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European Railways, 1923 Handbook for Travelers

Travel conditions in western Europe have assumed normal conditions, and, except in Russia and the new republics and other recently created sovereignties, it is possible to go about by rail with much the same speed and comfort as before the war.

One who is in possession of his faculties should not he able to make a mistake in the train he or she expects to take, for its name and its destination are called out several times and the name appears on large sign boards, the name of each station is properly marked, and anyone who is on the alert has no excuse for being carried past his destination.

Except in the case of excursions, such as week-end and bank holiday trips from London, the traveler in Europe who intends to make a number of stops, gains little by buying through tickets. Local tickets from point to point in the end will amount to hardly more than the entire through rate between the two furthest points. In France and some other countries it is now possible to purchase circular tickets, including one's whole itinerary, and thus effect a considerable saving.

Train Time in Europe

Trains in Europe are usually run on Greenwich time, with a variation of one hour faster for middle Europe and two hours for eastern Europe. In the Greenwich zone are France, Belgium, Portugal and Spain. Holland has its own time, 20 minutes ahead of that of Greenwich. It should be remembered that many European countries, however, for ordinary purposes, employ their own local time, based on the longitude of the international observatories.

Railway time tables on the continent of Europe are now figured on the 24-hour system; that is to say, the day, instead of being divided into two periods of 12 hours each, runs from midnight straight away through the 24 hours to midnight again, the hours being numbered from one to twenty-four. On these time tables the abbreviations "A. IM." and "P. M." are abolished; any hour under 12 means A. M., and from 12 to 24 means P. M. A train arriving or departing at a quarter past one in the afternoon is shown as 13:15; if shown as arriving or departing at 20:18, that means that its time of arrival or departure is eighteen minutes past eight in the evening. The figures 24:0 indicate a train arriving at midnight; a departure at midnight is indicated by 0:0. Arrivals and departures between midnight and 1 A. M. are indicated by 0:1 to 0:59.

Baggage Allowance on European Railways

In England the baggage allowance on trains, in addition to what may be carried in the compartment, is: First class, 150 pounds; second class, 120 pounds; third class, 100 pounds.

On most continental railways, free allowance on a first class ticket is only 66 pounds. The travelers who take many trunks, about on the continent must expect to pay heavily for "excess baggage."

On Italian railways travelers are permitted to take with them into the compartment a reasonable amount of hand luggage; a ticket indicating a foreign destination carries with it a baggage allowance of 40 kilos over and above that which is taken into the compartment.

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