How far can you get by train in five hours from near you in France?

A website created by a French software developer lets you see how far you can travel in less than five hours from any train station in Europe.

It’s called Chronotrains and was made by Benjamin Tran Dinh earlier this summer. Check out the map at this link here.

He was inspired by the German site Direkt Bahn Guru, which uses a similar principle to show all cities that can be reached from a specific station without changing trains, but with information on the minimum travel time.

Mr Tran Dinh used data from the railway company Deutsche Bahn to create his map.

The map shows how far you can travel from any train station in Europe in up to five hours in each direction, with one-hour journeys marked red and five-hour journeys light yellow, with the shading in between two, three, and four-hour journeys.

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It is based on the assumption that train changes take no more than 20 minutes and that people in the same city can travel from one station to another at an average speed of 9 km/h.

“This map therefore represents an optimal version of these routes,” explains Mr. Tran Dinh on the website.

“Actual train schedules may differ from these estimates.”

Photo Credit: Screenshot/Chronotrains

Read more: “French train travel is a joy compared to Germany’s terrible rail system”

Differences in train connections

Mr Tran Dinh told Le Figaro that making the map showed him the differences in rail access between different European cities.

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“It shows how isolated some cities are, how certain high-speed connections are prioritized,” he said.

“It gives an impression of the development of infrastructure in different regions.”

In a tweet, he highlighted Nice in south-eastern France as a city with very limited rail connections compared to other places in Europe.

Other cities are much better served. With optimal timing, you could, for example, travel from Bordeaux in western France to Saarbrücken in western Germany or to Lille near the Belgian border in around five hours.

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Mr. Tran Dinh already has plans to develop the site further, possibly removing the five-hour limit or adding a search tool to allow users to search for specific channels.

How good are the train connections in your area? Let us know what you find out using the map at [email protected]

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