Trains are great, but direct trains? Well, that’s a different kind of pleasure entirely. No changes, no faff. You get on the train and you get off again (and you’re exactly where you want to be). Brilliant stuff.
If you’ve ever wondered which cities in Europe have the most destinations reachable by direct train, you’re in luck. There’s now a handy tool which shows you just that. A site called Direkt Bahn lets users type in any station in Europe and then churns out both the number of destinations and the amount of time it takes to reach them.
So how does this all work? Well, Direkt Bahn uses publicly-available info from Deutsche Bahn, the German national rail provider. Notably, it doesn’t show all direct routes, but most of them. The tool admits that the further it gets away from Germany (i.e. Deutsche Bahn’s home turf), the less thorough its data is. Each destination is represented by a coloured dot and the green-to-red scale indicates journey times, with dark green taking less than an hour and dark red taking over eight hours.
Users also have to type in specific stations to get results. In other words, you can’t just type in ‘Paris’ and expect all departures from all stations to show up.
In any case, it’s a pretty useful tool. For example, here’s a map showing where you can get to from Paris’s Gare du Nord. From London to Düsseldorf, the French capital is directly linked with huge swathes of central and northern Europe.
Here’s another from Madrid’s Puerta de Atocha, showing how Madrileños can reach the likes of far-flung Cadiz, Santiago de Compostela and Marseille all on one train.
Interested in finding out more? You can play with Direkt Bahn for yourself here.
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