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Austrian teen starts a rail travel agency

To avoid flying to Vietnam, this student traveled over 7,000 miles by train. Now, he's started a rail travel company to inspire others to travel far without using planes.

This student wants people to ditch planes for trains, even on long haul trips

“I think there is a misperception about going far, especially with young people, because old people — they remind themselves of old times, when there was a night train from Vienna going to Athens or from Paris to Barcelona.”, Elias tells Brut.

He founded a rail travel company after journeying from Austria to Vietnam entirely overland

“I looked up different train routes and connections, and then I went more far and more far, and at the end I was in Vietnam, like virtually. My girlfriend was not amused at the time, and also not my family. I am environmentally conscious, and I’m very engaged with environmental savings groups and advocacy groups, so that’s why I didn’t want to fly. It was really hard to find out to get schedules, to find out when trains leave.”, he explains. Elias would have emitted 2.63 tons of CO2 by taking the plane, the annual carbon footprint of the average Ecuadorian.

He spent 3 months planning his route, and now he’s making it easier for others to do the same

“When you’re in a train, you’re in really close contact with local people. With people who are really interested, and with people who have the time to talk to you. You are on one level with them. On my way there and the way back, in total, it only took like five weeks. But I met more people than in my five months there in Vietnam. From Vienna, we took the train to Warsaw — the night train to Poland. And from there to Latvia, Riga. We then took the train to Moscow. So, we stayed the day in Moscow and then we took the night train to Nur-Sultan, which actually takes two and a half days. Then from there, through the whole steppes, to the south of Kazakhstan to Almaty, which is a night train ride. The train ride was really scenic, because there were wild horses and there were stations like in the Wild West, in nowhere. And then from there, we took the train — the once weekly train — to Urumqi. Then we took the two-and-a-half-day train to Nanning, which is in the southeast. And then from Nanning, it was just another night train to Hanoi.”, he elaborates.

The train tickets for 5 weeks worth of travel cost him 700 euros

“If you include the hotels that you don’t have to pay for, it’s a really good value.”, he shares. On his way back, he took a different route. “It was just before Christmas. And I had time to sew a small kitten for my little brother as a Christmas present, and I did it like 10 hours every day. I would have never, ever put into one piece of work if not I would have been on the train for such a long time.”, he concludes. Elias and his dad are running their travel agency “Traivelling” together.

Brut.

02/24/2020 3:02 PMupdated: 03/06/2020 3:07 PM
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25 comments

  • Yvette K.
    02/29/2020 14:16

    Think it is only applicable to those who have plenty of time but who gets such long vacation leave nowadays??? If we talk about environment, we just have to avoid unnecessary trips.

  • Michael L.
    02/28/2020 14:41

    i live on an island thought lol. boat then traiin maybe

  • Lacey R.
    02/27/2020 14:42

    i wish i could catch a train to a country from the island i live on.... lol???

  • Craig R.
    02/27/2020 10:29

    As much as i love people that are truly trying to make a difference it comes from the government's response for clean energy technologies to make the biggest difference

  • Tonny B.
    02/27/2020 08:57

    Great idea bit hard from Australia

  • Милан Г.
    02/27/2020 05:29

    Super

  • Carol H.
    02/26/2020 22:19

    And will he build bridges too to get from country to country ?

  • Christine D.
    02/26/2020 17:10

    I want to travel with this young man

  • Bernardine S.
    02/26/2020 17:06

    Hats off to his positive spirit !!!

  • Alder C.
    02/26/2020 16:28

    Anything that moves fast, I panic 🤦🏽‍♂I should of never watch Final Destination

  • Jacki E.
    02/26/2020 16:07

    I am amused that you reached Viet Nam. Good thinking kiddo!

  • Charlotte W.
    02/26/2020 14:38

    I love trains!

  • Steven B.
    02/26/2020 14:09

    If your touring the country then your going to use the train anyhow, if it's for work or it you just need to get from a to b then your hardly going to spend days on a train lol . So what he's actually done is start another travel company hoping to make big bucks off the so called climate warriors , nice try Brut 😂😂😂😂👎

  • Ramir A.
    02/26/2020 13:58

    Sure, hold my beer, I’ll just quit my job and ask for my billionaire father to take care of my bills. Dear: no time for that. Think about something faster.

  • Asad A.
    02/26/2020 13:52

    Not everyone has that much time and money

  • Gustavo P.
    02/26/2020 13:52

    Of course a YouTuber can do that earn while documenting his voyage!!!

  • Jonathan M.
    02/26/2020 13:46

    5 weeks of food? 5 weeks away from a job? I love train travel, but this is something only an unattached person can do, and it's great for him and others who want to do it. If I was retired I might consider something similar, but travel for me needs to be efficient. If I can afford the time of train travel, I will do it because it is part of the adventure. If I can't afford the time or routes are not available, i.e. US to Europe, US to Australia, US to South America, we have to fly. I am not shamed by doing so.

  • Waltraud W.
    02/26/2020 13:45

    Try doing that with 2 or 3 children and a time limit of 10 days.and don't forget the luggage.

  • Aimee W.
    02/26/2020 13:39

    Seat61 has a great website with World travel advice for rail. All free The guy who runs it is a former rail worker who has put together a list of ways to get to and from every country by rail. https://www.seat61.com/index-mobile.htm

  • Khai N.
    02/26/2020 13:14

    XD consider this if you would like to go to my country