Resources - Travel Tips

Trains and other land transport

Introduction

Trains and buses are not merely means of transport. Our planet offers wide panoramas and visual pleasures to offer the traveller, which make the journey as much an experience as the destination. Taxis are often quite expensive, with notable exceptions being the developed Middle East countries and Thailand.

Eurostar and Overnight
 
Overnight trains and buses offer added value by saving the budget tourist or backpacker the cost of an extra hotel or hostel night. The Eurostar from London's St. Pancras International to Paris' Gare du Nord, through the Channel Tunnel, gives the business traveller quick access between the centres of two major European financial capitals.

For help on travelling within and from major tourist capitals: see Stations

Reservations

If you are using high-speed, hotel trains, or Swiss special trains such as the Bernina Express, TGV, Thalys or Frecciarossa among others, make sure that you make all the reservations on your first day in the country to which the reservation pertains at a major station. The seats available to Eurailpass holders are very limited especially in France, and the fare-supplement reservations are compulsory on each train. In some cases when booking with less than more than 3 months for travel, on TGV and Thalys, it is better to buy individual tickets online.

At Tourama, we offer our customers reservation services on Japanese Shinkansen, Britrail, Eurail / Eurostar, Australian Rail and Amtrak. We also can offer value-for-money city passes e.g. the London Pass and the Stockholm Card. During a first or sightseeing dominated visit, these European city discount cards are strongly recommended, for their convenience and cost-effectiveness. Many other destinations have now been added to these easy travel solutions.

If you want to explore Australia, some of the great train rides are to be found in the Outback.

 

Train highlights

Most of the memorable rail journeys in the world are in Europe. Of these, the best "ambrosia for the eyes" is without a doubt the Bergen Railway (which ascends to Norway's highest railway station, Finse, at 1222m) and the Flåmsbana in Western Norway. You can incorporate this in the panoramic Norway in a Nutshell tour, from Oslo or Bergen (return), changing at Myrdal. The beautiful, steep, green-white-and-blue (and in summer, technicolour) alpine vistas of Switzerland, particularly the Bernina Express, the Glacier Express and the Jungfraubahn to Jungfraujoch: Top of EuropeTM, come a close second. For more, see Scenic Europe | World's Top 25 Train Journeys

 
Orient Express

For a once in the lifetime travel experience, none can match the luxurious splendour of the legendary Orient Express, made famous by the Agatha Christie novel and movie.
 
Maglev and other trains

The fastest commercial train system in the world uses a German-developed levitation technology called Maglev. Our guests can try this blistering 30km train connection to Lonyang Lu station in Shanghai, from Pu Dong airport, with a top commercial speed of 431km/h. This easily outpaces the Shinkansen (bullet trains) of Japan and even France's Train ā Grande Vitesse (TGV), both of which operate at about 300km/h commercially.

 
Eurail Passes & Regional Passes

Eurail in Sri Lanka. Eurail is not a type of train - it is in fact a Pass to be used on the national rail companies of member countries, e.g. Deutsche Bahn in Germany, RENFE in Spain. The supplier for Sri Lanka is Rail Europe, a joint venture between SNCF France and SBB Switzerland. We are pleased to offer you their products at the same rate, along with first-hand advice and cost-saving tips.


Note:
Mid-April, May and September are the best times to travel, while July to mid-September is the peak - at which time you will find vast crowds and long queues at attractions. Recent summers have been extremely hot. Winters alternate from mild (2011) to extremely cold (2010).


Note:
Eurail passes are subject to a tax of EUR5 per pass.

For more information please contact us.
 
May be of interest: The evolution of the high speed train.
 
Coaches and Buses
 

For travellers looking for an long distance overland trip on transport other than trains, the Coach or Regional Express Bus is a viable and cheaper option. The drawback to this is, they operate only between major cities, generally are of longer duration (due to speed) with a departure not always from its centre, and have limited departure times, and fill up fast.

Here are the best providers, with web links. The main bus operators are Eurolines in Continental Europe, Greyhound in the USA/Canada/Australia etc, and National Express / Citylink in the UK.

Back to Travel Tips
 

Tourama (Pvt) Ltd
3/1, 304 Union Place,
Colombo 2, Sri Lanka.
Tel: (+94 11) 2326181
Email info@tourama.net