Rhine-Alpine News

International rail passenger services:
What is operating along the corridor?

Covid-19 has severely affected international travel. This newsletter gives an overview of the current international long distance rail passenger services along the Rhine-Alpine corridor, as displayed in the online information services of the main railway carriers. However, the situation is continually changing. All information was retrieved on 20 April, using the example of Wednesday 22 April. 

This list is meant to give an overview of the general situation. It is not a recommendation for travel and cannot take into account the various legal travel restrictions that are in place along the corridor. 

Symbolic photo (Martin Brandt): Schedules change at short notice

Antwerpen – Rotterdam

The line has an hourly through service, plus one pair of trains continuing to and from Paris (Thalys).

Amsterdam – Utrecht – Arnhem – Ruhr Area / Cologne – Frankfurt

Three through pairs of ICE trains run between Amsterdam and Frankfurt. One additional pair runs between Amsterdam and Basel Bad Bf. Additional connections include regional trains between Arnhem and Duisburg, at least hourly.

Brussels – Liège – Aachen – Cologne – Ruhr Area / Frankfurt

One pair of ICE trains runs between Brussels and Frankfurt. One additional pair runs between Brussels and Cologne. Thalys service is currently not available on this route. Additional hourly connections include regional trains between Welkenraedt and Aachen as well as between Aachen and Cologne.

Paris – Strasbourg – Mannheim / Stuttgart

Cross-border ICE resp. TGV services are canceled. Regional trains operate at irregular intervals (30 min to 3 hrs), allowing for a number of connections in Strasbourg and with the German long distance network at Offenburg.

Freiburg – Basel Bad Bf / Basel SBB

While most long distance services within Germany and Switzerland operate, German trains only run to and from Basel Bad Bf, and Swiss trains run to and from Basel SBB. Regional trains regularly connect the two stations, but they add to travel times.

Strasbourg – Mulhouse – Basel SBB

No through passenger services between Strasbourg and Basel. Regular regional service between Mulhouse and Basel SBB exists, running up to several times per hour and connecting with national long distance services.

Stuttgart – Schaffhausen – Zürich

No passenger rail services between Singen and Schaffhausen. Connecting local bus services exist (bus change necessary en route, then regional train Schaffhausen – Zürich). For the time being, the line appears not suitable for long distance travel.

Bern – Brig – Domodossola – Milano („Lötschberg route”)

No through passenger services. Some peak hour trains operate between Brig and Domodossola, connecting with national Swiss resp. Italian services.

Zürich – Lugano – Chiasso – Como – Milano (“Gotthard route”)

No passenger services between Switzerland and Italy. Local services end at Chiasso resp. Como San Giovanni stations, which are nearest to the border.

Other services

Besides these routes, various regional cross-border rail services are active, but they are not part of any significant long distance routes along the corridor. Freight services are operating along the corridor.


Photo (Lars Steffens / Thalys): Paris – Brussels – Dortmund Thalys train leaving Cologne

More information

See below (selected external links, also for national services):

Netherlands (NS)

Belgium (NMBS/SNCB)

Germany (DB)

France (SNCF)

Switzerland (SBB/CFF)

Italy (FS)