Here's a list of useful websites for intercity train travel in the European countries most visited by Americans.
Multi-country European train travel:
The most intuitive way to figure out train times for any European rail journey is to visit the website of the German rail line Deutsche Bahn, which has comprehensive listings for all major European train companies. But the website makes it difficult for Americans to purchase travel, so book your tickets at RailEurope, Railpass.com, or European Rail. These sites offer point-to-point tickets, rail passes, and student discounts.
For railpasses for travel within the Scandinavian countries of Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden, visit Railkey's website.
Eurostar offers fares and times for routes reaching London, Paris, Brussels, and other nearby destinations. But Eurostar's website doesn't offer reservations for overnight trains. Expect to make such reservations by phone instead. Another warning: Eurostar will not mail tickets to the U.S., but you can dodge this problem by booking your Eurostar tickets separately at Eurostar.com and then picking up your tickets at Waterloo station in London, says British rail expert Mark Smith. If your train will travel on through France, after stopping in Paris via the underground Chunnel, then opt to pick up your onward tickets at any major ticket office in France.
Country-by-Country Guide to European Rail Websites
Austria: ÖBB's website offers train times and fares in Austria.
Belgium: SNCB offers times and fares for Belgium, but not all fares for intra-European travel.
Britain: Americans can buy a BritRail pass for unlimited train travel on Britain's many private rail lines at BritRail's website. But BritRail passes are not the least expensive option for many simple itineraries. Check the prices of ordinary point-to-point tickets first by using National Rail. For travel in Northern Ireland, visit Northern Ireland Railways. For general advice on British rail travel, visit the website of British rail expert Mark Smith, Seat61.com.
Croatia: HZ's website offers times and fares for Croatia.
Czech Republic: CD's website offers times and fares for Czech trains.
Denmark: DSB's website offers times and fares for rail in Denmark.
Estonia: Edelaraudtee, a privately-run rail line, offers times and fares for rail in Estonia.
Finland: For rail within Finland, check with VR for times and fares.
France: Eurostar is the best source for U.S. travelers to make purchases for French rail travel before arriving in France. For details on new France's high-speed, low-cost "iDTGV" trains, visit RailEurope's special website page on the topic by clicking here.
Germany: Deutsche Bahn offers train times and fares in Germany.
Greece: OSE has fares and times for Greece.
Hungary: MAV's website offers times and fares for travel within Hungary.
Ireland: IrishRail offers train times and fares in the Republic of Ireland.
Italy: Trenitalia offers train times and fares in Italy. Note, some of the intercity trains it offers are called Eurostar, which are different from the Eurostar trains that cross between London and Paris.
The Netherlands: NS offers train times and fares in the Netherlands.
Poland: PKP offers times and fares for select trains within and from Poland.
Portugal: CP offers train fares and times within Portugal.
Spain: RENFE offers train times and fares within Spain.
Sweden: SJ doesn't accept U.S. credit cards for purchases, so search for times and fares at the online travel agency Swedenbooking.