You’re snuggled up on the sofa, laptop on your knees, and you’re searching for a train ticket for the following evening. Bad news: the ticket is far more expensive than it was just a couple of days ago.
James in the second instalment of our series on the great families of the European and US rail industry.
We’re heading to Belfast in Northern Ireland. Lesser known than the likes of Dublin and London, this city is as historic as it is fun. Here’s a whistlestop guide to the capital.
In November 2018, Morocco inaugurated something really rather special: a high-speed railway line connecting Tangier, Kenitra and Casablanca.
Emile and Isaac were both born in Bordeaux, on December 3 1800 and 25 November 1806. They were brought up in a Jewish family who had to flee first Spain and then Portugal, and were grandsons of Jacob Rodrigue Pereire, a pioneer of education for deaf and mute children.
Less touristy than other Croatian cities like Dubrovnik and Split, the capital is really laid-back and full of amazing things to do. Here’s what we’d recommend doing there.
As you may well know, on May 24 2022, another new line appeared on the world’s oldest underground network (which first opened in 1863). It’s named the Elizabeth Line in homage to Queen Elizabeth II.
So today we’ll be telling you about how US Air Force doctor John Stapp tested the limits of the human body thanks to the Gee Whiz and Sonic Wind n°1.
Relatively off the tourist radar, the Bulgarian capital is a modern, dynamic and yet laid-back city packed with surprising sights. So put your summer outfit back in your bag (and perhaps a pair of skis) and let’s head east.
With its 150,000 kilometres of railway lines, China has the second most extensive train network in the world after the USA. But that’s not all.
On June 1, Germany launched a new initiative that sent what could almost be described as shockwaves through the rail industry
Not all that well known in Europe, this was a network of clandestine routes and safe houses that allowed American slaves to flee the southern states.
We’re continuing our tour of Europe’s most beautiful archipelagos with a trip to the Aeolian islands.
The story of the British railways starts with carriages mounted on tracks made of wood, then metal, and pulled by horses.
It all started on July 9 1918 in Nashville, the capital of the state of Tennessee.
Grab your sunglasses and slap on the sunscreen: we’re heading off to a real paradise, not all that far from the Catalan coast.
The railways were taken into the hands of the state in 1937 but not in a single stage. In fact, it was the result of various interventionist moves that are very closely tied to the political history
Rather than whisk you off to an iconic European city, now we will be suggesting an itinerary for a trip to one the continent’s most beautiful islands or archipelagos (even though it might technically not be possible to get there by train).
In 2015, China announced it intended to build a train line linking the Brazilian Altantic coast with the Peruvian Pacific coast: Trans-Amazonian Railway.
It’s a rather unusual case, as the country was for a long time very behind when it came to the development of the railways, and would soon go through an extended period of political instability, what with the Spanish civil war and Francisco Franco’s dictatorship.
With its rich history and thriving contemporary culture scene, the Hungarian capital brims with treasures that many are still yet to explore.
We’re launching a new series on the great nationalisations in European rail, starting with the one that took place in Italy between 1903 and 1915.
Whack on some sun cream (yep, you never know) and a pair of comfortable shoes – we’re heading to the north of France.
It’s the end of the nineteenth century, the Industrial Révolution is well under way in France, and iron is the manufacturing material du jour.
Although a trip up the Eiffel Tower takes you in a perpendicular direction to that of a train, climbing up the iconic monument really does, somehow and in a way that’s rather hard to articulate, evoke the sensations, emotions and general atmosphere of the railways.
Following a climate catastrophe, a new ice age has made the entirety of the planet uninhabitable. Only a handful of survivors remain, and they’re all on board a train that never stops moving.
Rather than continue to reel off the environmental benefits of the train, this week we’re going to focus purely on the stats, totting up the real carbon footprint of trains in France. Here goes.
Known as being the setting of Shakespeare’s famous play Romeo and Juliet, and also ‘the city where everyone hates each other’ in the musical comedy of the same name.
So let’s go, and explore a world where the criminal underworld and the rail industry intertwine.
The opening up of passenger transport stems from the EU’s adoption of its fourth major package of rail reforms in 2016. This essentially divided the sector into two main categories.
Having introduced you to ‘La Bestia’, the so-called ‘death train’ Central American immigrants use to cross Mexico, Midnight Weekly is returning to those parts this week to tell you about the Tren Maya.
The tiny Maltese capital, just south of Sicily, only has 6,000 inhabitants. It’s much smaller than Sarajevo, Manchester or even Cádiz, but just as worth visiting if you’re after a sunny weekend break.
The idea of opening up passenger rail transport in Europe isn’t a new one. The first discussions between the member states of the European Union in fact took place in the 1970s.
Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s an Aérotrain. That’s how the credits for a Netflix series about this far-fetched invention would start.
From Manchester to Cádiz, Warsaw to Dubrovnik, each week Midnight Weekly takes you on a tour of a major European city. And today we’re heading to Leipzig.
Because while trains may usually be considered a means to get humans from one place to another, they are clearly also a way of conveying goods too. So let’s climb aboard and slot ourselves in besides the factory products and girders.
Day is dawning in the small town of Arriaga, in the state of Chiapas. Suddenly, the train sets off. In an instant, men, women and children emerge from the shadows and grasp onto the sides of the train.
Though its name may be associated with war and violence, the capital of Bosnia-Herzegovina has undergone a remarkable renaissance.
The most significant moments in the privatisation of the railways. In this first episode, we’ll be taking a look at British Rail, first created thanks to the nationalisation of four big private railway firms.
Seventeen years earlier, Japan in fact launched the first high-speed train in the world: the Shinkansen. Still in service today, the trains are known for their punctuality, safety and comfort – all qualities that often come at a high price.
Famous for its football clubs and industrial history, today it has transformed into a modern and brilliantly alternative metropolis overflowing with creative energy. Here’s how to do the city right.
Deutsche Bahn’s City Night Line. Adored by passengers across Germany and its neighbouring countries, these sleepers ran for two decades across Austria, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Denmark, France, the Czech Republic and Italy.
In 2012, it told a Californian newspaper how he intended to launch a mode of transport travelling at more than 1,000 km/hour thanks to capsules propelled in a vacuum tunnel.
Like its many equivalents in other Spanish cities, here you’ll find the scents and flavours of Spain in all their sumptuous abundance, from spices to cheese, charcuterie and fruit.
Running between Paris, Milan and Venice, the operator Thello allowed people to travel from Italy’s fashion capital to La Serenissima without having to pass through airport security and baggage checks (and with a far lower carbon footprint too).
They can shorten distances, all while reminding you of their immensity. The writer Blaise Cendrars summed up this sentiment with a line of great simplicity.
The capital of Poland is a cultural jewel, offering all manner of exciting, enriching experiences. So let’s get out and explore the labyrinthine alleyways of this historic city.
These trains essentially aimed to be trains and hotels at the same time. In other words, they would allow passengers to spend the night in a well laid out, comfortable train, with excellent on-board service.
Since the end of the 1940s, it’s been said that faced with the arrival of the Red Army in the region, Nazi higher-ups had packed a proper fortune into a packed train that they hid in a network of military tunnels.
A huge inspiration for the settlement of King’s Landing in the series Game of Thrones, the Croatian city ranks among Europe’s most beautiful cities.
Perched on the banks of the Guadalquivir, hundreds of kilometres south of Barcelona, Valencia and Madrid, the Andalusian capital is renowned for its unique beauty, slow pace of life and, above all else, spectacular local cuisine.
For this fourth episode, we’ll be focusing on this project that aims to create a new night-train network linking several northern and central European countries, by joining up several existing services.
Far from being a worldly socialite like his Belgian counterpart, Pullman came from a very working-class background. Throughout his life, he strived to observe, analyse and question existing structures and grabbed all opportunities that presented themselves to him – sometimes even going beyond the limits of the acceptable.
Like Midnight Trains, but with ideas very different to our ‘hotels on rails’, this business is among those that set out to conquer the railways since they were privatised here in France. In this third part, we’ll be focusing on Speed’s plans for super-regular high-speed services between Paris and the surrounding region.
If there’s one main reason that we’ve spoken about it so regularly, it’s no doubt that the train’s creator, Georges Nagelmackers, had very similar intentions to us here at Midnight Trains: he sought to make the sleeper-train journey an actually pleasant experience, filled with modern comforts.
Less renowned than Berlin and Hamburg, this city on the River Main turns out to be a properly tranquil place to spend a long weekend. Europe’s third financial capital – after London and Paris – is also a place of simple pleasures, refinement and a whole of culture.
In this second episode, we’ll be singing the praises of a business that aims to bring high-speed travel to the most poorly connected of France’s regions.
We like to think that many of the great challenges humanity has tried to overcome are born of a thirst for discovery and adventure. However, often they may be motivated by something else entirely: the exploitation of resources.
After three seasons in which roamed the corridors of a business like Midnight Trains, we’re launching a new four-part article series introducing you to the big new actors in the European rail industry.
People often talk of life as a series of chance encounters, defined largely by luck, but it could also be seen as a sequence of accidents. Small ones that graze knees and cut fingers; big ones that break your heart; monumental ones that hit the frontpages.
Just half an hour from Biarritz and around 100km from Bilbao, this Basque city is one of Europe’s best destinations for a sunny weekend away. So get out your espadrilles, swimming costumes and straw hats – we’re heading off to the banks of the Cantabrian Sea.
If you’ve already started planning a holiday this summer, you’ll have noticed that the cost of flights has increased dramatically – and that is likely because fuel prices have been rising for several months now.
A small girl with hair swept over her eyes, a large man with a black hat, a young woman in a white dress on the side of the road: we can all name a ghostly presence that’s terrified us since childhood.
Less touristy than all the others, this city will win over anyone who likes street food and laidback seaside vibes. So forget the guidebooks, here are the best things to do in the city according to us.
Some ghosts have a thick skin. That’s certainly the case of the Orient-Express, the mythical train that linked Paris with Istanbul via several major European cities including Venice, Vienna, Belgrade and Budapest.
This idea captivated the British leaders. At the time, the aim was clear: connecting the two major British isles would cement the links between the islands’ citizens.
Dublin, the capital of the Republic of Ireland and the home of Guinness, that super-famous dry stout Irish people around the world can’t get enough of.