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Motorail PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Friday, 26 January 2007

Train Travel

If you are considering taking your car or motorbike you can use European Motorail trains.

Motorail trains aren't like normal trains just carrying passengers and luggage - they can carry cars and motorbikes. They have a limited timetable - usually summer only and specific routes. They don't carry caravans or camper vans but some routes are able to take 4x4 vehicles and people carriers.

The advantages of using Motorail is you can take significantly more luggage and of course bring back as much wine as you have space to pack.

France: Motorail trains start from Calais and travel to Avignon, Brive, Narbonne, St Raphael, Nice, Toulouse and some start in Paris and travel to Nice, Geneva, Avignon, Biarritz, Marseille, Tarbes, Narbonne, St Raphael, Toulon & Toulouse.

Motorail trains in France run in the summer months from May to September but not daily. Motorails generally run overnight with passengers sleeping on couchettes. There is a flat fee which covers the car plus occupancy of a couchette compartment no matter how many are in your party. A one way trip from Calais to Brive for a car and passenger starts at £305 one-way depending on the date of travel. For Calais to Nice, fares range from £390 to £545 one-way. Pets are not permitted. For times, fares and online booking see (select 'French Motorail') or call Rail Europe's Motorail line on 0870 2 415 415. Also try

Motorail trains to Italy:

France to Italy - There are NO motorail trains from Calais or Paris to anywhere in Italy.

Belgium to Italy visit - This is a new service which will start in the summer of 2007 - Fares and times are shown on or visit or call 01253 595555 for details.

Germany to Italy visit DB AutoZug website - Excellent Motorail trains are available from Düsseldorf to certain cities in Italy. Fares and times are shown on the website.

Netherlands to Italy visit - Weekly Motorail trains run in the summer months (June to September) from s'Hertogenbosch, a short drive from the ports of Hoek van Holland or Rotterdam, to Bologna in Italy. Couchettes or sleeping berths are available on overnight trains on Friday nights or northbound on Saturday nights. The website is only available in dutch at the moment.

Car-carrying trains inside Italy - there are many routes within Italy carrying cars including Bologna to Palermo and Bologna to Catania (Sicily) every day year round. Rome to Sicily, Bolzano to Bari is a weekly service and Turin to Bari is a weekly service, but providing a daily service in the summer. Visit to book or in the UK contact motorail experts (01253 595555).

Taking your car to Spain - Motorail trains do not run from Paris or Calais to Spain but the Calais to Narbonne motorail will save a lot of travel time to Spain.

Portsmouth-Bilbao visit or for Plymouth-Santander visit - There are direct car ferries to Spain, both the above have excellent ships to ensure a comfortable journey.

Car-carrying trains inside Spain - There are a number of Motorail trains within Spain. from Santander to Madrid, Bilbao to Alicante or Bilbao to Malaga. Visit and book at (01253 595555) or Renfe agents Car transport costs around 80-140 euros one-way depending on the length of the journey, excluding driver & passengers who pay regular fares.

Motorail to Germany, Austria, Switzerland - Motorail trains from Calais only travel inside France. You can however travel within Germany, Austria and Switzerland on Motorail. Check out (01253 595555) for details of routes, times and prices.

Taking your car to the Netherlands - There are only ferries to the Netherlands from the UK. Harwich-Hoek van Holland - sail from Harwich in Essex to Hoek van Holland near Rotterdam with both fast HSS craft and conventional ships.

Newcastle to Ijmuiden (Amsterdam) - visit and sail from North Shields (Newcastle) overnight to IJmuiden (the port of Amsterdam).

Hull to Rotterdam - visit P&O at and sail from Hull to Rotterdam.

Motorail trains to Croatia - A weekly overnight Motorail is supplied by German Railways from May to October from Dortmund and Frankfurt to Rijeka. Sleepers and couchettes available. Fares from around £440 one-way, £570 return for car+driver, including return ferry crossing from the UK. Car passengers from £41 one-way, £82 return. Contact (01253 595555) for information & booking.

Motorail trains to Greece & Turkey - visit - Optima Tours provide Motorail trains from Southern Austria to Bulgaria, Macedonia, Greece and Turkey from May to October. See for dates, times and booking information.

Taking your car to Scandinavia visit for car ferries from the UK to Norway, Sweden and Denmark.

Last Updated ( Monday, 21 May 2007 )
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