European Rail Timetable Summer 2009 by Thomas Cook Publishing
|European Rail Timetable Summer 2009 by Thomas Cook Publishing|
|Reviewer: Magda Healey|
|Summary: Virtually indispensable for all Interrailers as well as anybody else "doing" Europe by train, this is a more than just a collection of train timetables.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? No|
|Pages: 576||Date: June 2009|
|Publisher: Thomas Cook Publishing|
This volume is an absolutely essential resource for anybody travelling in Europe by train. A compilation of all major train routes, it allows not only for checking train times but also planning pretty much every conceivable major journey. Theoretically, the train timetables change twice yearly, so it's worth getting an up to date book.
The book is fundamentally a compilation of old-fashioned printed time-tables. Anybody who has ever used one will recognise the format and find it familiar and easy to use, anybody who has not seen a such a timetable will take a few minutes to learn the conventions, but it soon becomes second nature.
It's not a huge or heavy volume (in fact it's amazingly handy and light), considering how much is included, so the type is small: if you find it difficult to read such, do take a magnifying glass with you.
Thomas Cook's European Train Timetable is most appropriate for planning longer-distance journeys. It doesn't always list all the stations at which a given train stops: some routes are listed in their totality, but some only have more major stops or important interchanges. Some frequent local or regional services are only mentioned in passing and some are not listed at all.
Overall, though, it's astonishing how many trains and stations actually are included. And, although the train listings forms the main body of the book, it's not everything. All the standard timetable codes are present, so Interrailers can work out whether they would have to pay a supplement, and those planning a whole day journey can ascertain whether there is a buffet car in the train they are taking. Major connecting bus services are also listed, as are many major European ferry connections. The introductory section has useful information about various international rail passes and a country by country information covering basic facts about the rail systems as well as general information.
The most useful addition to the timetables are actually maps: each country has its own schematic map depicting the train connections, and the connections are marked with the numbers that lead straight to the relevant pages of the book. This makes journey planning much easier and checking particular connection much faster.
Altogether, virtually indispensable for all Interrailers as well as anybody else travelling across Europe by train.
Backpackers and others "doing" Europe for the first time will find Europe on a Shoestring: Big Trips on Small Budgets (Lonely Planet Shoestring Guides) by Sarah Johnstone rather useful too.
You can read more book reviews or buy European Rail Timetable Summer 2009 by Thomas Cook Publishing at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy European Rail Timetable Summer 2009 by Thomas Cook Publishing at Amazon.com.
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