18 General Tips for Railway Travelers

There are several things that travelers must be aware of when traveling via railway system. It is imperative for one to be familiar with the dos and don’ts when booking tickets, preparation necessary prior to and when boarding the train, and the right season to travel.

Tips When Booking a Ticket
In most countries, traveling by train can be more convenient but extremely expensive. Thus, it is important for one to take note of several helpful information that could prevent further problems. Some of the important details include:

  • Booking in advance can render one a bigger chance of getting a seat on the preferred date of travel. However, these seat reservations can incur charges. In some cases, advance bookings can also render travelers discounts.
  • There are also instances that fares are calculated by market and not by the distance traveled.
  • There are also countries that offer passes allowing one use the passes to have several journeys within a region.
  • It is advisable to buy tickets before joining the train because there are times that tickets become more expensive on the travel dates.

Therefore, it is best for one to do some research before a particular trip. Conduct a research about the different stations traveling towards the destination.

Tips When Time or Season to Travel
Another important consideration when traveling is the proper timing and season. To avoid problems and hassles when traveling, one should consider the following tips:

  • Avoid business and rush hours. This is because traveling during rush hours may mean that one would stand on the way to his or her destination.
  • Railway services offered on Sundays and public holidays are often reduced or non-existent. Thus, it is important to check it with the railway system’s schedule.
  • Late evening and early morning services are often sparse and may not be entirely safe.

Zurich Railway Station. Photo credit: Metro Centric

Tips on the Day of Travel
The preparations never stop. Even on the day of the travel, there are still precautions that one must take into consideration. Some of the travel tips include the following:

  • Arrive at the station on time or better yet earlier than the scheduled departure. It is important for one to bear in mind that trains close doors about a minute before time of departure.
  • There are instances that trains stop for just about 30 seconds. Therefore, it is important to keep luggage to a minimum. Tuck maps, drinks, coats, and other loose pieces together to ensure a smooth boarding procedure.
  • Avoid running when approaching the train, and do not walk onto tracks.
  • Stay behind lines on platforms while waiting for the train to arrive and stop for boarding.
  • When carrying a backpack, face the platform edge so that the backpack won’t get caught by the moving train.
  • Train toilets vary from unhygienic ones to extremely modern and clean ones.
  • Tuck away luggage as much as possible. Keep it away from the ramp or passageway.
  • Keep an eye onto one’s luggage. If there is an individual compartment, then it would be better to keep it in and lock it there.
  • There are short water crossings wherein the whole train embarks onto a ferry boat. Passengers are allowed to leave the train and walk around the ferry boat but must get back into the train before they reach the port.
  • If the train is loaded, sit on a seat that is stable.
  • First class accommodation may incur extra charges. However, amenities are not that worth. Some of these amenities include a wider seat, a bigger compartment, free tea and or coffee. It is advisable to choose the regular accommodation over the first class one.

A travel by train can be more convenient than that via plane. However, a travel via the railway system entails a lot of preparation. Taking these tips and information into consideration will contribute to a fun-filled and smooth travel.