The Anonymous Widower

European Commission To Support 10 Cross-Border Inter-City Pilot Services

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Railway Gazette.

This is the introductory paragraph, after a comprehensive map.

The European Commission has announced that it will support 10 pilot projects for new or improved cross-border passenger services.

The ten services are.

  1. Day train – Reducing Budapest – Wien journey times and providing new or enhanced services from Budapest to Arad and Oradea in Romania.
  2. Day and Night trains – Germany – Denmark – Sweden services.
  3. Night train – Midnight Trains, new night train service Paris – Milano – Venezia.
  4. Day train – Flixtrain, new service München– Zürich.
  5. Day train – Westbahn, new service München – Wien – Budapest.
  6. Day train – NS, enhancement of the existing Amsterdam – London service
  7. Night train – European Sleeper, new night train service Amsterdam – Barcelona.
  8. Day train – FS and DB, new services from Roma and Milano to München.
  9. Day train – ILSA, new services linking Lisboa with A Coruña and Madrid.
  10. Day train – FGC, new cross-border services connecting Barcelona and Catalunya with Figueras, Montpellier and Toulouse in France.

The services are in order of start date and are expected to be completed by 2029.


  1. From my experience, they certainly fill in some big gaps.
  2. Travel to Portugal and Romania by train will be much easier.
  3. Amsterdam, Barcelona, Budapest and Munich, which are all worth a visit or an overnight stop in their own right, will become important hubs.
  4. The sleepers will allow long overnight jumps.

It is a good start.

Onward To Ukraine

I believe that after Vlad the Mad is put back in his box, Ukraine will see a lot of increase in passenger and freight traffic.

Good services to Budapest could be the start of a trip to Ukraine.

Rail Baltica

We mustn’t forget Rail Baltica, which is already being built to link Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Finland.



February 2, 2023 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

DHL Targets 10-day China – Europe Transit Time

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Railway Gazette.

A few points from the article.

  • The route is 9,400 km long.
  • The train goes through Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, Lithuania and Russia’s Kaliningrad exclave.
  • Entry to the EU is at Braniewo in Poland.
  • The current terminals are Xi’an in China and Hamburg and Neuss in Germany.
  • Other proposed terminals include Budapest and Milan.
  • Estimated transit time is 10-12 days, as opposed to the current 15-plus days.

I’ve actually been to the area around Braniewo, which before the Second World War was partly in Germany. I wrote Railways In North East Poland about my trip, which was mainly to see wildlife.

We also got to see the Russian border.

The tag Poland In Winter shows all the posts from that trip.



April 24, 2020 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The 2024 Summer Olympics

The venue for the 2024 Summer Olympics, will be decided on the 13th of September this year.

The candidate cities are Budapest, Los Angeles and Paris.

Could President Trump be the man who actually decides, which city gets the Games?

His Welcome to America policies could be all Los Angeles needs to have a failed bid. Would any Muslim country vote for Los Angeles.

I have worries too about the Budapest bid, as the current Government there isn’t that popular in parts of the EU.

So does that mean Paris is a shoe-in? But what would be Marine Le Pen’s view?

I suppose Riyadh could make a last-minute bid!


January 29, 2017 Posted by | Sport | , , , , | 3 Comments

All Of Scotland Is Now Twinned With Marlow

This article on the BBC, is entitled Winds close Forth Road Bridge and cut power to homes.

At two this morning a truck overturned on the Forth Road Bridge and the bridge has been closed since.

This is the full story from the BBC report.

The lorry on the Forth Road Bridge blew over at about 02:00 GMT. A spokesman for the bridge-operating company said the bridge had been closed to HGVs from 00:30 GMT.

The truck was travelling north from the Edinburgh side towards Fife, but was blown on to the southbound carriageway, damaging a 40-metre stretch of the central grilling, he said.

It had been lifted off the central grilling by a crane by mid-morning, but it could not be completely cleared from the scene until the weather improves.

The bridge remains closed both north and south-bound.

The driver of the lorry has been charged with dangerous driving, police said.

What an idiot!

But there was also the incident on the historic Marlow Bridge over the Thames. This is from Wikipedia.

On 24 September 2016 the bridge suffered ‘potential structural damage’ following an incident where 37-tonne Lithuanian haulage lorry exceeding the weight limit attempted to pass over the bridge. The bridge was closed for two months to allow Buckinghamshire County Council to undertake a series of stress tests on the suspension bridge hangers and pins, together with ultrasound and magnetic particle tests. No significant damage to the bridge was found, and had given the all-clear to reopen the bridge on Friday 25 November following restoration of sections exposed for weld testing with three coats of paint, removal of scaffolding surrounding the bridge’s two towers, and reinstatement of timber work removed for inspection. To the applause of around 100 onlookers, Marlow Bridge was reopened to traffic at 10am on Friday, 25 November.

Consider that Marlow Bridge was built in 1832, it has survived the better part bof two centruries well.

However Marlow Bridge was built by Bristolian; William Tierney Clark, who was also responsible for Hammersmith Bridge on the Thames.

Internationally, Clark was also responsible for the iconic Széchenyi Chain Bridge across the Danube in Budapest.

Bada Castle And The Chain Bridge

Bada Castle And The Chain Bridge

I took the picture, when I did my Home Run From Budapest in 2013. What you see is not wholly the original, as that was blown up by the Nazis in the Siege of Budapest in 1945.

Incidentally, the engineer who supervised the construction of the bridge from parts sent out from the UK, was the Scot; Adam Clark.

As Adam Clark was born in Edinburgh, I’ve concluded by bringing the narrative back to the Forth Bridge.


January 11, 2017 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , | Leave a comment

And We Thought Bendy Buses Were Long

Londoners didn’t get on well with articulated or bendy buses and a major complaint about the Mercedes-Benz Citaro was their length of eighteen metres which blocked junctions and turns for other road users and crossings for pedestrians.

A friend told me the only reason they were bought was the length and the three entrances, allowed people to get on without paying.

Our two bendy routes here in Dalston; the 38 and 73 have been replaced by New Routemasters and I think it is true to say, that three entrances don’t encourage fare-dodging, but they do speed up loading and unloading.

So it was with a bit of trepidation I read this article in Global Rail News, which is entitled Approval For World’s Longest Tram. This is said.

BKK has received approval to operate the first of its new 56-metre Urbos 3 trams in Budapest – thought to be the longest trams in the world.

It is a version of CAF‘s Urbos 3, that are used in Birmingham and Edinburgh. Those trams are just 33 and 42.8 metres long respectively.

They are over three times the length of London’s hated bendy buses.

March 9, 2016 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , | Leave a comment

From Budapest To Bratislava

On Tuesday, the 9th at 15:25 in the afternoon, my train left Budapest for Bratislava.

It was a very uneventful journey in an almost empty First Class carriage, which was comfortable enough, although a bit slow at fifteen minutes short of three hours. But it’s one of the fast trains.

When the Slovakian Ticket Inspector checked my ticket, I said about the palaver to get it in Budapest.  I think he agreed.

A lot of this journey was alongside the Danube.  Living in the UK, you don’t realkise how huge it is.

April 14, 2013 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , | Leave a comment

Would I Go Back To Budapest?

Budapest is certainly a city, that would be worth a second visit. My visit was just a passing one and I didn’t really have time to do the city justice.

I didn’t find any major problems, but I did find the Hungarian language and currency difficult.

In the former, it was difficult to relate street and station names to the map you are using and in the second, as the currency is about 350 forints to the pound, this made purchasing things difficult.

As regards the second, you can understand, why the euro was embraced as an idea and why some countries either use or closely link their currency to the US dollar.

After all, when I’m in a euro or dollar country, if you treat these as pounds, all you’ll get is a bit more change.  Using forints was a bit like using lire in Italy some years ago.

Budapest would make an ideal base to explore the Balkans and places like the Ukraine by rail, as there is a comprehensive list of places that trains go to from the main railway station.

Budapest Departures

Note Timisoara in the Departures display above.

You can apparently get easily from Budapest to Kiev in the Ukraine, so I would assume the reverse is possible. Ever since I saw the film; Battleship Potemkin, at school, I’ve always wanted to see the steps in Odessa, where the famous scene from the film takes place.

I did think about going during Euro 2012, but we had the Olympics coming up.

So if anybody wants to go to Odessa and Kiev and then come home by train, send me a message. I’m going to do it, to prove it is possible.

Remember though, I won’t be doing it in cheap hotels or Second Class.

Looking at Seat61; the bible for all train travelling, I’d probably fly to Budapest, take the train to Kiev and then after the detour to Odessa, I’d come home via Warsaw.


April 14, 2013 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , | Leave a comment

Around Budapest Station

Budapest station is an old station, that was probably built in the grand manner.

Compared to say, a British station of similar importance, it didn’t seem so busy.  Perhaps, rail travel isn’t as important in Hungary.

April 14, 2013 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , | Leave a comment

A Ticket To Ride Out Of Budapest

I hadn’t bought my ticket before I left London and it was the right thing to do. The reason, I say that was that I enjoyed Budapest a lot and if it hadn’t been so cold, I might have stayed another day.

But I almost regretted it, as buying a ticket was a bit of an obstacle course.

In the first place, there was no automatic machine.

You first had to get the time of the train, by getting a numbered ticket to go and ask what the times were.  I had an idea that the train left at 15:25.  Eventually I got this confirmed and then got another numbered ticket from the machine so that I could actually buy my ticket to Bratislava.

A Ticket To Ride Out Of Budapest

A Ticket To Ride Out Of Budapest

As you can see, the ticket was like an old-fashioned airline ticket of forty years ago.

I would advise that if you’re taking an international train out of Budapest, that you give yourself plenty of time. You can buy them before the date of travel, so if you’re going on the 25th and you’re there on the 23rd, it would not be a bad idea to purchase the ticket early.

The ticket I had, was valid on any train on the day I travelled.


April 14, 2013 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , | Leave a comment

The Memorial To Sztehlo Gabor

This sculpture was outside the hotel.

It is a memorial to Sztehlo Gabor, who saved hundreds of Jewish children from the Holocaust. There is a short biography here.

April 14, 2013 Posted by | World | , , | Leave a comment