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Train Travel Outside the U.S. — Sept. 14

Thalys PBKA at Köln Messe/Deutz station with an Essen-bound train by Lars Steffens via Wikimedia Commons Thalys PBKA at Köln Messe/Deutz station with an Essen-bound train by Lars Steffens via Wikimedia Commons

Headlines

  • Lumo low-cost trains will start running between London and Edinburgh on Oct. 25. Initial one-class (economy) fares will start at Initial one-class (economy) fares will start at (about $21, with an estimated 60% of seats going for less than $40.00. Lumo is the first directly competitive open access operation on this key UK route, and you can expect some matching from incumbent LNER.
  • London Transport will open the two-mile southern extension of the Northern Line tube on Sept. 20. The line includes a new station at Nine Elms that will be the only convenient tube stop for the new US Embassy.
  • Italian high-speed Frecciarosa trains will start operating twice daily between Paris and Milan, via Lyon and Torino, most likely starting in October.
  • Otherwise, last week’s headline hasn’t changed much. Check the status of any train you plan to take.

VIA Rail Canada  

  • No changes here, either: Niagara Falls trains remain suspended, with resumption still uncertain.
  • The Ocean, between Montreal and Halifax, the Canadian between Toronto and Vancouver, and several remote lines remain at once weekly.

Europe

Europe is becoming more, not less, of a muddle. Although announcements continue that vaccinated travelers from the U.S. will be able to visit Europe soon, no exact dates have been specified and each country will have different dates and remaining requirements. Eurail posts current COVID-19 information on this page, and RailEurope posts information on this page. No matter what European countries do, the US CDC still requires special COVID tests for incoming citizens even if they’re vaccinated. No matter what European countries do, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention still requires special Covid tests for incoming citizens even if they’re vaccinated.

As far as I can tell, most of us won’t go abroad until we are assured that if we’re vaccinated, we need no additional tests and face no quarantines either to enter Europe or to fly home. If you can/hope to get to Europe, Spain was the first European country to implement a mandated “open access” policy for its high-speed network. As a result, three different companies are or will soon be running domestic schedules with their own high-speed trains between Barcelona and Madrid, with further expansions planned: the Spanish Avelo, French Ouigo and Italian Ilsa. Options include low-fare services. Online rail agencies such as Trainline list and identify all options.

Other Areas

Nothing new.

See our Amtrak news and discounts bulletin for domestic rail news.

Ed Perkins, editor

For more travel tips from Ed Perkins, see our companion site Ed on Travel.

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