International passenger

trains in 20th Century Europe

International passenger trains in 20th Century Europe

Karlovy Vary remained a popular spa destination served from the Balt Orient route.

Berlin had no direct connection to Bucureşti via Budapest. Such services were routed via the Berlin-Bucureşti route.

Long distance trains from Berlin on the Balt Orient route in 1935

Services from Berlin to the Balkans were routed via Beograd travelling by one of two main route variants. The Athenai service was routed via the Berlin-Bucureşti spine to Budapest whilst the Istanbul service was routed by Praha and Budapest. By 1939, Berlin-Istanbul/Athenai services were combined running through Praha and the new Slovak capital of Bratislava to Budapest. In 1925, Praha had a service to Istanbul and Athenai using the Balt Orient spine but this changed in 1935 when this service served Athenai only. By 1939, Berlin-Istanbul/Athenai services ran via Praha and the new Slovak capital of Bratislava.

Diesel railcars arrive

The inter-war period saw the introduction of a diesel rail car between Wien and Budapest – the Árpád. This reduced the transit time to an all-time low of 2hr 58 minutes for 279 kms via Hegyeshalom. It is interesting to note that in 2009, the fastest time between Wien and Budapest matched the 1935 figure

Fig 1: Frequency Balt Orient trains to

main destinations 1914-49

Fig 2: Frequency of Berlin services to Bucuresti, Wien and Budapest traffic by all routes 1914-97

B2-1 Balt Orient Service


Balt Orient routes

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