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London to Vienna in the 1980s

London to Vienna in the 1980s

Old Aug 6, 17, 6:46 am
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London to Vienna in the 1980s

Could somebody please help the following historical question?

In the 1980s, if I wanted to travel from London to Vienna by train which route would I take (I guess there was no direct service)? How long was the journey?

Thanks.
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Old Aug 6, 17, 7:19 am
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Just a guess, but the Orient Express?

https://www.seat61.com/OrientExpress.htm

1980s: In the 80s, a faster and better-timed train ran between Paris & Vienna during the summer months ('the Paris-Vienna rapide'), in addition to the Orient Express. The Orient Express's Paris-Vienna seat cars, couchette cars & sleeping-car were transferred to this train when it ran. The Paris-Vienna rapide left Paris earlier than the Orient Express, around 17:15 whereas the Orient Express left the Gare de l'Est at 23:15, and it arrived in Vienna the next morning, as opposed to mid-afternoon. On the days of the week when the Paris-Vienna sleeping-car was extended to Bucharest, it would have a long layover at Vienna waiting to be attached to the Orient Express for its onward journey to Romania.
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Old Aug 7, 17, 3:46 am
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You would probably have gone from Charing Cross to Folkestone Harbour and taken the ferry to Calais then the Orient Express route

It might be better to ask on railforums.co.uk as lots of posters there may have actually done such travel in the 1980s
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Old Aug 7, 17, 10:00 am
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Was the Wien Express from Hoek van Holland still running at that point? That could have been another route (via Harwich).
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Old Aug 8, 17, 1:51 am
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Not totally off topic but for those trainheads amongst us, there is an ongoing discussion on Rail UK Forums about the best current way to travel Manchester-Vienna by train.
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Old Aug 8, 17, 2:30 am
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It means nothing to me...
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Old Aug 21, 17, 1:16 pm
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Lots of thanks everyone! I am trying to recreate a trip taken by a family member - definitely it was not the Orient Express.

I will seek help on the UK rail forum.

Thanks!
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Old Aug 21, 17, 1:25 pm
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IIRC there were 2 routes - via Hoek van Holland or Ostende. But I hhink another change of trains was required - in MUC?
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Old Aug 21, 17, 5:55 pm
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The June, 1985, Thomas Cook Continental Timetable shows the following possibilities:

Victoria dep. 8:15 to Dover, ferry to Oostende, Saphir to Cologne, change to sleeper/couchette/seats car on Holland-Wien Express, arriving at 8:00

Victoria dep. 9:15 to Dover, ferry to Oostende, change to sleeper/couchette/seats car to Vienna on the Ostende-Wien Express, arriving at 9:40

There are other, less convenient, connections (via Calais or Harwich/Hook of Holland or by changing trains in the middle of the night) but these are the best ones.

Last edited by Track; Aug 21, 17 at 6:12 pm
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Old Aug 23, 17, 4:14 pm
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I did this route several times in the 1980s, in both directions, in 1985, 1987 and 1990. It always went via Oostende and there might have been a change in Cologne, I really can't remember. But it went up the Rhine Valley. There is new track into Würzburg now, but back then it went the old twisty way, so that you felt the train was going to tip over each time it went around a bend. I remember having breakfast in 2nd class on the way down the Rhine gorge coming back. It was a tiring overnight trip both ways.
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