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Rail Travel

Transportation by train in Eastern Europe is easy and efficient.  Whether you are in large cities like Budapest, Hungary, Bratislava, Slovakia, Vienna, Austria, or Prague, Czech Republic the rail system is one of the best modes of transportation.  Even the small villages and towns in the region have excellent train service.  The subways as well and local city trolleys are clean, on-time, and very inexpensive to ride.  There is a lot of conversion going on in the cities, towns and villages to update the trains and trolleys to high speed air conditioned cars.  This will certainly improve the system but it none the less will lose a bit of the charm of the older rail cars.  Europeans truly understand the value of a good rail system for not only moving people but freight as well.  In Hungary the state railway was established in 1868 with the first station started in Pest and named the Jozsefvarosi Railway Station. Budapest has several daily trains connect the city with Bratislava, Vienna, and Prague with connections to Eastern Slovakia, Poland, and the Ukraine.  Bratislava, Vienna, and Prague do as well.  We used the subway system in Budapest as well as Prague and took a train to Karlstejn from Prague.  Trains give you the opportunity to sit back, in comfort, and have a panoramic view of the magnificent countryside.  Train maps and guides are easy to navigate although we had some difficulty in the main Prague station due to the signs as well as announcements being made in the Czech language.  Numbers are numbers wherever you go and knowing the track and platform designation was our salvation.  The locals use train transportation to get everywhere within the cities and outskirts.  It helps to cut down on the vehicular traffic and difficulty finding a place to park a car.  Most of the trains are electric with introduction of diesel locomotives for the long distance trains.  When you are in Europe take advantage of the train system, it’s a great way to get around.