The only trains that were significantly late that I have ever been on were in Germany. I would have bet against that but..... Still, I would rather arrive on a train that was late the night before than one that was late on my day of sightseeing. When I can, and when I have no particular reason to want to sleep in the current location, I try and move on to the next town in the evenings. It just works better for me to wake up and start exploring.
Part of the fun of this forum is sometimes we all learn together. I’ve been on a number of the EC trains, but didn’t know much about them other than they were comfortable and efficient and that there really wasn’t much difference between 1st and 2nd class; but 1st was so cheap I did it anyway. Now I know:
In 1986 the European Railway comittee decided to establish a network for the most important rail connections, which is called EuroCity (EC). The central of this organization resides in Netherland. This organization gave a strict criteria for these EC trains, which is periodically checked.
The criteria used for the EC evaluation for Hungary (1993-1995):
• Minimum 90km/h travelling speed (average). The trains should be pulled at the maximal allowed speed.
• Max. 5 minute late allowed, but the train should be on time in the 80% of the month.
• The coaches should be climatised UIC Z1 type, and not older than 15 years.
• The train should go with a dining car. This car is located in the middle of the train, between the 2nd and the 1st class coaches.
• The stop time mustn't exceed 3 minutes, except the border stations, where 10 minutes allowed (or 15, when the engine is changed).
The first EC trains has started to run in 1987. MÁV has joined to this network in 1988. Now five EC trains come to Hungary: