General Information

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For each country in the Guide the following information is provided:

General information

The first group of headings gives general information about each country and its railway systems. For each country, this information is given in its General information web page.

Country Name

The name of the country is given, together with the form (or forms) used within that country.

National Railway System

The name of the national railway system (or more than one name if several language versions are used) may be given here if it is a holding company which has operating and infrastructure subsidiaries. The abbreviation of the name as commonly employed is also given.

National Railway Operator

The name of the national or dominant operator, which is often the (former) state railway company. The abbreviation of the name as commonly employed is also given. This abbreviation will usually appear on wagons and coaches owned by the railway concerned as well.

Other Operators

Significant operators other than the national or dominant operator, or its subsidiaries, may be listed here.


This is simply the language commonly (or officially) spoken in the country concerned. There may be more than one language in this category, but some minor variations are not mentioned.


The main currency unit is named. 20 of the 28 members of the EU are part of the Eurozone following the conversion of Croatia on 1 January 2023.

UIC Code

The International Union of Railways (UIC) specifies that rail vehicles capable of making international journeys carry, as part of their numerical identification details, a code which corresponds to the country of ownership. Recently an alpha code has also been added. This section details these codes. See also Wikipedia entry.


Journey Planner

Web address given where known. The Interrail Rail Planner app allows schedules for most European railways to be checked off-line.

Actual Train Times

The web address of an App which gives some form of real time information. This may show the actual position of the train and/or the time it passed the last calling point. Alternatively it may be a version of the departure indicator at the selected station.

Downloadable Timetable

Web address given where known. Generally the timetables are in same format as the printed timetable; most are in Portable Document Format (PDF). Where it is not immediately obvious "what to do", some hints are given. Any information about publicly accessible working timetable information would be given under this heading.

Printed Timetable

The name of the timetable book containing services of the state railway system is given, together with some notes on its content (whether bus and other services are included, for example), comments on the use of languages (other than that commonly used in the country) in it and its frequency of publication. However, ever decreasing numbers of railways are producing a printed timetable book covering the whole network. Timetable leaflets may be available for individual regions/areas or lines, but not infrequently only in the local area, and these may cease to be freely available within a relatively short time of a new timetable coming into effect. A downloadable timetable (see above) may still be available after issue of a printed timetable has ceased, but not infrequently the only source of information may be the journey planner. In a few countries with a small network, the only information may be station departure sheets.

Engineering Information

Web address given where known. For some countries, web addresses giving strike information are also shown where they exist.

Bus Information

Web address, where known, of the national bus journey planner if there is one. If there is no national bus journey planner, the major bus company/companies may be given.
This information is included to help people get around between lines in countries with a sparse rail network or awkward railway geography.


See also Maps and Plans, which contains all the sketch maps drawn by EGTRE team members, including those used in the 'Obscure Services' section to assist in understanding the route taken by trains.

Printed Maps

Details are given of available railway maps and atlases in printed form and also non-specialist maps which show railways to a good standard.

A list of Printed Maps referenced in EGTRE is provided.

Web-based Maps

Details are given of available railway maps on the web, which may include those on the infrastructure authority websites.


This site does not in general give information on ticketing, seat reservations, rover tickets etc. This is usually available on national railway websites or the Seat61 website. For travellers new to a country, the Seat61 website sections "A beginner's guide to rain travel in....." for that country is recommended.
However, any special information may be provided here, in particular mention may be made of any network or rover tickets which offer better value than the One Country Pass. Unfortunately the "Rail Pass Guide Continental Europe", once provided annually by "Today's Railways" magazine, is no longer published. However, the magazine may give information on such passes from time to time.

For those of more mature years the Europe Trains Guide 'Seniors' page lists discounts available to them.


Infrastructure Authority

The name of owner of the national rail network. This may be a subsidiary of the national railway system or an independent entity. The abbreviation, if any, of the name as commonly employed is also given.

A useful list of European infrastructure authorities is given on the RailNet Europe Members page.

Network Statement

Railway administrations are required to produce a detailed Network Statement. This often contains much useful information and some or all of it may be accessible to the general public.


The normal gauge used by the state railway concerned is given, and brief details of lines not conforming to the general gauge are noted. "Standard" means 1435 mm (4 ft 8½ in). For technical reasons, some railway administrations widen or narrow the "nominal" gauge, and this gives rise to discrepancies in the quoted figures; those given are taken from official sources wherever possible.


The principal system of electrification is specified in terms of electric potential ("voltage"), and whether direct current (d.c.) or alternating current (a.c.). Current collection is assumed to be from overhead wires unless otherwise stated. Brief notes on any non­standard arrangements are given. Details of cross-border arrangements, where appropriate, are given in the relevant Border Crossings pages.

Rule of the Road

In Britain trains usually keep to the left ­hand track of a double line of railway, and it is this arrangement that is meant by the rule of the road. In some countries where there is very little double track any rule is of less significance since, in almost all the countries surveyed, there is no fixed rule about which track is used at passing loops on a single line route. In other countries reversible working is common and it may not be at all obvious which is the "normal" arrangement. Where the word "varies" appears under this heading, this situation is implied. Other countries with a well­ established "rule" but having a certain amount of reversible working ("banalisation" is the French term for this) are distinguished by a note to that effect.


Information on the best source of detailed distances for this country, if known. In many cases this may be the Network Statement, if this can be accessed. Any information for countries where this is not listed would be welcomed by the compilers.

A very useful set of distance based tables for Europe and the rest of the world is available on the railwaystationlists website.

Passenger Services

The next group of headings comprise notes on passenger services, and details are given for each country of recent and proposed developments (including opening and closing of lines).

Other Railways

A list of other passenger carrying railways in the country is given, with an indication of gauge (if not standard), name of the owning organisation, and other points of interest. This list is as complete as possible for those railways operating a regular passenger service, but for some countries information is not readily available. Freight only lines are not normally listed; if tourist trains only are operated, then the line will appear in the list under Tourist Lines.

Tourist Lines

Only the more significant and currently operational tourist or preserved lines are listed. Some of these tourist lines carry normal freight traffic (run in some cases by a different operator), and it is important to note that the frequency of service on tourist lines can vary greatly, from many days in the year to perhaps only one or two.


A list of towns and cities with a local railway service not operated by the state system is given. See also Links - Metros and Trams.


A list of towns and cities with tram services appears under this heading. Sometimes the distinction between "Light" Rapid Transit (LRT like express or interurban tram lines) and "heavy" rapid transit (Metro) is not clear, and so some systems might appear under either the "Metro" or "Trams" headings. A link may be provided to tram services over obscure routes for that country: a list of these is provided. See also Links - Metros and Trams.

Funicular Railways

Bruse's Funiculars is an excellent source of data on funicular railways around the world.

Recent and Future Changes

Any known developments (e.g. electrification, new lines, branch line closures) are given here. Obviously the list is unlikely to be exhaustive, and may indeed be wrong. In most cases openings, electrifications and closures which have taken place recently are given here.

Special Notes

Particular notes on railway or more general matters not covered elsewhere are given here. Any special hazards of the country concerned are mentioned.

Lines with Obscure or Sparse passenger services

A list of countries in the Guide that have Lines with Obscure or Sparse passenger services pages is provided, with a description of how these lines are selected for inclusion and other related information.

Border Crossings

A list of Border Crossings between the countries in the Guide is given, with electrification details where appropriate. See also Border Crossings - General Information.