Autumn 2021. In theory we could travel to other continents, but destinations we had in mind such as Japan or the United Kingdom were impossible to plan ahead. Instead we organised a rail trip to Eastern Europe, travelling to Berlin, Gdańsk, Wrocław, Karlovy Vary, Pilsen, Bratislava, Poprad, Vienna, Linz and Salzburg. By travelling to Germany, Poland, Czechia, Slovakia and Austria, we explore an area which was in the (not too distant) past bonded together by the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation and by Austria-Hungary.
Railjet, branded as Railjet Express (RJX) for the fastest services and as Railjet (RJ) for services with additional stops, is a high-speed rail service in Europe operated by ÖBB) and České dráhy (ČD).
It was introduced with the timetable change of 2008–2009 and operates at speeds of up to 230 km/h (143 mph). 230 km/h is the maximum speed for a loco-hauled train.
Railjet is ÖBB’s premier service and operates both domestically within Austria and on international services to adjacent major cities in the Czech Republic, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Hungary and Slovakia.
Rather than choosing electric multiple units (EMUs) such as ICE 3, ÖBB opted for locomotive-hauled push-pull high-speed trains, which could be hauled by its existing fleet of Taurus high-speed Siemens EuroSprinter electric locomotives.
A Railjet Siemens Viaggio Comfort train set consists of seven individual coaches that are permanently coupled with airtight interconnections, but with buffer and hook couplings on the outer ends of the set of coaches suitable for buffer and chain screw coupling.
Two complete train sets with two locomotives can be run as a pair giving a train of fourteen carriages.
The coach furthest from the locomotive acts as a control car. The number of carriages per train can be extended up to ten in a single train unit.
We sat just over an hour in the RailJet. I took the time to have a look at the restaurant car and first class. RailJet has three classes: economy, first and business. Each class has also quiet zones.
In economy, we sat in a bay of four, with extendable table(t)s. Economy has mostly a 2 by 2 configuration.
The restaurant car has a kitchen and a few bays to sit down for breakfast, lunch or dinner. The crew has its own toilet.
I also had a peek at first class.
The economy seats were comfortable, but we’re not too sure for longer rides. Remains to be tested.
2021 Rail Tour of Imperial Europe
- POTSDAM 2021 | Schloss Sanssouci.
- 1945 Potsdam Conference’s Cecilienhof Palace.
- Potsdam 2021.
- REVIEW | InterContinental Berlin.
- BERLIN 2021 | Pergamon, ‘Das Panorama’.
- BERLIN 2021 | Humboldt Forum in the Berlin Palace.
- BERLIN 2021 | The Bundestag in the Reichstag.
- Berlin 2021.
- By train from Berlin to Gdansk via Szczecin.
- Stopover in Szczecin.
- REVIEW | Restauracja Ritz in Gdańsk.
- REVIEW | Holiday Inn Gdansk.
- GDAŃSK | Museum of the Second World War.
- GDAŃSK | European Solidarity Centre or Europejskie Centrum Solidarności.
- A walk through Gdańsk.
- Gdańsk 2021.
- POLAND | PKP Intercity Gdansk to Wroclaw via Warsaw.
- Wrocław Museum of Architecture.
- The Dwarfs of Wrocław.
- Poland 2021.
- By train from Wroclaw to Karlovy Vary.
- Karlovy Vary.
- REVIEW | Hotel Imperial Karlovy Vary.
- Czechia’s Great Spa Town of Europe Františkovy Lázně.
- CZECHIA | Pilsen Historical Underground Tunnels.
- CZECHIA | Pilsner Urquell Brewery Tour.
- CZECHIA | Pilsen.
- CZECHIA 2021 | Cheb and its castle.
- Hotel room for one.
- By train from Karlovy Vary to Prague via Pilsen.
- Czechia 2021.
- RegioJet from Prague to Bratislava.
- Bratislava Castle.
- REVIEW | Crowne Plaza Bratislava.
- Bratislava on a rainy Monday.
- ZSSK Fast Train Tatran from Bratislava to Strba.
- The Tatra rack and electric Railway from Strba via Strbske Pleso to Poprad tatry.
- SLOVAKIA | AquaCity Poprad.
- REVIEW | Hotel Seasons AquaCity Poprad.
- Slovakia 2021.
- Poprad – Bratislava – Vienna with ZSSK’s intercity train.
- VIENNA | Restaurant Steirereck.
- REVIEW | InterContinental Wien.
- VIENNA | Luxury Sisi’s in Schönbrunn Palace.
- The Hofburg in Vienna.
- Vienna’s Furniture Museum.
- Vienna 2021.
- Pöstlingberg & Grottenbahn in Linz.
- REVIEW | Motel One Linz.