Ski resorts by train

The 'pawesome' European Rail Map

Wed 08 May, 2019


Daniel Elkan

This is Louis.

Louis runs the Curious Yellow Kafé, in London's Pitfield Street (although the owners of the café don’t know that it’s actually Louis running things).

Louis loves maps. The keys on a smartphone are too small for his paws, so he has trouble with apps. And maps are better, because they give Louis the big picture.

Probably Louis’ favourite map is the European Rail Map, which he likes to read by the window. For anyone that loves train travel, as Louis does, this map is absolute gold.  A surprising number of humans aren’t even aware of the map’s existence; but when they see it their eyes light up.

The map is wonderful in two ways:

1.    it’s really useful
2.    it’s really inspiring.

It’s useful because it gives you a clear picture of what’s where, what’s connected to what. At once, when making a journey, you have a perspective on where you are going to, what’s on the way, what’s nearby – and what’s not.

And it’s inspiring because when you have this picture, this at-a-glance knowledge, a world (or a Europe) of rail-travel possibilities open up.

 You can get it from (costs £12) from the same wonderful people who publish the European Rail Timetable. 

Without this map, Snowcarbon would never exist.  Because back in 1998, when I first wondered whether I could have travelled by train instead of having endured a tedious, carbon-heavy journey by plane and coach transfer, it was this map that shed light on the future possibilities by rail. It’s this map that I’ve consulted hundreds of times. It’s a map that, as it answers your curiosity about one particular journey, will instantly stimulate curiosity about others. It’s just impossible to look at the map and not begin to trace your fingers along the rail lines, through countries, across borders.  Each line a potential journey.  Like notes on a manuscript of a song not yet sung.
The map makes a wonderful gift for anyone that likes rail travel. Louis can’t recommend it highly enough.  Louis? Louis!