Examples of non-UK rail services run primarily/wholly for leisure travellers?

30907

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Mod Note: Posts #1 - #2 originally in this thread

There are umpteen examples in Germany, a handful in Austria, and some interesting ones round Prague with historic locos and stock (also last summer in Slovakia).
 
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Bletchleyite

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There are umpteen examples in Germany, a handful in Austria, and some interesting ones round Prague with historic locos and stock (also last summer in Slovakia).

The daily Hamburg-Berchtesgaden IC would be the German example that springs to mind, but I half recall that hasn't run for a few years. I did it end to end once, it was a long but enjoyable trip in one of the beautiful 2+1-seated "half compartment" second class coaches - yes, second class - nicest thing in DB's fleet.

Edit: it does still run:


Will have to do it again one day.

DB of course once had a huge set of these services under the Urlaub-Express (UEx) category.

That service also has something "cool" that the DalesRail doesn't - a big, long, proper loco hauled IC train running up a single track branch line weaving its way between houses and the likes (actually as an RE, as it takes one of the regular interval hourly slots). I guess the Paddington-Newquay 80x (if those still run) are the closest we get to that.
 
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30907

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The daily Hamburg-Berchtesgaden IC would be the German example that springs to mind, but I half recall that hasn't run for a few years. I did it end to end once, it was a long but enjoyable trip in one of the beautiful 2+1-seated "half compartment" second class coaches - yes, second class - nicest thing in DB's fleet.
This is a rather different category from the German equivalent of Dalesrail (where I posted my comment), although it is a one-off on a route that is otherwise all-ICE (as far as Munich). There are several daily IC trains to other holiday destinations, but they are all extensions of core IC routes (Oberstdorf, Lindau/Innsbruck, Westerland...).
I was more thinking of the weekend day-excursion trips from cities, often with a bike van and slightly unusual stock.
 

Spoorslag '70

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Taunton

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Much of Amtrak outside "The Corridors" is just for the benefit of tourists. Services like Auto-Train almost wholly so.
 

LNW-GW Joint

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I guess the Tranzalpine in NZ comes into this category.
And the Ghan and Indian Pacific in Australia.
The catch is usually when fares go out of reach of casual passengers, and get advertised heavily in glossy magazines.
 

Bletchleyite

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The Via Rail 'Canadian' is even more in that category...

Having done the Canadian it's actually a bit of a mixture of tourists (probably over 50%) and people who hate flying, who typically make shorter rather than end to end journeys on it.

I'd figure end to end is almost all just tourists.
 

Giugiaro

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The InterRegional services up the Douro Line are essentially tailored for tourits. The open window, 1940's stock are a symbol of the region and one of the best ways to experience the area.

But your average commuting passenger won't always fancy that kind of experience.
Regular passengers will want a more proper and modern service that is fast, confortable and safe. The "Miradouros" are everything but that.
They are almost a century old, slow (only run at 100km/h max.), extremely hot during the summer, windy (because of those pesky people that open the windows), and have doors that remain open when the train is running.
There is also no PIS, no charging ports nor electrical sockets, and the bathroom has a nice view of the track running under.

The (current) alternative of using the Regionals with Spanish DMU's are good if you want to be poisoned with burned diesel.
 

Ianno87

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The Jungfraubahn outside Interlaken in Switzerland (and probably many of the railways in that area).
 

Siebrand

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In the Netherlands NS runs trains from Utrecht Centraal to the railway museum at Utrecht Maliebaan. Ordinary tickets are valid on these trains.
 

biko

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Another entry from the Netherlands: some services from Groningen to Roodeschool have been extended a few times per day to Eemshaven for connections to the ferry to Borkum.
 
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Much of Amtrak outside "The Corridors" is just for the benefit of tourists. Services like Auto-Train almost wholly so.

I have travelled many tens of thousands of miles on Amtrak, and I can't say I agree with the above.

While there are some who see the long distance USA trains as a "land cruise", many more use them for non tourist reasons.

I don't think Congress would fund them to the extent they do if it was just about tourism.
 

43096

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SBB have run locomotive hauled services over the Gotthard summit route in summer specifically aimed at tourists.
 

Gloster

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Almost qualifying is the Myrdal-Flåm line in Norway. It does provide a basic connection to the Oslo-Bergen line at Myrdal for locals, but I very much doubt it could survive without the tourists.
 

ANDREW_D_WEBB

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Douro Valley in Portugal has trains targeting tourists. The brochure suggested steam haulage, when I went it was worked by one of CP’s English Electric ‘Class 20’ locos.
 

Giugiaro

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... when I went it was worked by one of CP’s English Electric ‘Class 20’ locos.

Steam is used on the Historical Train between Régua and Pocinho.
Unless you've travelled on that train back when the company couldn't care less and used ICE Diesel exclusively (this was somewhat between 2010 and 2015).

Currently that train uses the same steam locomotive it traditionally relied on, with the catch that the firebox was adapted to burn diesel.
 

dutchflyer

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Thailand: every sunday 2 or 3 special excursions trains run very early from BKK to places as ´bridge on river Kwai´, HuaHIn old-style seaside or in blossom time to some flowery fields or lakes. You can even add some special tourbuses or whatever to complement a full day out. Prices are quite cheap as they mainly aim local Thai, but the comfort is also minimal: normal nonAC old-style 2nd hand diesel sets (DEMU).
OTOH the 2/day normal trains to Kanchanaburi (river Kwai) from the old west side of river station in BKK charge special higher farang=foreigner fares for the pleasure-most Thai using it travel for free anyway by some govmt. scheme. A farang single cost 100 THB=just over 2 GBP now.
Czech: in their summer= from 1/7 till 31/8-and also some routes in winter/snow+skitime various otherwise non served anymore minor branch lines see a weekend-only service, often by a club of railway enthusiasts=KZC. They also run some normal contracted minor services here and there. Many are in the Ustecky region and normal DUK Verbund-style fares are valid: dayticket 150 CzK (6 eur) or for students seniors >65 just 25% of that=35 CzK=1,40 eur. GwTrains also run a few only then operated INTernational routes CZ-PL, of which KD=KOleje Dolnoslaskie is responsible. This is thus different from he tipical antique (steam) enthusiasts lies that also exist. They mainly aim local daytrippers/hikers-as does Dalesrail.
 

Bletchleyite

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OTOH the 2/day normal trains to Kanchanaburi (river Kwai) from the old west side of river station in BKK charge special higher farang=foreigner fares for the pleasure-most Thai using it travel for free anyway by some govmt. scheme. A farang single cost 100 THB=just over 2 GBP now.

100 baht seems to be the standard price for any form of short to mid-distance transport for "farang". Interestingly it's not gone up in something like 15 years, though the exchange rate has made it more expensive in pounds.
 

30907

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As I unwittingly started this thread, I have changed the title to reflect something nearer the Dalesrail-type services under discussion in the UK thread.
 

duesselmartin

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Between in Germany and France was pre Covid a weekend only service from Trier to Metz along the Mosel.
It was also the only passenger train between Apach (Moselle) and Thionville.
Hopefully it will return again.
 

citycat

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In the Netherlands, they run a fine dining dinner train during the summer.


I've been told off in the past by moderators for posting links to youtube videos, so just go to youtube and type in Compilatie Dinner Train part 1 and part 2 to see the train out and about.
 

Ianno87

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Is the Harz Mountain railway a "proper" public railway or a heritage service?
 

30907

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Is the Harz Mountain railway a "proper" public railway or a heritage service?
Interesting question. Ilfeld-Nordhausen (largely operated by bimode trams) is definitely "proper," the Brocken definitely leisure, the rest of the network something inbetween, but pricey by German regional standards.
 

61653 HTAFC

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Would "Le petit train jaune" qualify for this thread? You'd be hard pushed to use it for anything other than sightseeing to be honest. Perhaps it depends whether you get the vintage 1908 stock, or the modern Stadler GTW?
 

iknowyeah

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I'm enjoying this thread, some of these are definite trips for the next few years! Especially the one I saw over the Gottard, been through the base tunnel fairly hungover, but would love to go over the top
 

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