Cars on the motorail train above to leave s'Hertogenbosch for Italy.

Take your car by train...

...to Italy or Austria with Auto Express Italia or Austrian motorail

...to Spain with Brittany Ferries.

 

Motorail:  Trains that carry cars!

On this page you'll find a beginner's guide to the few remaining European motorail services of interest to UK travellers.  First up, here's a reality check...

Interactive motorail mapClick a route for information...

Auto Express Italia Car ferries to Greece Stena Line car ferry to Hoek van Holland Auto Train car-carrying service DFDS Seaways car ferries to Denmark & Holland Britanny Ferries car ferry to Spain

How do I get my car from the UK to..? 

Click your destination to find out how to get you & your car to these countries by motorail train or ferry:

France     Italy     Spain & Portugal     Switzerland     Germany & Austria   Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg   Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland     Eastern Europe, Turkey, Greece   North Africa, Cyprus, Malta    Motorail trains in the UK

Motorail routes, timetables, prices & information...

On this page you'll find information on each motorail operator, with a summary of prices, routes, on-board accommodation & how to buy tickets:

French Auto-Train  Austrian motorail (ÖBB)      Optima Tours      Other motorail trains


Sponsored links...

 


How do I get my car from the UK to...?

 

Who uses motorail?

 

Families and couples for a start.  The door-to-door convenience of taking your own car makes the logistics of a family holiday to the South of France, Italy or Austria easy.

  A classic Jaguar takes the train to Italy...

Classic cars:  It's not just families.  Classic car owners who'd rather drive their vintage Jaguar than a characterless hire car take it with them using motorail. Classic cars are usually allocated a place on the lower deck.

  Motorbikes on the Dutch Motorail train to Italy...

Bikers:  Motorail is a bikers' favourite too...

Here are the options for getting you & your car from the UK to the main holiday areas of Europe:

UK to France...

UK to Italy...

UK to Spain & Portugal...

UK to Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg...

UK to Switzerland...

UK to Germany & Austria...

UK to Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland...

UK to Eastern Europe, including Turkey & Greece...

UK to North Africa, Cyprus, Malta, Egypt, Israel...

Within the UK, to Scotland & Cornwall...


AutoSlaapTrein Italia

Düsseldorf (Germany) to Verona & Livorno (Italy)

The old Autoslaaptrein company threw in the towel in April 2015, but another Dutch company, Treinreiswinkel, started its own Motorail train, originally branded Auto Express Italia, now rebranded Autoslaaptrein.  It's a good service!

Website:

www.treinreiswinkel.nl/reizen/autotrein.

Online booking:  

Yes, see www.treinreiswinkel.nl/reizen/autotrein

Phone:

See website.

Terminal:

Trains depart from Düsseldorf, a 3 hour 45 minute (245 mile) drive from Calais, 3 hours 20 minutes from Dunquerque, or 2 hour 30 minutes from Hook of Holland (157 miles), Rotterdam or IJmuiden (Amsterdam).  The motorail terminal is next to Düsseldorf Hauptbahnhof.

Routes:

Düsseldorf to Verona in Italy, also in high summer Dusseldorf to Livorno.

Dates & times:

To check times & dates, see their website .  But here's a summary to give you a rough idea:

The Düsseldorf-Verona motorail service will run once a week from 20 May to 24 September 2016 and from 19 May to 30 September 2017.

The Düsseldorf-Livorno motorail service will run once a week from 7 July May to 26 August 2017

It will run southbound on Friday nights leaving Dusseldorf around 20:05 (check-in 17:30-19:30), arriving Verona at 09:02.  The Verona-Dusseldorf service runs on Saturday nights leaving Verona at 20:10 (check-in 17:00 to 19:15) and arriving Dusseldorf at 09:07.

How much does it cost?

www.treinreiswinkel.nl/reizen/autotrein.

Vehicles carried:

www.treinreiswinkel.nl/reizen/autotrein.

Accommodation on board:

5-berth couchettes.  Sleeping-car with 1, 2 & 3 berth compartments with washbasin.

Pets:

Yes, dogs and other pets can be carried.

Suggested ferry connections

The cheapest option is to use the short sea routes, Dover-Calais or Dover-Dunkirk, see www.poferries.com & www.dfds.comTop tip www.dfds.com Dover-Dunkirk (formerly Norfolkline) always seem by far the cheapest operator, typically charging £45-£70 return for a car and occupants when Dover-Calais operators persist in charging over £100 return. 

The more direct option from East Anglia or the North of England is to use www.stenaline.co.uk (Harwich-Hoek van Holland), www.dfds.co.uk (Newcastle-IJmuiden overnight cruise ferry), or www.poferries.com (Hull-Rotterdam overnight cruise ferry).

Restaurant car on the Autoslaaptrein Italia   1, 2 or 3 bed sleeper, in day mode

Restaurant car on the Autoslaaptrein Italia...

 

1, 2 or 3 bed sleeper...


OBB Austrian Railways motorail

Düsseldorf (Germany) to Vienna & Innsbruck (Austria)

Austrian Railways (ÖBB) offer a car transport service attached to their daily Dusseldorf-Vienna EuroNight sleeper train.

Website:

www.oebb.at

Online booking:  

At www.oebb.at, click 'English top right.  Then click Planning your trip and select Car, moto- & bicycle and click Motorail

On the motorail booking page, select English and book your car onto the train. 

You need to book the car first, then use the normal www.oebb.at passenger booking system to book passengers onto the same train.  Clearly, do a dry run on both systems first!  Or call them to book it all.

Phone:

-

Terminal:

Trains depart from Düsseldorf, a 3 hour 45 minute (245 mile) drive from Calais, 3 hours 20 minutes from Dunquerque, or 2 hour 30 minutes from Hook of Holland (157 miles), Rotterdam or IJmuiden (Amsterdam).  The DB Autozug motorail terminal is next to Düsseldorf Hauptbahnhof.

Routes:

Trains run from Düsseldorf to Vienna in Austria overnight, every day.

Dates & times:

Dusseldorf to Vienna runs daily all year, leaving Dusseldorf around 21:00 and arriving Vienna around 08:30.  Run by partner ÖBB (Austrian Railways) it's the EuroNight train shown here which has car transporters attached.

Dusseldorf to Innsbruck will also be offered all year 3 per week as from 11 December 2016.

How much does it cost?

Check online.

Vehicles carried:

Cars & motorbikes are carried.

Accommodation on board:

  • See here for Dusseldorf-Vienna sleeper train accommodation.

Pets:

Yes, dogs and other pets can be carried.

Suggested ferry connections

The cheapest option is to use the short sea routes, Dover-Calais or Dover-Dunkirk, see www.poferries.com & www.dfds.comTop tip www.dfds.com Dover-Dunkirk (formerly Norfolkline) always seem by far the cheapest operator, typically charging £45-£70 return for a car and occupants when Dover-Calais operators persist in charging over £100 return. 

The more direct option from East Anglia or the North of England is to use www.stenaline.co.uk (Harwich-Hoek van Holland), www.dfds.co.uk (Newcastle-IJmuiden overnight cruise ferry), or www.poferries.com (Hull-Rotterdam overnight cruise ferry).

How to reach Düsseldorf Autozug terminal:  Leave the autobahn and follow the signs for Düsseldorf city centre, then follow the signs for 'Hauptbahnhof' ('main station').  Near the Hauptbahnhof, you'll pick up signs saying 'DB Autozug'.  If you have a Tom-Tom satnav, the DB Autozug terminal is listed as a 'point of interest' in Düsseldorf.  It's not difficult to reach, it's down a side road at the north east side of the Hauptbahnhof, the address is DB Autozug Terminal, Schlägelstrasse, 40210 Düsseldorf.


Auto-Train in France

Paris to Nice, Geneva, Avignon, Biarritz, Marseille, Tarbes, Narbonne, St Raphael, Toulon, Toulouse


Optima Express

Villach (Austria) to Turkey (Edirne):  www.optimatours.de...

Loading the Optima Tours motorail train to Turkey   Couchette compartment on Optima Tours motorail train set up as 2-berth

Loading the Optima Tours motorail train to Turkey...

 

Couchette compartment on the Optima Tours train set up for 2-person occupancy.


Other motorail services

Austria:  Vienna to/from Innsbruck, Feldkirch, Villach (Austrian domestic), Vienna-Hamburg (Germany), Vienna-Florence (Italy), Vienna-Düsseldorf (Germany)

See http://www.oebb.at/de/Reiseplanung/PKW_Motor-_und_Fahrrad/Autoreisezug/index.jsp.

Czech Republic:  Prague-Poprad Tatry, Prague-Kosice

See www.cd.cz/scripts/detail.php?pgid=628.  Cheap overnight Motorail services.

Croatia:  Zagreb-Split

The daily summer-only Zagreb-Split overnight sleeper train also has a car-carrying wagon.  Information about this isn't readily available online, ask at the station when you get there.

Finland:  Various domestic routes...

See www.vr.fi.


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