A travelling companion, RIP

Thomas CookFirstly, a few footnotes:

  • Departs up to 15 minutes earlier Oct 22 – Nov 2
  • Sagliains station can only be used for changing trains
  • From Frankfurt Flughafen (Table 850). July 11-16 does not call at Köthen and arrives Magdeburg 2333
  • Uneven dates (daily July 1 – Sept 1; Dec 25 – Jan2). Even dates (daily June 30 – Aug 31)

These gems are from the July 2013 issue of the Thomas Cook European Rail Timetable, with two boasts on the cover: “Celebrating 140 years”, and “Your travelling companion since 1873.” Which is all rather ironic, given that this is the penultimate edition.

No longer will you be able to sit, magnifying glass in hand (it has very small type), plotting your route from Les Sables d’Orlonne to Albano Laziale (‘changing at La Roche sur Yon, Bordeaux,, Toulouse, Marseille, Genova and Roma’), on a Wednesday, with First Class from Toulouse to Genova, and catching the Frecciargento high-speed train from Genova to Roma (‘supplement may be payable; tickets must be date stamped before travel’).

No longer will you be able to consult the list of especially scenic routes (Glasgow to Mallaig, Algeciras to Ronda, Jelenia Góra to Walbrzych…), or read about the Route of the Month, this month the slow train to Narva from Tallin (‘Table 1870; hard class only’).

From next month, there will be a sad gap on the shelves here at Marylebone Information Service, where the timetable used to be. The end, surely, of an era. Actually, the era of printed timetables has, arguably, been over for some little while. It may be fun to track your way across the continent using the “travelling companion”, but if you want just to make the journey quickly (or slowly) and cheaply (or luxuriously), lots of help is available – online, of course.

Try the Transport and Tourism (Rail) section of the Westminster Libraries Gateway to Websites. Look out for The Man in Seat 61 – he’s a hero.



One response to “A travelling companion, RIP

  1. Love The Man in Seat 61!


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