Coronavirus Train Disruptions – Central Europe

By Edward | Coronavirus

May 21
Empty DB train
This picture shows an empty DB Intercity. Courtesy of my friend and colleague Zugführer Martin Pavlík. Thank you!

Europe's trains during Coronavirus - Central Europe

Central Europe has fared better in the coronavirus pandemic than Western Europe, mainly due to swift, draconian measures in the Visegrád states and Germany's calm discipline. Czechia was in lockdown before coronavirus was really a thing in England.

This hit the railways hard. Slovakia introduced an emergency timetable (you can download it), and across Central Europe services were wound down to a bare-bones minimum. Only Germany kept most of its long-distance trains running, though local services plummeted.

Germany - coronavirus rail disruptions

🇩🇪

Face-masks are mandatory on all German trains. Social distancing distance is 1.5 m.

Germany border status

Here you can see which borders you can cross by train. Though border checks are still in place, you are allowed to travel again.

Open
  • Czechia
  • The Netherlands
  • Denmark
  • France
  • Luxembourg
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Switzerland
  • Poland
Closed

Important: If you enter Germany from what Germany considers a risk-area (say, Île de France, or parts of Romania) you need to fill out this form. Then you need to go into quarantine for 14 days. You can find the German list of risk-areas here.

International Services

Most international services are running and back to normal. Services that are cancelled:

  • The Russian Railways service to Berlin and Paris remain cancelled
  • The sleepers and couchettes on the EN 463/462 Munich-Budapest have been cancelled again recently.


Corona trains

EN 463 from Munich to Budapest, 23rd April. Courtesy of my friend Martin Pavlík.

Local cross border services

All local cross-border services are running.

Domestic Services

Deutsche Bahn are running all their mainline trains again. 

Local services are back to normal.

The DB lounges are open again, as are the restaurant cars.

Flixtrains are running again.

The ALPEN-SYLT Nachtexpress started on 4th July with only private compartments sold. Check this train out here.

Refund policies

Standard rules apply. Beware of the SuperSparpreis: it explicitly rules out any reimbursement, even in the event of full lockdown.

Updated: 8th September

Switzerland - coronavirus rail disruptions

🇨🇭

Face-masks are mandatory. Social distancing distance is 2 m. 

Switzerland border status

Here you can see which borders you can cross by train. Restrictions may apply. Be sure to check these.

Open

  • Germany
  • France
  • Austria
  • Italy

Closed


International services

International trains are resuming service.

  • There are now a three daily trains from Basel to Paris, four from Geneva to Paris. One train goes from Lausanne to Paris.
  • Railjets and Eurocitys to Austria are running again
  • All Nightjets now running again 
  • Eurocitys to Italy (MIlano Centrale) restarted


Local cross border services

France: The Léman express is back to normal

Italy: Local services reach Domodossola. TILO services reaching into Lombardy, including Milan.

Germany: Services back to normal.

Austria: all local cross border services back to normal.

National services

Everything back to normal.

Click here for SBB's updates

Updated: 9th September.

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Austria - coronavirus rail disruptions

🇦🇹

In Austria, face-masks are mandatory on ALL public transport. Social distancing distance is 1 m.

Austria border status

Here you can see which borders you can cross by train. Restrictions may apply. Be sure to check these.

Open
  • Germany
  • Switzerland
  • Czechia
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Italy
Closed
  • Hungary (open only to Hungarians)

International Services

All trains are running again. The only services still missing are:

  • The Russian Railways' Moscow-Nice service has yet to be reinstated
  • Hungarian Railways MÁV have taken their sleepers and couchettes out of service again.
  • International service to Hungary are being scaled back due to draconian measures in Hungary.
EuroNight 462

One of the very few international trains that ran throughout lockdown: EuroNight 463/462 "Kálmán Imre"


Local cross border services

All local cross-border services running.

National services

Mainline and local services are back to normal.

Click here for more details.

WESTbahn are running every hour between Vienna and Salzburg.

WESTbahn and ÖBB now recognise each other's standard tickets


Updated: 9th September

Poland - coronavirus rail disruptions

🇵🇱

Face-masks are mandatory on all Polish public transport. Social distancing distance is 1 m.

Poland border status

Here you can see which borders you can cross by train. Restrictions may apply. Be sure to check these.

Open
  • Germany
  • Czechia
  • Slovakia
Closed
  • Ukraine
  • Belarus
  • Russia

International Services

International services to Germany, Czechia and Slovakia are running again. As yet there is nothing going to Ukraine, Belarus or Russia.

National Services

National services are back to normal. 100% of seats are available for sale.

Restaurant cars are open again.

Refund policies

Tickets bought before the 4th of March whose date of validity has not yet arrived can be returned for a full reimbursement.

Updated: 9th September

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Czechia - coronavirus rail disruptions

 🇨🇿

Face-masks were reintroduced on 1st September and are mandatory on public transport throughout Czechia. Social distancing distance is 1.5 m.

Czechia border status

Here you can see which borders you can cross by train. Restrictions may apply. Be sure to check these.

Open
  • Germany
  • Slovakia
  • Austria
  • Slovakia
  • Poland
Closed

Czechia had returned to normal, but some restrictions are creeping in.

International Services

International services are restarting! YAY!

  • Trains from Prague to Berlin are running
  • Regiojet has resumed services to Slovakia
  • Services to Austria running
  • Day services to Poland restarted
  • Night trains to Slovakia, Austria and Switzerland restarted
  • Night trains to Hungary are suspended

National Services

Domestic services are running normally.

RegioJet have adjusted their reservation system to ensure that there is enough space between travellers. Disinfectant soap is guaranteed in all loos. Free water now only in 1st class.

Leo Express is running one train a day between Prague and Bohumín in both directions. They provide every passenger with a face mask.

Refund policies

Tickets can be returned for a full reimbursement, even First Minute Europe promo tickets.

Updated: 29th June. Outlook: improving

Slovakia - coronavirus rail disruptions

🇸🇰

Slovakia border status

Here you can see which borders you can cross by train. Restrictions may apply. Be sure to check these.

Open
  • Austria
  • Czechia
  • Poland
Closed
  • Hungary
  • Ukraine

Face-masks are mandatory on Slovak public transport. Social distancing distance is 1.5 m.

International Services

  • International services to Czechia have resumed from the 9th of June.
  • Services to Austria restored
  • Hungary and Ukraine to follow 1st July. 
  • Night trains to Czechia running again

National Services

ZSSK, Slovakia's national operator is starting to return to the normal timetable. Not everything is running yet, but since 10th May things have been improving.

Night trains are running again.

Here is that timetable in full.

Motorail services (Autovlaky) are scheduled to restart 1st July.

Since 1st April, free travel for students has been suspended. Everyone is urged to pay for tickets contactless.

Time for a video:

Refund policies

If you bought your ticket before 13th March, 06:00 AM, you have until 30th June to exchange it free of charge or get your money back.

If you have bought your ticket after 13th March, 06:00 AM, administrative fees apply, but I can't find where they say how much. It won't be much.

Updated: 29th June. Outlook: Improving

Now what?

Well, I'm going to update this page every week. Truth be told, I'm up for some distraction now.

  1. Why not have a look at my other posts and plan for better times
  2. Or look at my coronavirus page, where I have all my coronavirus-writing in one place
  3. Or join my free Rail Guide Europe club and get the password to my insider guides

FREE Access

Join my Rail Guide Europe Club FREE

Sign up now and gain instant access to:


  • The password to my Insider Rail Guides
  • My FREE Telegram help group
  • Ask me Anything status by email

About the Author

After crisscrossing Europe for 6 years as a train conductor, I guide intrepid travellers roaming Europe by rail.

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