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Train Travel News and Best Buys Outside the U.S. — Nov. 22

Bigstock - London, Kings Cross station with train - 62721485 Bigstock - London, Kings Cross station with train - 62721485

Headlines: Reopenings, New Services and Sales

Transport for London has started through-running trains from Heathrow (and Reading) via the central tunnel to Abbey Wood. Travelers riding Central and Eastern London to/from Heathrow no longer need change trains and stations with a long schlep at Paddington. Trains run London to/from terminals 2 and 3 about every 15 minutes and to/from terminals 4 and 5 every half-hour. There are still no direct trains from Heathrow to Redding. Arriving US travelers can use contactless Amex and some Mastercards without having to buy tickets; US and Canadian Visa cards are still not accepted. On my recent visit, my Amex worked flawlessly.

VIA Rail Canada

  • I see nothing new again his week. VIA has resumed regular schedules on most of its system. The route status map has not been updated since June 29.
  • Discount Tuesdays are back, but last week, the discounts were trivial—some 10% off regular coach fares on a few routes.

Europe

  • A widespread rail strike is likely in the UK on Nov. 26 and 27.
  • Rail Europe is offering 10% discounts on the mobile version of Germany Pass, on sale through Dec. 11 for travel starting through Jan. 1 for flexi passes and Jan. 27-29 for continuous versions.
  •  Eurail is not showing any special deals again this week.
  • On Dec. 11, the Swiss Golden Pass Express will inaugurate a new train between Interlaken and Montreux. The new equipment permits through cars to adapt between standard and narrow gauges at Zweisimmen, thus avoiding a change of trains. The new train also features panoramic windows and low floors for easy on-off.

Ed Perkins, editor

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

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

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