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Connection - Frankfurt airport to Mannheim HBF to SNCF

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Apr 19th, 2014, 08:45 PM
  #1
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Connection - Frankfurt airport to Mannheim HBF to SNCF

I just booked tickets on RailEurope from Frankfurt airport to Lyon, with a connection at Mannheim HBF. I know where to catch the train at the airport; my issue is that we have only a 17 minute connection in Mannheim and I can't imagine this will be enough time to clear customs and find our train, etc., will it? I've searched around the web but can't seem to find any info on this - have a request into Rail Europe but I'm guessing I'll get a better answer from Fodorites. Thanks all in advance.
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Apr 19th, 2014, 08:57 PM
  #2
 
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First, for your next trip do not buy train tickets from RailEurope as they are excessively expensive. You can book tickets from the German train site for much less, especially if you book in advance (60-90 days ahead).

I do not understand about clearing customs in Mannheim. It's a train station and as you're coming from Frankfurt there will not be any customs. There's won't even be any apparent customs at the Frankfurt airport.

17 minutes is plenty of time to change trains. You can go on the German train web site and see the platform you are arriving at and the platform you're leaving from.

Are you taking the 13:53 train with one change?

http://www.bahn.de/i/view/USA/en/index.shtml
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Apr 19th, 2014, 09:06 PM
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Adrienne, yes, you are correct about Rail Europe but I was not sure if I could navigate the German train website (I speak French but have no German).

We are on the 13:53 ICE from Frankfurt Flug FE to Mannheim (arrive 14:23 Mannheim), and then on the 14:40 TGV Est to Lyon. I suppose I was thinking that I would need to go through French customs before getting on the train to Lyon, similar to how we go through customs when taking the Eurostar from Paris Nord to St. Pancras in the UK. Maybe because we are traveling in the EU we won't need to worry about this? As you can tell I've only traveled by train within France and between France and the UK.
Thank you so much for your help. I'm in the midst of preparing for a big exam that will allow me to finish my M.A. and a little overwhelmed trying to plan vacation and study at the same time!
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Apr 19th, 2014, 09:12 PM
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The German rail site is in English and 11 other languages. You should take a look at it since it's the easiest train site to review schedules.

Is there really customs for the Eurostar when leaving the country? Perhaps you're thinking of immigration where you show your passport. Customs is a declaration of goods. You'll go through immigration at the Frankfurt airport where your passport is stamped.

There's the Schengen treaty (different from the EU) where you do not show your passport when crossing borders among the countries belonging to the Schengen agreement. France and Germany are two of those.
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Apr 19th, 2014, 09:44 PM
  #5
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Adrienne, yes, it is not customs but immigration, you're right, I just use the term customs to refer to all of the hoops one must jump through to leave/enter a country.

I did look at the German site - thanks for the link - and it looks like we'll be fine with this connection as this is the same itinerary that is sold by the German web site, DB Bahn. It appears that it is just a matter of walking from one platform to another. We'll be rushed but will make it.

I'm also happy to say that the price I paid for my tickets through Rail Europe for this leg of our trip is less than the price shown on the DB Bahn website...so I lucked out this time.

Thank you again for your help!
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Apr 20th, 2014, 05:01 PM
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If the train is on time, no rush at all. You need maximum five minutes to change the platform in Mannheim.
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Apr 20th, 2014, 05:16 PM
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If it's a direct train to Lyon, I think it'll depart from the same platform just opposite to where you arrive.

If not and you need to change the platform, better move to the middle exit where you find an escalator (easier than lugging the luggage down some stairs or waiting for an escalator).

For a plan of the railway station: https://cms-bahnhof.noncd-web.db.de/..._vst_a4web.pdf

On the DB website you can find the platforms where your connections arrive and depart.
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Apr 21st, 2014, 11:30 PM
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If there will be no change in tracks, your TGV to Lyon will leave from the same platform but the opposite tracks.
The only thing you need to check is where on the platform the car with your reserved seats will stop. The trains' line-up you can find in displays on the platform.
There are no passport controls or any other special procedures before boarding the TGV. But there can be random passport controls on the train.
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