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56

How reliable am I? Depends how much vin rouge I've had... Seriously, I do my best to keep the site updated, it's an uphill task but if I know bustitution is over I update the site. Countries with lots of visitors eg Italy, Vietnam, South Africa tend to be very up to date, obscure countries such as the Congo or Sudan tend (in all honesty) to get less ...


38

There's nothing wrong with wanting some peace and quiet while traveling, to many people travel is more of a hassle than an enjoyment so I'd say it's quite common for travellers to expect non-social time. Not everyone is trying to chat all the time. Social cues and customs differ between countries, but I'd say in the West at least, if someone strikes up a ...


37

There is some confusion, top commercial speed for TGV is 320 km/hr between Paris and Lorraine (on the way to Metz, Nancy, Strasbourg, Luxembourg, or Germany). Some conventional high-speed trains run or ran at 350 in Spain and China, 400-430 with Maglev technology, but not at 500 and more. Some parts of the French high-speed network were also designed to ...


30

I'm my experience it's pretty good, obviously it's not perfect but each page has an 'last updated' link, i.e. here's the Philippines page: Page last updated: 30 May 2015 with the note After hurricane damage, these trains were temporarily suspended in late 2012 and are still believed to be suspended as at 2015. It's not clear when or if train ...


28

I believe that the oldest ones in service right now are on the Island Line on the Isle of Wight, which is part of the South West Trains franchise. Not to be confused with the Isle of Wight Stream Railway, the Island Line is a regular part of the UK rail network run as normal services. Because of the low ceiling of the Ryde Tunnel, the Island Line has a much ...


26

Get a Window Seat When I reserve a seat on train (or a plane, for that matter), knowing that I would like to sleep during the journey, I often book a window seat. That way I can lean my head on the window, rather than having it hanging in the void, causing me to wake up every ten minutes as soon as the neck ache kicks in. Moreover I place a ...


25

Mark, the guy who runs it, is a retired ex-railwayman, and is treated by the industry (at least in Europe) as a journalist. He has exceptionally good industry contacts on top of receiving press briefings, as well as a very large number of readers who travel widely and report in, and travels a lot himself (both at company expense, and using his "privs" ...


24

Passports are (unusually!) not enough. From the DB site: In order to book online tickets you need: An identification card (BahnCard, bahn.bonus Card, credit cards*, ec-card/Maestro or ID card**) for booking via Internet and as identification during fare controls on the train. The ID cards of the following countries can be used as ...


21

Avoiding conversation is easy: you can get all worked-up in advance, put on a mean face, and look like you're not willing to talk to anybody. However that's a lot of effort and might not be something that everyone can or wants to pull off. Hence I'd rather be relaxed whilst aiming to mind my own business. All in all I assume that some small talk might happen ...


18

You're not alone. Aside from the addition of a swipe card reader and of the SmarTrip pad over the years, the user interface of WMATA's farecard vending machines is definitely atrocious, especially for a city and system that sees such a large number of tourists. The situation has been made even worse because of the addition of the $1 surcharge for paper ...


18

You can travel the NS train either by buying a single ticket, or by using an OV-chipcard (Dutch: "OV chipkaart"). If you buy a single ticket it doesn't matter. If you travel with the OV-chipcard (as most people do), you pay for the distance you travel. The system needs to know how far you've traveled so you "check out" when you leave the platform. The ...


18

Here you go: 全国鉄軌道路線図 ¥1,296 from Amazon.co.jp. Here's a blog review with some pictures of the map folded out. And yes, that's entirely in Japanese, I very much doubt such a thing exists in English. To get some idea of the effort that would entail, here's a closeup of another incomplete & partial map covering just the Tokyo metro area.


17

I'm assuming you mean onboard. It's perfectly safe. I've travelled from Washington, D.C. to Chicago, and down to Austin, Texas (two and a half days). I've also done a bit in the Pacific North West, and from NYC to Phily. So I feel I can speak on this a bit. (I also did a LOT of it in Canada on a coast to coast trip, but that was split up with buses ...


16

No. Wikipedia has a page on rail transport in Central America with an overview of the situation in each country. The Man in Seat 61 also has a page about Central and South America (though it does look somewhat incomplete, at least for South America). Overall, each country has, or doesn't have, its own network. There is currently no railway crossing any ...


15

The Amsterdam to Rotterdam travel has three kinds of trains, the normal speed commuter trains and the high speed trains within the Netherlands and lastly the International high speed trains to Paris. Tickets for the trains within the Netherlands are not timed and you can use any train on the day you have the ticket for. If you want to use the high speed ...


15

As an addendum to Relaxed's excellent answer, there's only one place on the planet right now where the public can experience traveling at 500+ km/h on a train, and that's JR Central's Yamanashi maglev test track in Japan. However, test runs open to the public are scheduled only irregularly, and are extremely popular. The last runs for 2,400 lucky winners ...


14

In lieu of a link-only answer... A signal failure can refer to a number of situations... It can be down to a track circuit failure which means that the signaller cannot guarantee the safety of the train as he is unable to see on their screen or panel that the section of line is clear of any other trains. It could be down to one of the Train ...


13

The trains you want are either "G trains" or "C trains". They are both rated at up to 350 kph but G designations are for longer distances and C for shorter routes. Some information on types and speeds here "Shorter" is relative. You can get 2 hours G train journeys. The above page notes G – High-Speed Electric Multiple Units (EMU) Train This is the ...


13

TL;DR There's no easy way to find out this information for JR East shinkansen lines. Information for the Kyushu/Sanyo/Tokaido shinkansen lines is easier to find though. I remember seeing trainset types listed in printed timetables for sale in bookstores (and sometimes in the station) in Japan. Here's an example schedule, JTB時刻表, on Amazon Japan. You can ...


12

A signal failure is the failure of a signal and associated equipment. The most important thing to realize is that a train at full speed cannot stop on sight so operators need to know that the way ahead is free. There are several different systems to deal with this difficulty and regulate traffic on railroads but most of them depend on signals in one way or ...


12

Yes. But be careful of course, timewise, if you have a flight. Your best resource that I've found for this is Wikitravel's article on Fuji which has a Get in section. I was there in July but just wanted a view, not a climb, and was coming from Kanazawa on the west coast. We took trains down to Nagoya, and across, and then inland to Fujinomiya. It's ...


11

The Uganda railways has not operated for transporting people since the early 1990s. The only exception has been a train that connected Nairobi and Kampala on a once-off trip for an international qualifier for the World Cup Soccer in 2010. The Kampala train station, though, has been kept in shape and, if you show up at the right time and talk to the right ...


11

German ICEs have some coaches that are considered to be "quiet zones" and some coaches are "talking zone". There are symbols on the walls that tell you what zone you are in. The symbols can be seen here: http://www.bahn.de/p/view/service/zug/handy_u_ruhebereiche.shtml So technically having a telecon is allowed in the "talking zones". For fairness, it is ...


11

Strikes usually end officially at 10 p.m., but don't count on any train after that time. There might be an odd train, but usually there is not. In reality the normal schedule resumes the next morning with a few cancelled trains still possible. Source: I take the train daily in Belgium and have seen my share of strikes. If you are referring to the upcoming ...


11

While within one of the EU countries, you could travel by bus and train quite easily, even when crossing borders within the Schengen zone you might not run into trouble. But traveling from the UK to the Schengen zone you will have to show proof of permission to travel from your parents. I checked out the Eurostar rules, as it is the easiest way to travel ...


11

Those people are scanning their 'OV chipkaart', and not their one way train tickets. Those cards are either prepaid or subscriptions and they need to check out to be billed for the actual trip they made. Failing to check out means getting charged more (because you might have made a way longer trip). With a one-way ticket there is no need to check out.


10

Since you are starting from Switzerland, if you book far in advance (or you are lucky), you can get to anywhere in Germany for as little as EUR 39 with an Europa-Spezial-Ticket (it's a non-changeable fare valid only on a specific train and the website also mentions an additional 25% discount on that for passengers with a discount card). On most distances, ...


10

It's possible to get there easily enough: Getting out of Narita: 1 hour Narita express to Tokyo station: 1:30 Shinkansen to Shin-fuji (Shizuoka) station: 1:30 So that's 4 hours travel time to get there, same back including the usual airport time. Leaving 7 hours for sightseeing. One thing about Fuji - it is frequently hidden in the clouds, especially ...


10

The two tracks allow Spanish trains to go to the French station and French trains to go to the Spanish station. From a technical standpoint, you could also imagine a single station in one country or the other where both networks meet. In fact, it's the setup used in Latour-de-Carol, also between France and Spain (with another peculiarity, namely a third ...


10

In the case of the UK, the earliest bookable tickets offered by National Rail are Advance Tickets. These are discounted early-bird single journey fares, available in limited numbers and with strict conditions. Advanced tickets are valid only for the selected journey (although they are changeable prior to departure) and non-refundable. Turns out that ...



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