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

While Central Europe fared well in the first wave, this time it is different. Czechia is completely out of control, Germany is desperately bidding to get the upper hand again while Poland has even more cases.

Germany - coronavirus rail disruptions

🇩🇪

Face-masks are mandatory on all German trains. Social distancing distance is 1.5 m. No fine for not wearing a mask, but you will be made to get off.

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. As of 5th November almost everywhere is a risk area.

International Services

Most international services are still running, but are beginning to suffer.

  • The Russian Railways service to Berlin and Paris remains cancelled
  • The sleepers and couchettes on the EN 463/462 Munich-Budapest have been cancelled again. Only seat cars going.
  • Only two daily direct services to Paris.


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 currently running all their mainline trains. 
  • Local services are running normally.
  • The DB lounges are closed.
  • Restaurant cars are closed.
  • Flixtrains are cancelled and the FlixMobility boss is in newspapers whining that DB should cancel its trains as well. Poor man.
  • The ALPEN-SYLT Nachtexpress curtailed its season by one week. Also its winter service has been cancelled.

Refund policies

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

Updated: 25th November. Outlook: getting worse

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

Most International trains are running.

  • TGV Lyria service between France and Switzerland reduced drastically (one a day, except to Geneva with two daily services)
  • Nightjets to Vienna and Graz are running
  • Trains to Italy are drastically reduced. Most services terminating at the Swiss border
  • Railjets and Eurocitys to Austria are running
  • Nightjets to Germany are cancelled
  • Euronights to Czechia cancelled
  • Euronights to Budapest is running, albeit with only seating cars
  • Euronight to Zagreb and Belgrade running


Local cross border services

France: The Léman express is running normally. Services between Neuchâtel, Portiers and Frasne are cancelled till 30th November.

Italy: Tilo services are running, but half the S50 trains between Varese and Milano Malpensa are cancelled. 

Germany: Services running normally.

Austria: all local cross border services running normally.

National services

All day trains running. Various late night services are cancelled.

Click here for SBB's updates

Updated: 25th November. Outlook: stable.

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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

International services are starting to suffer:

  • Railjets to Venezia Santa Lucia terminate at Villach
  • Brenner Eurocitys (Munich-Innsbruck-Verona) are all cancelled
  • IC 336 has been shortened and is running only between Linz and České Budějovice.
  • 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 services to Hungary are scaled back due to draconian measures in Hungary.
  • The IC 44/45 Vienna to Košice and 143/144 Cluj Napoca/Satu Mare are cancelled until further notice.
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 to all border countries are running.

National services

Mainline and local services are running normally.

Click here for more details.

WESTbahn are running every hour between Vienna and Salzburg.

WESTbahn and ÖBB recognise each others' tickets again. This agreement has been extended till 7th February 2021.

Updated: 25th November. Outlook: stable

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 beginning to be scaled back. Only 50% of seats are available for sale.

Refund policies

Tickets bought for cancelled trains can be returned free of charge or used on other services. I assume some form of new reservation will have to be made.

Updated: 25th November. Outlook: stable

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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 still running

  • Trains from Prague to Berlin are running
  • Regiojet is going to Slovakia
  • Services to Austria running
  • Day services to Poland running
  • Night trains to Slovakia are running
  • Night trains to Hungary are suspended
  • RegioJet services to Slovakia are running

National Services

České Dráhy: Domestic services are seriously impacted now.

Here is a map of all České Dráhy services from 18th November.

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. RegioJet continues to serve Slovakia.

Leo Express appears to be running to schedule.

Refund policies

Standard refund policies apply.

Updated: 25th November. Outlook: getting worse

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 2 m.

International Services

  • International services (ZSSK and RegioJet) to Czechia are reduced, but running.
  • Most services to Austria running
  • Hungary and Ukraine are closed 
  • Night trains to Czechia running
  • The IC 44/45 Košice-Bratislava-Vienna is cancelled
  • Here is ZSSK's coronavirus page:

National Services

ZSSK, Slovakia's national operator is running most of its schedule.

Ticket offices have been closed.

Night trains are running.

Here is that timetable in full.

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

Time for a video:

Refund policies

Standard refund policies apply.

Updated: 25th November. Outlook: stable

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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