A few friends who are considering doing some serious train travel throughout Europe (many countries, several stops, whole thing) and they asked me for a few resources including a source for train timetable info. My first choice was a cool "deep web" database that's free to use and covers just about all of Europe. While it's possible to also purchase tickets online, I'm focusing on the database for timetable info. Remember, timetables change often and it looks like this database will get a major update soon. The database itself comes from Deutsche Bahn (DB), Germany's national railroad.
OK, let's run a demo and get some timetable info.
Using the database is straightforward and simple. Enter your info (starting station, end station (the database will help you make the correct selection), dates, etc.). You can even toss in what cities you want to travel "via" and how long (hours/minutes) of a stopover you might want. It's also possible to select or deselect certain types of trains.
From that point forward just pick the train and learn about the services it offers. Need to see intermediate stops? No problem, just click the link at the bottom of the page. You can sort various results by departure, arrival, duration, number of changes, and fare.
Have a great trip and enjoy this useful "deep web" database.
Forget the Train and Take the Plane
Alternatives? Yes, I've got one (of many) just forget the train idea and fly! This post offers a few suggestions of places to metasearch low cost European carriers. WhichBudget.com might also be useful.
Postscrtipt: A writer has sent along a note mentioning that the DB database also contains bus information for many cities and countries. Cool!