Updated for 2024
We used to list the various motorail routes and trains on this page, since 2015 these services have gradually been removed by most of the operators across Europe. So rather than a country by country list of what's available to the European motorist we'll just list what's still available as of 2024, there's not much left but it's not all gone, yet.
Urlaubs Express (UEX) is a German company that specialises in private charter travel, they operate a range of long distance sleeper and motorail trains. Visit their website for timetables and booking forms Urlaubs-Express.
During the summer of 2024, Urlaubs-Express are reintroducing motorail connections to Innsbruck, Villach, Munich, Lörrach, Hamburg, and Düsseldorf. These trains can trim up to 1,000 km from your road journey and are worth looking at if these routes are part of your road trip across Europe.
The routes for 2024 are:
Hamburg – Munich – Hamburg
800km covered from North to South Germany on an overnight service.
Hamburg – Lörrach – Hamburg
From North Germany right to the border of Switzerland and France, ideal for onward trips into the south of France and Italy.
Hamburg – Innsbruck – Hamburg
North Germany into Austria, perfect for heading onward further south or east.
Hamburg – Villach – Hamburg
Villach is the perfect location for onward travel into Croatia and Eastern Europe... or Italy.
Düsseldorf – Innsbruck – Düsseldorf
Head into Austria from further south in Germany.
Düsseldorf – Villach – Düsseldorf
Head further south into Austria from Germany!
If you're arriving into Germany from France, Benelux or the UK Düsseldorf is the perfect place to put your car on the train for heading further south.
So whilst there's not a great deal of motorail services left in Europe those offered by Urlaubs-Express are still worth considering if you'd prefer to cut large parts of the driving out of your trip.
Other options when travelling by car
There are various ferry routes around Europe that can also cut hundreds of km out of your driving routes, they can take longer than driving but if you're in no rush they can be a nicer way to travel over longer distances.