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Train Travel Outside the U.S. — Oct. 12

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


  • 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.
  • 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 headlines have not much. Check the status of any train you plan to take.

VIA Rail Canada  

  • A new Canadian rule requires all air and rail travelers to be vaccinated as of Oct. 31.
  • No other changes this week: 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.
  • Other Canada: Ottawa’s light rail system remains closed due to a derailment, and it will not reopen until an investigation is complete.


  • Europe remains a question. 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, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention posts Covid restrictions on international travel here. 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 will not go until we are assured that if we are 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.
  • The French rail system announced it would start “Vitesse Classique low-fare service on two routes early next year: Paris to Lyon and Paris to Nantes, both using conventional (not high speed) locomotives and coaches over old non-high-speed tracks. One-way fares will range from 10 euros to 30 euros, which will be much lower than TGV fares for the same routes. Although using “classic” rather than high-speed equipment, classic trains in France have always been pretty fast by world standards.

Other Areas

Nothing new to report.

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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