A Geoff's Travel Club tour
Geoff has offered a number of tours to Europe, but they have nearly all visited one country. Following requests from Geoff's
Travel Club members, this tour has been created to satisfy the interests of club members who would like to re-visit some of
the past highlights as well as dig deeper into the fascinating destinations and train rides that Europe offers. We will
start in Germany, travel through the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary before ending in Austria. If that is not enough,
you can join us for Steam in Poland before the main tour starts.
See some amazing sights, have a train-load of fun, meet old friends and make some new ones - All aboard!
Steam in Poland pre-tour
We have received a request to include the steam railways in Poland, naturally we are delighted to oblige! Including this as part of the main tour
would make the tour rather lengthy, as well as include action that will appeal to rail-fans more than those interested in a balanced railway and
tourism experience. Poland will be offered as a pre-tour option, starting in Berlin on 11 June and ending on 15 June with a transfer by rail back
to Hamburg and the main tour.
Geoff will host the Poland trip with a Tanago manager, Sheelagh will deal with the Hamburg meet and greet just in case the Poland group is
11 June 2020
The Poland pre-tour option will start in Berlin today. Meet at the Berlin Hbf around lunch time for a first class train journey by the
Eurocity to Zbaszynek in Poland. Continue by steam train or bus to Wolsztyn (depending on availability of a suitable train). The Wolsztyn shed
hosts 3 operational steam locomotives (2x class Ol49 and Pt47-65) from which at least 1 is used to haul the regular passenger services out of
Wolsztyn. The schedule for these trains will be published by late April/early May. Your four star hotel tonight will be at Zbaszyn.
12 June 2020
Depending on the train timings, the regular steam service may depart already pretty early this morning. If you like to sleep a bit longer,
the tour bus will pick you up later and motor you to the Wolsztyn steam shed this morning. If the Poznan bound passenger train will be steam-
rostered in June 2020, we will ride into town by Ol49 or Pt47. If not, we transfer to Poznan by road. This afternoon will include sightseeing by
historic bus and tram. Overnight in Poznan.
13 June 2020
Visit the narrow gauge steam railway at Znin, home of a delightful narrow gauge railway. The railway was built in 1893-1894, connecting
Żnin, Wenecja, Biskupin and Rogowo on 600 mm gauge. It was originally built to transport sugar beet, beetroot and other crops, as
well as to connect the remote villages with Znin where people could transfer to the state railways´ standard gauge trains. Today it
functions as a tourist attraction with a daily service to Gasawa, the current terminus of the line. You will ride the regular steam hauled
excursion train to Gasawa, and stop at Wenecja on the return journey to visit the very interesting railway museum there which houses a fine
collection of around twenty steam locomotives and numerous other railway related exhibits. From Wenecja you will return to Poznan by bus.
Overnight in Poznan.
14 June 2020
Visit the Sroda narrow gauge railway with a trip on the regular steam hauled excursion train. The Sredzka Kolej Powiatowa (Sroda District
Railway) was founded in 1902, initially it consisted of a combined standard gauge and metre gauge system but in the 1950s the whole system
was converted to 750 mm gauge. The decline of freight and passenger traffic led to the closure of all regular service in the late 1990s. It
is now a well preserved tourist railway with a lot of rural charm and still a bit of a back-dated environment. You will ride the steam hauled tourist
train from Sroda to the terminus at Zaniemysl and back. Overnight in Poznan.
15 June 2020
Return by Eurocity train (first class) to Berlin and by ICE to Hamburg.
Europe 2020 Tour
The main Europe 2020 tour will start in Hamburg on 15 June, offering a seamless connection with the Poland option. If you would like to arrive
early, your hotel booking in Hamburg can be extended.
Monday, 15 June 2020
Travel independently to Hamburg today and check in to the four star Europäischer Hof hotel opposite the main railway station (Hamburg Hbf). A
three-day public travel card is included with your hotel reservation.
Meet the group this evening with an included dinner at the hotel.
Overnight Hamburg. Dinner.
Tuesday, 16 June 2020:
After breakfast, we will hop on our very own red double decker bus for a 2 hour city tour. This will be followed by a 2 hour boat trip through the
Speicherstadt (the old commercial area dating back a few centuries), the harbour city and a short visit to the harbour itself. The boat trip will end
at the Miniatur Wunderland, possibly the most impressive miniature railway in the world and a must for any visit to Hamburg.
Dinner will be on a 2 hour luxurious boat cruise on the Elbe river.
Overnight Hamburg. Breakfast and a feature dinner included.
Wednesday, 17 June 2020
This morning, ride a train from Hamburg Hbf to Wernigerode. Transfer to the Travel Charme Gothisches Haus Hotel at Wernigerode with free
time for lunch and a rest before a walking tour of the attractive old town.
Dinner will be at the Altora restaurant where you overlook the steam shed and your beverages are served on a train.
Overnight Wernigerode. Breakfast and a feature dinner
Thursday, 18 June 2020
Ride a train from Wernigerode to Brocken in a carriage reserved for our group, an English-speaking guide will explain the scenery and history
of the area. Most trains on the metre gauge Brocken railway are steam operated, but this cannot be guaranteed.
After time for lunch on the mountain, return in our reserved carriage. For those interested, we can leave the train at Westerntor station for a
guided tour of the railway workshops. If you are interested in engineering and steam locomotives on the Harz Railway, you will enjoy this
experience. Alternatively, continue to Wernigerode station and your hotel.
Overnight Wernigerode. Breakfast and dinner included.
Friday, 19 June 2020
Travel this morning by train to Leipzig, where we will enjoy a 2 hour sightseeing tour by preserved tram.
The tram ride will end at Thomaskirche - the famous church where J.S. Bach worked and home of the Thomaner boy choir. We could visit the
church and then have lunch at Auerbachs Keller (meal not included) where famous German writer “Goethe” was a regular visitor. From there
we can walk to the main station or take the S-Bahn. There will be time at Leipzig station to visit the preserved steam and electric trains standing
on one of the platforms or a break for coffee before boarding our train to Dresden.
Transfer from Dresden station to the Dorint Hotel by tram, a public transport ticket for the duration of your stay is included. There will then be
free time to relax or explore the nearby park and museum before dinner at the “ Helene” tram restaurant in the main square.
Overnight Dresden. Breakfast and a feature dinner included.
Saturday, 20 June 2020
After an early breakfast, we will have some fun with a private charter train at the Parkeisenbahn in the nearby park. Included will be a visit to the
shed with the locomotives being prepared (steam or diesel, depending on availability). If your bed seems more attractive, you can join the
railfans when they return from the park in time to catch an old bus for a sightseeing tour of Dresden. The bus tour will be followed by a ride on
an aerial tramway with an included lunch at the viewpoint restaurant before returning to the hotel.
You have an option of a free afternoon, or a guided visit to the Frauenkirche church. Dinner is not included today, an opportunity to spoil your
Overnight Dresden. Breakfast and lunch.
Sunday, 21 June 2020
Travel by S-Bahn (suburban train) to Freital-Hainsberg, with time for a workshop visit or relaxation before joining a steam train to Kurort
Kipsdorf. We will have a reserved carriage, an English-speaking local guide and an opportunity to sample the local herb liqueur and a typical
local bread, the so called Speckfettbemme.
Later this morning, transfer by bus to Glashütte to visit the watch factory before continuing to Pirna, an old town, with time to explore and enjoy
lunch. This afternoon, ride one of the Elbe paddle steamers up the river to Bad Schandau. A train will take us back to Dresden.
Overnight Dresden. Breakfast, dinner
Monday, 22 June 2020
We leave Germany this morning as we travel by train to Prague in the Czech Republic. Our four-star hotel is opposite the station and a short
walk from the old town centre. There will be time to relax and have lunch before touring the city on a historic tram. Included is a stop at the
legendary Prague tram museum.
Overnight Prague. Falkensteiner Hotel Maria. Breakfast and dinner
While the baggage is normally taken between hotels separately from the group, we need to carry it with us on the train today.
Tuesday, 23 June 2020
Today is Czech train day! We will take a train ride Lužná u Rakovníka to visit the railway museum there, the original roundhouse is filled with an
impressive collection of Czech mainline locomotives. After an included lunch at the hotel opposite the station, enjoy a steam charter train and a
visit to the KHKD railway museum at Kněževes. We will then return to Prague by train.
Overnight Prague. Breakfast, lunch
Wednesday, 24 June 2020
Today is a free day in Prague. You will receive a “Prague Travel Card” that allows a free entry to 60 attractions of the city, including Prague
Castle, Jewish Museum, Synagogues, National Museum, National Gallery, Petřín Tower, Prague Zoo. Also included are a sightseeing bus tour
and a river cruise.
Overnight Prague. Breakfast, dinner
Thursday, 25 June 2020
This morning, we will visit one of the best narrow-gauge railways in the country at Mladejov. The industrial railway at Mladejov was built in 1924
to transport coal from Hřebeč to Mladejov na Morave. Regular traffic ended in 1991 when the coal company replaced the small steam
locomotives by more powerful diesel engines. Unfortunately, those were too heavy for the 600mm track and the entire 11 Km line was closed.
It is now a museum, one of the few that has not been modernised. The workshop and the small shed are a 1924 time warp.
After an included lunch we will continue by private railcar on the scenic standard gauge branch line to Skalice nad Svitavou, about 50 Km
distant. There we will meet the bus that has carried our luggage from Prague and motor to Bratislava, crossing the border into the Slovak
Overnight Bratislava. Our hotel will be the Crowne Plaza, very centrally located with just a few hundred meters from the historic old town.
Breakfast and lunch included.
Friday, 26 June 2020
Today we first motor to the small town of Nitra, about 90 Km east of Bratislava. Nitra was founded about 1.200 years ago and has a lot of
wonderful medieval buildings. For those who are interested in railways, we will continue to the former Soviet style agricultural combine
Agrokomplex, that has now been transformed into a fairground, including a steam operated railway. Our charter train will run around the vast
area of the former combine – far too big to be explored on foot!
We then continue to Trencin, about 60 Km north of Nitra, to visit the castle (the third-largest castle in Slovakia with extensive fortifications) and
the synagogue. After an included lunch we will visit the nearby narrow gauge electric overland tram from Trenčianska Teplá to Trenčianske
Teplice. The tram runs on Bosnian gauge (760mm) track over a 5 km section. Regular traffic ceased several years ago when a group of tram
enthusiast took over and repaired the line, enabling us to run a charter today.
Overnight Bratislava. Breakfast, lunch.
Saturday, 27 June 2020
Enjoy a day of sightseeing in Bratislava, including some historic tram rides and a visit to the well-known railway museum at Vychod.
Sunday, 28 June 2020
Time to visit our third country! Travel to Hungary to ride the narrow gauge railway at Széchenyi Múzeumvasút Nagycenk, followed by an included
lunch and a sightseeing tour to the old town of Sopron. This afternoon head back to Bratislava.
Overnight Bratislava. Breakfast and lunch.
Monday, 29 June 2020
This morning, we enter our fourth country as we head to Vienna. Board a Vienna tram (called a Bim after the sound the bell makes) for a trip
around the famous ring road, stopping off for coffee and cakes in a traditional Viennese coffee shop (refreshments extra). Later today, catch a
Railjet train to Salzburg and check-in to our hotel.
Overnight Salzburg. The Wyndham Grand and Salzburg Conference Centre. Breakfast and dinner.
Tuesday, 30 June 2020
This morning, take a bus to the SLB station for a short depot visit and a charter trip with one of the historic railcars to Ostermiething and
Oberndorf before heading back to Salzburg. This afternoon, join a tour of Salzburg with a local guide.
Overnight Salzburg. Breakfast and dinner.
Wednesday, 01 July 2020
This morning we will visit the railway museum (including a model railway layout) at the small town of Mondsee before motoring along the
shore of the “Mondsee” lake, one of the few privately owned larger lakes in Austria. The private owner wants to sell it and if you have 15 million
Pounds ready, it can be yours!
The area is full of traditional (and sometimes very popular) villages and small towns where we can stop at our convenience, with an included
lunch. Continue by bus to the next lake, the Attersee. The very scenic road along the shores of these lakes offer stunning vistas of the lakes and
the alpine mountains. From the northern end of the Attersee it is just a small hop to Ampflwang, home of a railway museum owned and
operated by the Austrian society of Railway History ÖGEG. They also run a steam excursion train and we hope to ride one of their regular tourist
trains to Timelkam. The museum itself is home of the standard gauge fleet of the ÖGEG with numerous locomotives, railcars, freight wagons
and passenger coaches. The area was dominated by the coal mining industry over several centuries and the museum tries to reflect the link
between the mining and the railway.
Overnight Salzburg. Breakfast and lunch.
Thursday, 02 July 2020
After breakfast we head east and travel by bus via lake Wolfgangsee, home of the rich and famous, and on to lake Traunsee. Here we board
the oldest operating steam ship in Austria, built in 1871 and named Gisela (eldest daughter of the Austrian Emperor Franz Joseph I) to sail
from Ebensee to Gmunden.
At Gmunden, an historic railcar on the private Stern + Hafferl railway will take us to Kirchham. Your included and very traditional Austrian lunch
will be at Gasthof Pöll before we return to Salzburg by bus for a Railjet train to Innsbruck.
Overnight Innsbruck. Hotel Central (four star), Breakfast and lunch.
The hotel is a five minute walk from the station, and a further five minutes to the middle of the old town.
Friday, 03 July 2020
After breakfast, join a guided walk with an English speaking local guide through the old town of Innsbruck. You will see the famous Golden
Dachl, the Cathedral and other important places in the old town. Sprawling beneath the Nordkette mountain ridge, Innsbruck is Austria's only
major urban centre within the high Alps. With a great diversity of culture, scenery and history, this compact city is a great destination to dwell for
a while as the city centre - a classic Austrian hybrid of the Gothic and Baroque - invites aimless strolling.
After lunch we will aboard a private chartered vintage tram for a spectacular trip up the Stubai valley to the small town of Fulpmes. A few photo
stops should be possible and as this is a working tramway we may have to wait as modern scheduled tram services. Our journey should take
about 90 minutes each way.
Overnight Innsbruck. Breakfast, dinner.
Saturday, 04 July 2020
Take a train to Jenbach this morning to travel on the rack (cog wheel) steam train to Achensee. The Achensee Steam Cog Railway makes its
way up to the Tyrol’s largest alpine lake, driven by Europe's oldest steam cog locomotives. The metre gauge railway is 4.2 miles long. Within
this length it rises some 1,444 ft in height, with the steeper sections using the Riggenbach rack system. On arrival, enjoy a scenic boat tour on
Lake Achensee with a break for lunch at Achenkirch.
Overnight Innsbruck. Breakfast, dinner.
Sunday, 05 July 2020
Your tour ends after breakfast today.
EC-trains travel to Munich airport every 2 hours via Munich Hbf, We can book this or offer advice on other onward travel options such as
Switzerland or Italy.
|Page updated on
17 September 2019