Narrow Gauge in Bohemia & Lower Austria

Waldviertelbahn, Austria - © NOEVOG
Waldviertelbahn, Austria - © NOEVOG
Waldviertelbahn, Austria - © NOEVOG
Waldviertelbahn, Austria - © NOEVOG
Waldviertelbahn, Austria - © NOEVOG
Waldviertelbahn, Austria - © NOEVOG
Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic - © MikeNG, Shutterstock
Kirnitschtal Tram, Bad Schandau, Germany - © LaMiaFotografia, Shutterstock
Narrow gauge train near Jindrichuv Hradec, Czech Republic - © Uzkokolejky Jindrichuv Hradec

Holiday Highlights

  • Six narrow gauge railways in three countries
  • Elbe Paddle steamer
  • Kirnitschtal tram
  • Global InterRail Pass for unlimited rail travel during free time (European residents only)
  • Routes carefully chosen for best scenery
  • Relaxing start and finish each day
  • Time to explore Dresden, Nuremberg and Cologne
  • 14 Days from £1,960pp
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Tour Dates:
Thursday 6 June to Wednesday 19 June 2019

We explore for the first time the narrow gauge lines from the Bohemian Czech town of Jindrichuv Hradec to Nova Bystrice and Obratan plus the two Austrian lines nearby from Gmünd to Gross Gerungs and Litschau, all of which pass through enchanting scenery.


Day 1 – Eurostar and High Speed to Cologne

Our journey begins with a Eurostar service from London via the Channel Tunnel to Brussels with a connecting service over the high speed route to Cologne.

Day 2 – Rhine Valley and Dresden

We take the scenic route alongside the River Rhine affording wonderful views of the river traffic, castles and the famous Loreley Rock. We reach Frankfurt and continue to Dresden where we find our hotel conveniently situated opposite the station.

Day 3 – Narrow Gauge in the Dresden area

The Lössnitzgrund and Weisseritztal narrow gauge lines to Radeburg and Freital Hainsberg respectively still operate steam services and we ride both today. We also have a city transport ticket for the duration of our stay and will find this invaluable for travelling on the tram system.

Day 4 – Paddle Steamer on the Elbe

The traditional Elbe paddle steamers are an attraction in their own right whilst the scenery is an added bonus as we make the journey through 'Saxon Switzerland' to Bad Schandau. Here we have time to take the vintage Kirnitschtal tram on its out-of-town roadside route before crossing the Elbe by ferry and returning to Dresden by train.

Day 5 – Bohemia Beckons

There is a regular service of direct trains between Dresden and Prague and, from here, we head to Jindrichuv Hradec, a pleasant small medieval town close to the Austrian border. The castle was converted into a Renaissance chateau and now dominates the town – we stay here for 4 nights.

Day 6 – Narrow Gauge to Nova Bystrice

The two lines which go in opposite directions from Jindrichuv Hradec are not well known internationally, but are very pleasant bye-ways nonetheless. Today’s journey is about one and a half hours each way to Nova Bystrice, a small border settlement.

Day 7 – Obratan

The line to Obratan is a little longer but there is still ample time for a leisurely start and arrival back into Jindrichuv Hradec by mid-afternoon.

Day 8 – Cesky Krumlov

The main town of the region and a popular tourist destination is Cesky Krumlov. The town boasts a fine Medieval Castle which is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is some two hours from Jindrichuv Hradec by main line train.

Day 9 – Into Austria

Once again we take the main line train and cross the border into Austria and our next destination, Gmünd, where we arrive in the early afternoon. Here we find our hotel on the main square in the heart of the historic town.

Day 10 – Narrow Gauge Steam to Gross Gerungs

The two Waldviertelbahn lines from Gmünd operate steam trains on just two weekends per month but we have done our best to schedule our tour around this constraint. (On other days, diesel trains operate). The steam service is at 1315 from Gmünd arriving back at 1845.

Day 11 – Steam to Litschau

The steam loco now switches to the second of Gmünd’s two lines and departs mid-morning, arriving back mid-afternoon.

Day 12 – Nuremberg

We travel cross-country via Tulln to St. Pölten which is on the main line between Vienna and Salzburg. Here we connect to an ICE train and continue along the Danube Valley, crossing the border into Germany at Passau and arriving in Nuremberg late afternoon. Our hotel is convenient for the station and there will be plenty of time to explore this beautiful city this evening.

Day 13 – Return to Cologne

A regular service of fast trains link the two cities via Frankfurt and we arrive into Cologne in ample time to see some of the main sights. Once again, the hotel is next to the station and just a few steps away from the magnificent cathedral. The old part of the city alongside the Rhine is also very close by, together with a multitude of attractive restaurants.

Day 14 – Via Brussels to London

Leaving Cologne mid-morning and with an easy change in Brussels, we arrive back at St. Pancras International late afternoon in time for onward train services to most provincial destinations.

Please note - whilst we will arrange transfers on arrival and departure at Jindrichuv Hradec and Gmünd, the stations are some 20 minutes walk from the town centre and hotels. This is also the case at Cesky Krumlov.

Tour Route

Tour route map

Selected Hotels

IntercityHotel, Dresden

Hotel Concertino Zlata Husa, Jindrichuv Hradec

Romantik Hotel Goldener Stern, Gmünd

IntercityHotel, Nuremberg

Please note - hotels can be subject to change

Price Includes

  • Accommodation in good quality hotels on a bed and breakfast basis
  • Standard class rail travel throughout
  • 15 day Global InterRail (European residents only). Special price applies for non-residents
  • Train travel from UK station to and from London if completed within the validity of the 15 day Global InterRail (European residents only)
  • All excursions as stated including narrow gauge railways
  • Dresden public transport ticket
  • Services of a tour leader from London and throughout the tour

Price per person

Escorted holiday: £1,960
Single room supplement: £410
Supplement for Non European Residents £57
Deposit for this holiday: £100

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