International passenger

trains in 20th Century Europe

International passenger trains in 20th Century Europe

From the Baltic to the Black Sea


From Scandinavia via Sassnitz on the Baltic to Constanţa on the Black Sea, these major routes connected North and Central Europe to South East Europe. The cities of Berlin, Praha, Wien, Bratislava, Budapest and Bucureşti were served by these arteries. Services between them were provided by two important routes.

Political Aftermath of WW1


Berlin-Bucureşti route


The Peace Making Process 1918-21 had a major disruptive affect on Central Europe and its rail routes.


The emergence of new states from the territory of the Austro-Hungarian Empire brought new barriers to the railway system whereby route direction was often reversed and new networks were found incompatible for the needs of the new states. New border crossings were installed which delayed transit and complicated operating systems. Hungary was the state most burdened with border posts yet still retained its radial network having lost 13,000kms trackage.


From the map, the Berlin-Orient artery was concentrated into two major routes:- Balt-Orient and Berlin-Bucureşti. Both these were in place before 1914.

This was an important artery linking former German and Austro-Hungarian territory with Romania and the Balkans. Before 1914, the eastern part of this line lay in the Austro-Hungarian Empire through Lviv and Galicia, to Russia and Romania providing links with this region from Wien, the capital city of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.


An important feature of this spine was that it provided alternative routes for Berlin traffic bound for Wien, Budapest and further on into the Balkans and these connections remained until 1946. In the meantime trains via this route were often quicker than the equivalent trains using the Balt Orient route which was also a longer way round.

B1: Berlin-Bucuresti

 Berlin- Bucureşti to 1939 Berlin-Bucuresti from 1946 Berlin-Bucuresti 1999 International passenger trains in 20th Century Europe

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