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Passenger Rail > Southern Europe

Intercity train services and routes in Southern Europe

Trenitalia train en route betweeen Andora and Cervo, Italy

Passenger trains meet travel and tourism needs to rail destinations across Southern Europe. Photo: Trenitalia train en route betweeen Andora and Cervo, Italy. © David Gubler.

Albania

Tirana-based national carrier

Daily trips link Tirana with Shkodra, Fier, Ballsh, Vlora and Pogradec. International service is currently unavailable. As of fall 2011, the website is offline.

Andorra

Connections with SNCF

Andorra has no railways. Bus shuttles link Andorra la Vella with rail stations in L'Hospitalet prs l'Andorre and Latour-de-Carol in France.

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Sarajevo

Service linking Sarajevo with Mostar continues to the Croatian port city of Ploce.

Croatia

Zagreb

HZ's efficient rail network relies on putnicki locals and faster, pricier IC Intercity trains to connect Croatian villages and towns including capital city Zagreb and Adriatic Coastal towns from Split to Rijeka. Cross-border train services link to Ljubljana, Vienna, Budapest, Sarajevo and points in Italy and Germany.

Greece

Athens-based national carrier

Two national lines include the southern narrow-gauge line that links Ptra with the Peloponnese Peninsula and a modern IC InterCity line that stretches north from Thessaloniki, Greece's second city, International services, formerly to Macedonia, Hungary, Bulgaria and Turkey, have been suspended.

Italy

Rome-based national carrier

Some 10,000-mi (16,000-km) of passenger rail lines criss-cross Italy's bustling north and extend to the tip of the peninsula and beyond. High-speed services include the ES Eurostar Italia intercity network plus international TGV service to Lyon and Paris and trains across the Swiss Alps and onto Stuttgart, Germany.

Trenitalia maintains a speedy domestic network of modern IC InterCity express trains and supports a number of EC EuroCity and EuroNght cross-border services to destinations like Paris, Nice, Vienna, Hamburg and Barcelona.

DIR Diretto, IR Interregionale and REG Regionale trains providing semi-express and local services trundle along less traveled routes and pursue less frequented destinations. Sardinia and Sicily are each served by local passenger services. Both are accessible by ferry from Genoa, Napoli and other ports; a rail barge out of Villa San Giovanni facilitates seamless train travel to Sicily.

Selected destinations: Milano, Padova, Venezia, Bologna, Fierenze (Florence), Roma and Napoli.Service notes: wheelchair access (selected trains/major stations), bicycle transport (all domestic and most international trains), reservations required for high-speed.

Milan-based Regional Service

Supplementing FS trains in Italy's affluent north, the railway operates Malpensa Express airport link and affiliated bus and air connections.

Macedonia

Skopje

MZ passenger trains operate from Skopje to Kumanovo, Tetovo, Shtip, Veles, Gevgelija, Prilep and Bitola. An international mainline bisects the country linking Serbia's capital, Belgrade with the Grecian port of Salonika.

Montenegro

Sarajevo

Service connects the Adriatic port of Bar with the capital city of Podgorica and the Serbian capital of Belgrade -- the system's only international link.

Portugal

Lisbon-based national service

Speedy Rápidos link capital Lisbon with Coimbra, Porto and Alentejo and the Algarve. Sintro and Cascais on the Costa del Sol are popular Regional destinations. International trains include Porto-Spain; Lisbon-Paris; and Lusitánia Hotel Trains to Madrid.

Serbia

Belgrade-based national carrier

Domestic services connect Subotica, Novi Sad, Belgrade and Nis. International trains link with Athens, Bar, Bucharest, Budapest, Istanbul, Ljubljana, Munich, Skopje, Sofia, Thessaloniki, Vienna, and Zagreb.

Slovenia

Ljublja-based national carrier

Ljubljana is at the crossroads of two major European corridors. InterCity Slovenia (ICS) trains connect Koper, Pivka and Maribor. International EuroCity service extends to Venice-Trieste, Budapest-Kiev, Salzburg, and Zagreb-Belgrade-Thessalonica.

Spain

Madrid-based national carrier

AVE (Alta Velocidad Español) and other high-speed trains race travelers from Madrid to Cordoba, Seville and balmy Costa del Sol... and along the coast between Barcelona and Alicante. Other long-distance destinations include Bilbao, Granada and Valencia. Regionales cover shorter distances; International services to Lisbon, Paris, Zurich and Milan include RENFE's renowned Hotel Trains.

Bilbao-based regional service

Operated by the Basque Autonomous Government since 1982; six lines serve Bilbao and other regional destinations.

This independent mainline carrier supplements Barecelona's RENFE service with trains to Sant Cugat del Valles, Terrassa and Sabadell. The company also runs four funicular railway lines and a "rack" railroad.

Turkey

Ankara

Trains connect Ankara, Istanbul, Yzmir and intermediate points. International routes stretch into Bulgaria, Greece, Syria and Iran.

Vatican City

See FS Trenitalia Italian State Railway above

FS Trenitalia trains connect Saint Peter's station with the European network.

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