Train formation and carriage numbering diagrams

When travelling by long distance train across Europe, finding your booked seat can be difficult – the trains are long, so finding your carriage by walking along the entire train with heavy bags is something to avoid. It becomes doubly difficult if your train is one that splits up mid-journey to form two separate services! So how do you make sure that you end up in the right place?

Main concourse of Wein Westbahnhof railway station

The answer is found in train formation diagrams, which are found either on the main station concourse, or the platforms themselves.

Looking up which carriage to board for my service

The diagrams show the make-up of each train, indicating the carriage order and numbering for each specific train departures, ordered by train number.

'Location of coaches' diagram at the railway station

Unfortunately train operators don’t seem to post the information online, so you have to visit the ‘vagonWEB’ railway enthusiast website for the details.

With a train formation diagram on hand, you now know where your seat is, as well as which way to the dining car!

Footnote

The ÖBB diagram I found at Wein Westbahnhof (Vienna West Station) had an interesting note at the bottom – ‘In Kooperation mit Roco Modelleisenbahn GmbH’.

'In Kooperation mit Roco Modelleisenbahn GmbH'

Roco is an Austrian manufacturer of model trains – I’m assuming that ÖBB discovered that the Roco catalog was full of line drawings of ÖBB trains, so asked them for permission to reuse them in their train formation diagrams.

Further reading

More detail on seating plans for European trains can be found at the Man in Seat 61 website.

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