With the new year comes resolutions and, along with giving up some of the bad stuff, comes an opportunity to do more of the good things in life. Not surprisingly, at Rail Europe we believe that train travel is a force for good, be it for the planet or for our health. Train travel emits a lot less CO2 of course, but it also helps us slow down and power down, while embracing the journey as part of a travel adventure.
We asked some of our team members what their rail resolutions are for this coming year. Where would they most love to travel to by train and why? Let’s hope they make them happen that their choice of dream journeys encourages you to take a look at the map and make a few rail resolutions of your own.
Stephanie Brandhuber, Copywriter, London
Two films my sister and I loved to watch when we were growing up were ‘It Started in Naples’ and ‘Roman Holiday’. As such, we have always had a fascination for Italy. Visiting Rome, Venice, Florence, and the Cinque Terre on separate occasions together cemented our love of this beautiful country but there is still so much of Italy both of us long to see. This is the year I would love to explore Italy from top to toe with my sister, taking the train from Venice all the way down to Sicily.
Zia Syed, Supervisor, Customer Care Centre, USA
I’ve visited Europe so many times, but this year is very special; my son will be graduating from high school. I planned to take my family to Europe from our home in the US this summer, and it will be our first family trip to Europe. Our 8-days trip will be on high-speed trains. Our journey will start from London–Brussels–Amsterdam–Paris, and finish in Barcelona. Seems like a short trip, but we’ll cover most of the popular places in Europe. We are so excited and counting the days…
Sylvain Jouis, Project Manager, Paris
My 4-year-old daughter definitely enjoyed our train trip from Paris to Liguria last summer. This year I would like to get back on tracks to bring her to Italy again for another route : starting with the sleeper to Venice, before going down to Bari…unless we travel east instead of south, along the Adriatic to enjoy a bit of the Balkans! Below is a photo of my daughter enjoying a stop at Levanto station. The smile shows just how much she enjoyed this trip.
Melissa Grandt, Marketing USA
Not really a resolution, more a bucket list item but I would love to take the scenic route between Oslo and Bergen in Norway. Unfortunately, my husband isn’t fond of flying, so I only get to Europe on business. But maybe one day in the future, I’ll get this trip done. This photo below is at Edinburgh Castle, in 2014, my last trip to Europe.
Benjamin Alexander, Software developer, UK
In the summer I hope to show some of the delights of the West Highland Line between Glasgow, Mallaig or Oban, in Scotland, to my three children, over a decade after my wife and I went on it as part of our honeymoon. I want to nurture a love of train travel in my one-year-old, just as I’ve done with my two older children. We also have many international rail plans for when they are a bit older.
Andrew Sandler, Supervisor, Customer Care Centre, USA
My husband and I try to travel to Europe every year. Last year it was for our honeymoon. Next year we hope to be travelling to his ancestral Italian region, Bari. Of course, we could not be in Bari without also sampling the delights of the Dalmatian coast. Then we will circle through Slovenia, and make our way back to Italy. We will finish with a visit to fabled Verona, where a certain Shakespearean tragedy took place…this is a picture of me on a train from London-Bath on the aforementioned honeymoon.
Eric Kersten, Rail Assistance Desk , Customer Care Centre, USA
My dream rail trip would certainly include the Christmas holiday season. My bucket list includes a visit to the Christkindlmarkt in Nuremberg before the holiday as well as spending wonderful time with family in Germany, and then cross to England by Deutsche Bahn and Eurostar to Kings College Chapel in Cambridge, England for the Christmas Eve 9 Lessons and Carols. Another fun combination would be to visit the Santa Village near Rovaniemi in Finland, and then by VR Finland rail operator and RZD (Russian Railways) to enjoy New Year’s Eve with the in-laws in Russia.
Loring Allen, Director, North America Marketing
Ideally I’d like to enjoy one of the Great Train Journey trains. Hard to choose so if anyone wants to gift me the experience, I’m happy wherever. If limited to Europe then one day I hope to take the Santa Express. It sounds magical – both the overnight train experience and the destination. I’m a Christmas lover.
Catherine Mack, Editor-in-chief, London
My sons turn 18 and 21 this year, and I hope that the three of us are going to travel around Spain in the summer by train to celebrate this. Travelling from Barcelona to Cadiz the slow way, not on the high-speed routes, which are pretty amazing is just one of the routes I would like to take. Travelling the slow way will allow us to take in many of the smaller towns en route by hopping on and off. We have always loved travelling together by train, as we can actually hang out and chat, and I don’t feel the pressure of being behind the wheel. This photo below was of my younger son, when he was 11, on a train in the Netherlands.
Elodie Chaventre, Product, France
With my family, we are going to – more and more – travel with low CO2 impact. We are big fans of cycling. The plan for next summer is to leave home with our bikes, carriage, bicycle bags & children, and to cycle for a whole week along France’s Atlantic coast, and then come back to Nantes by train.
Elodie Merlin, UX Designer/Researcher, Paris
Next year my best friend whom I’ve known for 30 years now, turns 40. She has a summer birthday so what better way to enjoy the landscape in France! We will enjoy the train that allows us to discover the countryside and make stops in charming areas. We will take time to tell each other our stories in life as we don’t see each other very often. I can’t wait to be there with her.
Kaitlin McDowell, Inside Sales Specialist, Australia & New Zealand
I did the Golden Pass this year and fell in love with the amazing scenery in Switzerland. My rail resolution for this year is to complete the Grand Train Tour of Switzerland and experience the Glacier Express, Bernina Express and Gotthard Panorama Express.
Daria Kaminskaya, Travel Geek, London
Even though I’m helping Rail Europe UK customers travel on Eurostar trains 5 days a week, I’ve never been on a Eurostar myself (don’t worry, I’ve done my homework). I’ve also never been to Paris, so my Rail Resolution is: I want to go to Paris from London on a Eurostar train this year! This will be great for both my professional and personal development. I’d also like to take some European sleeper trains, for example, a Thello sleeper from France to Italy. Sleeping like the way I am in this photo, in the past, is not always comfy!
David A Ingram, Supervisor, Customer Care Centre, USA
My wife Lauren and I are lucky enough to be able to travel to Europe every year. The picture below was taken at Copenhagen main station in March as we were getting ready to board an SJ X2000 to Stockholm. In March this year we’re headed first to Paris, then by TGV to Luxembourg City, followed by several cities in Belgium (all by regional train of course) and then Amsterdam via Eurostar!
Tomáš Strachota, Software engineer, Rail Europe UK
My New Year’s rail resolution needs to be told through a story: My first long-distance train trip ever, just about a dozen years ago, happened to be to the East – I went to Ukraine and simply put: I loved it! I thought it would be a cool idea to repeat this trip at some point. As a matter of coincidence, my friends invited me to a New Year’s hiking trip in the Carpathian Mountains so my resolution is already in progress as I am starting off this year by repeating the same journey again.
Makis Otman, Software Engineer, Rail Europe UK
My Rail Resolution for this year will be to get to Cyprus without flying. This means taking trains from London all the way to Bari and then catching 2 ferries (Italy-Greece, Greece-Cyprus). This is heavily motivated by the environment situation and me trying to reduce my carbon footprint whilst still visiting my family. A flight to Cyprus from London is probably one of the longest within Europe. Starting from March 2020 I believe, the ferry service between Greece and Cyprus will restart (last ran in 2001 or so) which I’m keen to try. Another trip I want to do with my wife is to visit Berlin by train, which should be a lot more straightforward than Cyprus.
Photo credits top to bottom: Featured image of woman on platform iStock ©MStudioImages, Euroduplex ©SNCF, Sisters among the flowers ©Stephanie Brandhuber, Guell Park, Barcelona iStock ©Gatsi, Girl at Levanto station ©Sylvain Jouis, Train to Bergen iStock ©stockstudioX, Glenfinnan Viaduct on West Highland Line iStock ©matt6t6, Nuremberg Christmas market iStock ©Copyright: Cowin, Andrew. Photo courtesy of: Deutsche Zentrale für Tourismus e.V., Boy asleep on train ©CatherineMack, Bikes on Atlantic coast, France iStock ©wakila, Bernina Express ©Rail Europe, Woman asleep on train ©Daria Kaminskaya, Couple at Copenhagen station ©David A Ingram, Man looking out of train window ©Tomáš Strachota, Polignano a Mare near Bari, Italy iStock ©graemenicholson