Eurostar Check in Times

May 8th, 2008, 11:06 AM
  #1  
Jen
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Eurostar Check in Times

I am looking to set up a train trip Bruges-London via Lille. The Lille to London leg is on Eurostar, so want to get those tickets ASAP, before they cost a fortune. The schedule I'm looking at gives me 40 minutes from when the Bruges-Lille train arrives and Eurostar departs from the station just adjacent.

Is this enough time? ES website says check in 30 minutes before, but I've heard others say to leave an hour. I'd be picking the ticket up at the station, and this would be on a Wednesday at 9:30am, if it matters... please advise.

thanks!
Jen is offline  
May 8th, 2008, 11:41 AM
  #2  
 
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Lille Flandres is not adjacent to Lille-eurostar station - it's within eyeshot but still a ten min or so walk along a marked walkway

so 40 mins would be cutting it very close - esp if the train is late going into Lille

did you know that Eurostar fares have a ABS or All-Belgian Stations fare that allows you to take trains free within 48 hours of your eurostar train to Brussels from any station in Belgium, like Bruges - then the Brussels route may well be cheaper than connecting via Lille (not a Belgian station) and you have direct Bruges-Brussels-Midi trains to just change parts of the station

Some Bruges-Lille trains require changing at Kortrijk i believe though some are direct but the stations are not really adjacent in the sense that they are literally next to each other
PalenQ is offline  
May 8th, 2008, 11:42 AM
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I'm no expert on this. But whenever I've changed trains at Lille there seems to be hardly anyone else connecting to the London train, and AS LONG AS YOUR LOCAL TRAIN COMES INTO LILLE-EUROPE I can't see why it would take more than two minutes to get from it to the Eurostar checkin.

Add to that the fact that the few people who ARE changing have almost all come from regional France, and there are practically no trains from regional France arriving that early.

Now if your Bruges train gets into Lille-Flandres, it's a different story. And someone else might have colntrary experience. But unless either of the above apply, if Eurostar says check in 30 mins ahead on your ticket, 35 mins is OK. If the train's on time.
flanneruk is offline  
May 8th, 2008, 11:47 AM
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Lille Flandres is not adjacent to Lille-eurostar station - it's within eyeshot but still a ten min or so walk along a marked walkway

It might be a 10-minute walk if you are using a walker, but otherwise it is a 3 minute walk. It's no more than 300 meters across a large plaza.
kerouac is online now  
May 8th, 2008, 12:02 PM
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time you get off the train, figure out where to go, etc. 3 minutes would be very quick.
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May 8th, 2008, 12:04 PM
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www.bahn.de the infallible IME German rail web site that has schedules for all of Europe says, about this connection in Lille:

<40 min. walking distance and check-in-time>

since the advance check in time is 30 min i guess they figure a 10-min walk to connect which i think OP should consider as a minimum for someone not knowing the lay of stations, etc.
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May 8th, 2008, 12:25 PM
  #7  
Jen
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Thanks all. The train does go to Lille Flandres, direct from Bruges. So I was anticipating the walk... 5 or 10 minutes, depending on who you ask!

PalenQ, I did not know that about the all-Belgian stations fare... I will check that out. www.bahn.de is where I found this route... I use it all the time for European rail travel as well!
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May 8th, 2008, 12:46 PM
  #8  
yk
 
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Jen - On Eurostar website you can find the option of Belgium-ABS as your departure city. ABS=Any Belgium Station. It may be cheaper than buying the 2 journeys separately.
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May 8th, 2008, 12:47 PM
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The ABS fare is at least included free with Eurostar tickets bought in the U.S. thru RailEurope and i assume thru www.eurostar.com in euros as well but not totally sure. Prices are often cheaper IME thru eurostar.com but not always should if an American or Canadie(a)n be sure to check both sources as there seems little rhyme or reason often between them and RailEurope indeed sometimes can be cheaper and esp if ABS fare is not available at www.eurostar.com, which i suspect it must be. In the U.S.i always advise having someone at BETS (800-441-2387) do a manual search of RailEurope data base as IME the fares raileurope.com displays are not always the cheapest that indeed agents sometimes can book thru them - or from other agent who is an expert at scouring the RailEurope data base. But www.eurostar.com is more than not the best -cheaper- source.
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May 9th, 2008, 07:34 AM
  #10  
 
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Jen - definitely check out the connections through Brussels and the ABS fare. We spent a long weekend in Brugges (RT from London) a couple of years ago. Eurostar to Brussels then connection to Brugges. The Brussels - Brugges ticket was included in our fare and the transfer in Brussels was effortless - 3 tracks separated the trains. My SIL, who lived in London at the time, made the arrangements and she said this route was the quickest and easiest she could find.
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May 9th, 2008, 08:26 AM
  #11  
Jen
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Thanks everyone-- after looking into everything, we went with a one way flight from Brussels-London instead-- ended up being half the price of eurostar trip.
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