted in Brendans initial post, but to make it explicit - the days that the Paris-Salzburg-Vienna train runs is changing in early December.  The train no longer departs Paris on a Friday evening.  It has moved to Saturday.

The result for me is a bit of rescheduling (since I was expecting to get the train in Paris on Friday to be in Austria for skiing on Saturday).

At the moment nightjet.com shows that NJ40425 departs Brussels on Friday 5th January (and also Saturday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday, but not Sunday), whereas NJ469 is shown as only departing Paris on Saturday 6th, Tuesday & Thursdays.

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  • European Sleeper: From 25 March 2024, the Brussels – Amsterdam – Berlin Night train will be extended to the Czech capital Prague. The train will also stop in Dresden, Bad Schandau, Děčín, Ústí nad Labem and Prague.
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Further to my message above about the NJ trains from Paris & Brussels to Vienna - pricing is now up for Brussels to Vienna on the same days (Saturday, Tuesday, Thursday) as the Paris trains, whereas a few days back it was showing trains departing (but not yet bookable) 6 days a week.  This is consistent with the original update from Brendan, which I wish I had studied in more detail when planning out my January trip.

This is just by way of saying that while many timetable changes for existing routes are relatively minor, some like these sleepers involve changing the days they run on and so are relatively major.

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From 7th October 2024 there will be Monday-Saturday a hourly service between Belfast and Dublin (two-hourly on Sundays):

  • A new Hourly service will then commence between Dublin and Belfast on Mondays to Saturdays including pre-09:00 arrivals into both cities, commencing on Monday 7th October 2024 as follows:
    • Services from Dublin Connolly will depart hourly at xx:50 hrs, from 05:50 hrs to 18:50 hrs & then a last service at 20:50 hrs.
    • Services from Belfast Grand Central will depart approximately hourly at 06:02 hrs, 07:02 hrs, 08:00 hrs, 09:00 hrs, 10:02 hrs, 11:02 hrs, 12:02 hrs, 13:02 hrs, 14:02 hrs, 15:56 hrs, 16:56 hrs, 17:56 hrs, 19:02 hrs & then a last service at 21:02 hrs.

 

Source: https://www.irishrail.ie/en-ie/news/Timetable-Consultation-2024#BELENT

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