Buying Train tickets--Rome to Paris

Mar 11th, 2005, 06:49 AM
  #1  
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Buying Train tickets--Rome to Paris

My friend and I have been going back and forth trying to decide whether to go to Italy in the fall or go back to France.

We're now leaning toward 6 days Italy, 6 days Paris. It looks like a 2 bed compartment on the overnight from Rome to Paris is $200 per person (RailEurope site).

Is there any way to find discounts on these tickets? I just can't decide about the 4 bed compartment. We are two ladies, youngish mid 50's. We're flexible on our travel days. We considered leaving from Florence, but it looks like the price is the same.

Any tips or suggestions will be appreciated.
JeanneB is offline  
Mar 11th, 2005, 07:12 AM
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Jeanne - Why don't you fly?

The budget airline RyanAir flies Rome (Ciampino) to Paris (Beauvais) for as little as € 21 on some dates in October.

Even if Beauvais is a little inconvenient (1.5 hrs from Paris, I believe) - it's still worth the saving IMO

Hope this helps ...

Steve
Steve_James is offline  
Mar 11th, 2005, 07:13 AM
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P.S Here's the link:

www.ryanair.com
Steve_James is offline  
Mar 11th, 2005, 08:19 AM
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Try www.sncf.com/voyages or www.trenitalia.com for specials on Artesia night trains (Italy-Paris); there are no discounts available in US thru RailEurope - fare is $200 pp in double or $225 if in peak periods. If ending up booking in US i always recommend BETS (800-441-9413) over RailEurope as though they work thru REurope and have same fares the person you talk to will actually have ridden this train and be able to answer all your questions from experience. But check out scnf (French rail) and trenitalia (Italian railways) sites and i think you'll find special offers.
PalQ is offline  
Mar 11th, 2005, 08:27 AM
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The overnight trains from Italy to Paris have special fares which are not based on distance (like other train fares) or on whether you choose first or second class. The fare depends on the type of sleeping accommodation you choose. These trains are only available to people making the overnight journey, which is why the fare will be the same whether you join at Roma or Firenze. As far as I know, there are no discounts for booking at a particular time. The fare of $200 per person seems a bit high to me, but a two-berth compartment will be a sleeping compartment with a wash basin and full bedding, whereas a four-berth compartment is a couchette without a wash basin and where you sleep in your day clothes. There are also 'Excelsior' compartments which are two-berth compartments with bathrooms.
The train has a restaurant car for dinner and breakfast, and will be quicker than flying because you can have a full day in Roma, then a full day in Paris.
GeoffHamer is offline  
Mar 11th, 2005, 08:27 AM
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I agree with checking on either the Trenitalia.com or the SNCF.com sites which will probably offer the lowest fares as opposed to using an agency such as RailEurope.

You may be able to book this as far as 90 days out, too.

As much as I am a fan of rail travel I think you should at least consider flying.
Intrepid1 is offline  
Mar 11th, 2005, 08:37 AM
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Thanks. I'll look at RyanAir again. When I went to their main page they didn't show Rome-Paris route. But now I see it's on the flights page. I understand baggage weight is very limited. We plan to pack light, but I don't know if we can be that efficient.

I'll check out the other trains sites as well. You guys are great!
JeanneB is offline  
Mar 11th, 2005, 02:41 PM
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The air option isn't looking too good. The price is great, but the schedule stinks. There are two flights a day:
6:45 am, arrive Paris 9am
or
9:15 pm, arrive 9:30 pm

The first one would require leaving our Rome hotel in middle of the night. The second one would probably put us at our hotel in Paris around midnight. I guess I would prefer the latter. But the train is looking better thinking of that schedule.

I haven't been able to figure out how one gets to Ciampino. Do you take regular train out of Rome Termini and then have to get a second train to the airport? Does anyone know how long it takes?
JeanneB is offline  
Mar 11th, 2005, 02:57 PM
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There's a bus that goes from Ciampino to Termini - here's the link:

http://www.terravision.it/rome_ciampino.html#
LAwoman is offline  
Mar 11th, 2005, 04:36 PM
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Thank you for that link. We would have to catch the Ciampino shuttle at 4:30 am, arriving at 5:10 for our 6:45 flight . There is another shuttle at 4:50 - 5:30, but that's cutting it awfully close. Ryanair's website says they stop check in 40 min. before flight time.

I guess we'll have to decide what value we place on a good night's sleep while on vacation.
JeanneB is offline  
Mar 12th, 2005, 07:15 PM
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Geoff, Intrepid:
Thanks for pointing me to those other sites. I think the rail will work better for us. By the time you figure in hotel nights, the price is about the same as flying.

It took a lot of effort, but I think we've finally figured out the different train sites.

For those who may be researching overnight trains in future, here's what we've found. We're going in Sept, but I couldn't get rates on all sites that far out. I chose the same weekday in May.

Rome to Paris (Wed May 26,2005)

TRENITALIA
Train code: Eurostar ES9304
Stops: Bologna, Milan, Dole, Dijon, Paris.
2-berth--147 euro each, 1st class
3-berth--132 euro each, 2nd class
4-berth--72 euro each, 2nd class

SNCF
Train code: Artesia 226 (I think this is the same #226 as Rail Europe?)
SNCF doesn't say what the stops are.
"Couchette"(6?),1st class --70 euro each
2-berth, 1st class--200 euro each
3-berth, 2nd class--140 euro each

RAIL EUROPE
Train code: 226 FIN
Stops: Florence & Milan, can't tell about other stops.
2-berth--200 euro each 1st class
3-berth--175 euro each 2nd class

I don't know that we would mind a 3- or 4- or even 6-berth compartment for one night. But they're all in 2nd class. Except the SNCF 70 euro couchette is in 1st class.

It looks to us like the best buy is the Trenitalia 2-berth, 1st class, for 147 euro. Is there much difference between 1st and 2nd on the overnights? Between the Eurostar and Artesia, is one better than the other?

For those leaving from Florence, these trains all stop there so arrival in Paris would be the same...around 9am the next day.

We would appreciate the opinions of those who've travelled on these trains.
JeanneB is offline  
Mar 12th, 2005, 08:52 PM
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Oops. The Trenitalia rate is 166 euro for the 1st class double. That makes the 3-berth, 2nd class look better.

SNCF is 140 euro, Trenitalia is 132.
So it comes down to which train is preferable.
JeanneB is offline  
Mar 12th, 2005, 09:19 PM
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For Pal Q,

I agree that people should avoid RailEurope, to avoid ill-informed booking staff. More, they should avoid anybody who books at RailEurope prices, which are thirty percent above other peoples. I suggest they use other, cheaper, agents, by sending the same e mail to each and looking for the best offer.

They can use Euraide in Florida, http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homep...e/homepage.htm, telephone 1 941-480-1555 fax 1 941-480-1522 [email protected]. Thereis a note on how Euraide eork at www.ricksteves.com/news/travelnews/euraide.htm. Also Americans can book through four firms in Britain:

Trainseurope Ltd, of Cambridgeshire and London, take credit card bookings by phone and mail tickets to any address. Have the widest access in Britain to rail systems and tickets. http://www.trainseurope.co.uk/ - E-mail [email protected]. Phone 00 44 900 195 0101 - calls from Britain cost 60 pence or 40 euros a minute, maximum 5, but if the enquiry results in a booking, the cost of the call is deducted from the final invoice. Phone Mon to Fri 10 to 5 British time

German Rail UK: www.deutsche-bahn.co.uk/ Phone : 00 44 870 243 53 63 then 6. Fax : 00 44 208 339 4700. E-mail : [email protected]

Ffestiniog Travel, site http://www.festtravel.co.uk, e-mail [email protected], phone 00 44 176 651 2400

Inside France (Canterbury). Phone 0044 1227 450088. 29/30 Palace Street, Canterbury, Kent, CT1 2DZ. Booking form on site www.rail-canterbury.co.uk/. Or e-mail [email protected]/. This is the only agency for the slow connection rail, boat, rail from London to Paris or back.

For international tickets, berths and seats Trainseurope are ten percent cheaper than German Rail UK or Ffestiniog Travel. For domestic Italian trains they are cheaper again. German Rail UK are cheaper than Trainseurope or Ffestiniog Travel for domestic trains within Germany and may be competitive with them for international trips with a big proportion of miles in Germany. Trainseurope take Visa and MasterCard, but not Amex or Diners.

For JeanneB

French Rail, and the agents all book the same night train, which another firm owns. A few years ago I used one of their sleepers to Venice: it was comfortable and convenient. You have found the Trenitalia pages for the day connection. I wonder whether the Italian train number is 9434, as the Thomas Cook European Rail timetable has no train ES9304.

[email protected]
ben_haines_london is offline  
Mar 13th, 2005, 05:14 AM
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Ben: My apologies. The ES9304 is the Rome to Milan train. Connection to EuroNight--EN 220 from Milan to Paris. It departs Rome at 17:55, Milan at 23:35.

Now that I've looked at it more carefully, it appears there is a better option where we never have to change trains: EN 226 departing Rome at 18:10.
2nd class, 3-berth is 140 euro.

Here's where perhaps you can straighten me out. When I look at EN 226's intermediate stops, it lists several cities with columns called "Arrival - Departure". Most of the stations show departure times, but no arrival. E.g., it lists Florence, Bologna, Parma and Piacenza with departure times only. The first "arrival" station is at 6:31am in Dijon. Does that mean this train leaves Rome and makes no stops until Dijon? Are the "departure" citings which have no corresponding "arrival" merely indicating the time the train passes that station?

I'm looking at both Rome and Florence departure options. I think I'm finally figuring out that the EN 226 is available from Rome only. To leave from Florence, one goes through Milan and takes the EN 220. Am I on the right track? (No pun intended)
JeanneB is offline  
Mar 13th, 2005, 08:24 AM
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Uh-oh. Now I'm thoroughly confused.

I was on the SNCF site. I searched on Florence ~ Paris and SNCF shows an option for catching the "Artesia 226" in Florence (Trenitalia doesn't offer the 226 as an option in Florence). I'm assuming SNCF's 226 is the same as Trenitalia's 226...they leave Rome at exactly the same time. I'm also assuming this is the same train that some sites refer to as the "Palatino".

Even leaving from Rome, the two sites show different info. Both sites offer a 140 euro 3-berth.
But the SNCF offer is in 1st class (Mini C special rate).
On Trenitalia I only find the 140 rate by choosing 2nd class. It never indicates an upgrade to 1st.

(RailEurope also only offers the 2nd class option--but at 175 dollars... which converts to 133 euro at a 1.32 dollar. And, of course, they call it another name: "FIN 226". LOL!)
JeanneB is offline  
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