Taking your car on a train in Europe
Sometimes taking your own car is the best option for travelling in Europe. It's possible to cut out large sections of driving by taking your car on one of the motorail services that operate in Europe.
This is just a brief guide to the services available with links to the rail operators. In a nutshell you can get basically get from Northern France and Germany right down to Southern France and North Italy. You can also get into Austria, ideal if you're continuing on into Eastern Europe.
Discontinued servicesFrench Motorail hasn't been operating from Calais since 2010, they used to run services from Calais to the south of France. The French Railways own service known as Auto Train is still operating services from Paris to destinations in southern France. More recently in April 2015 the Dutch Auto Slaap Trein stopped running services from The Netherlands to Italy.
The remaining services still running from 2016 onwards are detailed below.
French Railways Auto Train
Auto-Train is operated by the French Railways and runs services all year round from Paris down to Nice, Narbonne, Brive, Bordeaux, Toulouse, Biaritz, Avignon and Briancon.
Unlike most other motor rail services Auto-Train carries cars and passengers separately. The car will generally go first and you'll follow it on a passenger train a day later and collect it from the motorail terminal.
Costs follow a similar pattern to passenger trains in that early bookings are often a lot cheaper. As a general guide expect to pay something like £200 each way to get the car from Paris to Nice, your passenger tickets are unfortunately extra!
To book tickets for your car visit the French Rail website SNCF here: www.voyages-sncf.com
You can board the German Motorail service in the following cities:
In Germany: Berlin, Dusseldorf, Hamburg, Hildesheim, Lörrach, München-Ost, Neu-Isenburg.
In France: Avignon, Narbonne
In Italy: Alessandria, Bozen, Verona, Trieste
In Austria: Salzburg, Schwarzach, Villach, Vienna, Innsbruck
Connections on German Motorail
The following list shows where you can get to from each Motorail station.
Alessandria (Dusseldorf, Hamburg, Hildesheim, Neu-Isenburg)
Avignon (Berlin, Hamburg, Hildesheim)
Berlin (Avignon, Bozen, Innsbruck, Munich, Narbonne, Schwarzach St Viet, Trieste, Verona, Villach)
Bozen (Berlin, Dusseldorf, Hamburg, Hildesheim)
Dusseldorf (Alessandria, Bozen, Innsbruck, Munich, Narbonne, Schwarzach St Viet, Trieste, Verona, Villach)
Hamburg (Alessandria, Avignon, Bozen, Innsbruck, Lorrach, Munich, Narbonne, Schwarzach St Viet, Trieste, Verona, Villach)
Hildesheim (Alessandria, Avignon, Bozen, Innsbruck, Lorrach, Munich, Narbonne, Villach)
Innsbruck (Berlin, Dusseldorf, Hamburg, Hildesheim)
Lorrach (Hamburg, Hildesheim)
Munich (Berlin, Dusseldorf, Hamburg, Hildesheim)
Narbonne (Berlin, Dusseldorf, Hamburg, Hildesheim, Neu-Isenburg)
Neu-Isenburg (Alessandria, Narbonne, Trieste, Villach)
Schwarzach St Viet (Berlin, Hamburg, Dusseldorf)
Trieste (Berlin, Hamburg, Dusseldorf, Neu-Isenburg)
Verona (Berlin, Hamburg, Dusseldorf)
Villach (Berlin, Hamburg, Dusseldorf, Hildesheim, Neu-Isenburg)
For more information about German Motorail and to make a booking follow this link www.dbautozug.de