Best laid plans! While the 2018 PTG Balkan Circular charter only breezed through Greece, it would still get some Alco’s while in the country; but almost didn’t end up involving Greece at all, thanks to an untimely bridge issue in Macedonia which all but cut Macedonia from its rail connection to any other country. Once Read the Rest…
Having only visited Macedonia to travel round it by train I can’t comment on the touristy bits. The domestic train service in the country is a bit sparse but it does include International trains to Kosovo, Greece and Serbia.
Makedonski Zeleznici (MZ) operate the national rail service, throughout Macedonia; also offering many cross border trains into neighbouring countries. PDF downloads are available for MZ trains within Macedonia by route in cyrillic or the Full MZ timetable in PDF can also be downloaded in English.
A comprehensive list of both passenger and freight operators in Macedonia can be found on the helpful Railfan Europe website’s Macedonia page.
Train times and Tickets
Booking tickets for travel within Macedonia can be done at some MZ stations, otherwise tickets are purchased on board trains. Tickets are not available online but information on ticket costs can be downloaded as PDF. If you only require reservations for either Interrail, Eurail or railway staff passes then this can be done via phone to the DB office in London.
If choosing to use an Interrail pass, either for just within Macedonia, or to pass through Macedonia, all the relevant details on the passes, including the different types/lengths of validity available, can be found on the InterRail website.
Also available for travel in Macedonia is the Balkan Flexi Pass which is valid in Romania, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Greece, Serbia, Montenegro, Turkey & Bosnia. Periods of validity range from 5, 7, 10 or 15 days in 1 month but there is a limitation in that if you buy the pass in Macedonia it is only valid in Macedonia for one return journey to/from the border; this is the same whichever country you buy it in!
Finally travel in Europe can be made a lot simpler by using the very, very, helpful smartphone app courtesy of Eurail. This app is available both online and offline and is always up to date (well it has been for the countries I’ve used it in; including for any planned engineering works); for me it was an essential part of my travel in Europe. This app is linked to the Hafas system, which countries like Germany, Austria & Switzerland use for their train planning online tool. Eurail has done what the individual countries haven’t though and made it available offline.
For the Rail Enthusiast
A comprehensive list of Macedonia Locomotives by their respective railway system can be found on the Railfaneurope website’s Macedonia page. This also explains a bit the various operators of the network and how they have amalgamated over the years.
A detailed map/atlas of the South East Europe & Turkey Railway Systems, which includes Macedonia, is available from European Railway Atlas.
Eastern Europe – Bosnia, Croatia, Macedonia, Serbia, Kosovo & Bulgaria; via Denmark & Sweden! September 2015
Travelling round Eastern Europe had been a lot easier than I’d expected when doing it for the first time in 2014 so a return trip was always on the cards; and in a similar fashion to the trip the previous year, Eastern Europe was used as a gateway to get into Greece for the PTG Read the Rest…
This is an extract from a multi-country report to read the full report use the following link: Multi Trip (Bulgaria – Serbia – Montenegro – Macedonia – Greece – Turkey – Bulgaria – Romania) September 2014 This trip took a fair bit of putting together and was based around doing two days of the PTG Read the Rest…