If you’re planning any form of train travel – either in the UK or abroad – your first stop should be the fantastic Man in Seat 61 website.

It’s been put together by Englishman Mark Smith, who gives hints and tips on organising train travel pretty much anywhere in the world, from Utah to Uzbekistan.

Booking trains has always been difficult. There are no common ticketing systems, like those for the airlines, and the complexity of different fare types as well as language barriers can be daunting. But the Man in Seat 61 offers a wealth of knowledge, including timetables, route maps, ticket prices and links to booking sites or agent phone numbers.

There are seating and cabin plans – useful if you’re planning long distance travel or want to use sleeper services. And there are also reviews of the services offered, so you can get an idea how comfortable or safe train travel will be in your chosen destination.

It’s conveniently divided up into regional sections, so you can quickly find the country you’re looking for and there are guides for crossing country borders and interconnecting ferry services. The website also offers tips on how to get the best deals including various rail passes for purchase in the country or available before you go.

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