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

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Medicinal 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. However, stringent measures and travel restrictions apply, usually involving negative tests and quarantines

Open
  • The Netherlands
  • Denmark
  • France
  • Luxembourg
  • Austria (Salzburg, Passau and Simbach)
  • Belgium
  • Switzerland
  • Poland
Closed
  • Czechia
  • Austria (Kufstein, Mittenwald)

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.
  • All ECs from Munich to Italy via Tyrol cancelled
  • Nightjets to Austria cancelled from 7th February.


Corona trains

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

Local cross border services

Most local cross-border services are running.

Services from Munich to Tyrol are cancelled due to mutant coronavirus.

Domestic Services

  • Deutsche Bahn are currently running all their mainline trains. 
  • Local services are running normally.
  • The DB lounges have reopened but are not serving drinks or food.
  • 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 has cancelled its winter services.

Refund policies

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

Updated: 15th February 2021

Switzerland - coronavirus rail disruptions

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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.

  • 3 daily TGVs from Zürich/Basel and Geneva respectively to Paris
  • 2 daily TGVs Lausanne-Paris via Jura
  • Eurocitys to Italy are reduced. Most services terminating at the Swiss border. Simplon services end at Brig.
  • Railjets and Eurocitys to Austria are running
  • Nightjets to Germany are cancelled
  • Euronights to Czechia cancelled
  • Euronight to Budapest cancelled from 8th February 2021
  • Euronight to Zagreb and Belgrade appears to be running: I can't find anything saying it is cancelled


Local cross border services

France: The Léman express is running normally. Services between Neuchâtel, Portiers and Frasne are running twice a day

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.

As of 22nd December the restaurant cars are closed.

Click here for SBB's updates

Updated: 15th February 2021

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Austria - coronavirus rail disruptions

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In Austria, FFP2 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 (Salzburg, Simbach and Passau)
  • Switzerland
  • Czechia
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Italy
Closed
  • Hungary (open only to Hungarians)
  • Germany (Kufstein, Mittenwald)

International Services

International services are suffering.

  • Railjets to Venezia Santa Lucia terminate at Villach
  • Seasonal ski trains all cancelled
  • ECs from Italy via Tyrol to Munich all cancelled
  • Download and fill out this form to enter Italy
  • 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

Most local cross-border services to all border countries are running. That includes the Micotra service from Villach to Udine and Trieste.

There are no trains to Bavaria via Kufstein, MIttenwald or Griesen.

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 not recognising each others' tickets anymore, from 8th February, Westbahn expected to reduce its timetable.

Updated: 15th February

Poland - coronavirus rail disruptions

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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.

National Services

National services remain 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: 8th February 2021

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Czechia - coronavirus rail disruptions

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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 now it is having an appalling second wave. Services are severely impacted. No night trains at all.

International Services

International services are still running

  • Trains from Prague to Berlin are running (but for how long, still?)
  • Regiojet is going to Slovakia
  • Services to Austria reduced
  • Day services to Poland reduced
  • Services to Munich (Ex6 / ALEX) running between Munich and Plzen only.
  • Night trains to Slovakia are cancelled
  • Night trains to Hungary are suspended
  • RegioJet services to Slovakia are running
  • Day trains to Slovakia and Hungary are running as of 8th February 2021

National Services

České Dráhy: Domestic services are seriously impacted now.

Here is a map of all České Dráhy services from 8th February.

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: 8th February

Slovakia - coronavirus rail disruptions

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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

  • Day trains to Czechia and Hungary are running as of 8th February 2021
  • International services (ZSSK and RegioJet) to Czechia are reduced, but running.
  • Most services to Austria running
  • Ukraine is closed 
  • Night trains to Czechia cancelled
  • 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.

Domestic night trains are running.

Restaurant cars are closed. Trains that did have a restaurant car now have a minibar in coach number 2.

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: 8th February 2021

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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