The time period I'm working with is the 1890s, and try as I might I'm really struggling to find the details I need, specifically how long it would take to travel from London to Leipzig at that time. Also, I'd love to know what kind of accommodation would a middle-class person have expected on the ship itself? Individual cabins or would they have been crammed in? I assume the ships themselves would have been steam-powered by that time. Anyway, any information on either of these things - or just travelling to and from Germany during that time in general - would be immensely appreciated.


  • 1
    Leipzig seems a bit far from the ocean to be accessed by ship... – DJohnM Mar 24 '18 at 0:48
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    Take a ship to Ostend or Hamburg or somewhere similar (not much slower than now) and then a train - Wikipedia has a 1861 railway map and things only got better after that – Henry Mar 24 '18 at 1:48
  • @Henry This railway map is more recent, as a the Lausanne-Bern railway in Switzerland which was innogurated in 1862 is on the map. EDIT: probably they included rail lines in construction ? – Bregalad Mar 24 '18 at 17:45

The ships were certainly steam-driven by the 1890s. For a rough calculation, figure a day from London to Calais by train and ship, then 200 miles per day by train from Calais to Leipzig. There were plenty of trains.

A comic, but basically truthful portrayal of middle-class travel at the time can be found in Jerome K Jerome's novel Three Men on the Bummel.

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