Generally, when choosing which train to take, opt for express trains - those with fewest stops, as you are unlikely to get far with regional ones - and you may get stuck in a station where almost no trains stop. It's very useful to memorize (or write down) the timetable, so that you instantly know which is the best train to take after you get kicked out of the previous one.
In central Europe (Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Hungary, Lithuania...) - you can use dance style tat is called short distant ticket trick. Conductor usually check only new passengers and he do not remember their final destination. So you buy ticket only for short distance and you show it to conductor. But after final destination on the ticket you continue journey, sit and sleep. This is not complete free, but cheap. More difficult dance style is similar. Blue dancer come and he check new passengers. You are new but you do not respond }sleep, look out of window, read a book).
== [[Austria]] ==