German Rail

Old May 23rd, 2006, 07:53 AM
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German Rail

Are there any advantages in travelling First Class on German Rail instead of 2nd Class ?.
Do you get food/beverages or any other freebies ?
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Old May 23rd, 2006, 08:18 AM
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ira
 
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Hi L,

There is no such thing as a free lunch.

1cl has wider, more comfy seats, and is usually less crowded.

For trips under 4 hr, I go 2cl.

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Old May 23rd, 2006, 02:21 PM
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On the ICE in first class they have TFT Video Screens. A few years ago you had 2 movies to choose from, that was nice! Today it's just advertisment programms...
Seems DB can't afford the few euros it would cost to show someting interesting. However, I usually take my portable DVD player with me and stay in 2nd class . 1st class is a waste of money!
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Old May 23rd, 2006, 02:38 PM
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I've ridden in both 1st and 2nd class on DB, and both were just fine -- clean, comfortable. And both first and second class carriages on the train arrive at the destination at the same time!

On my first trip in '04, it was 2nd class every time, because my sprawling month-long schedule wasn't conducive to getting a Eurail pass. However, I used 1st class on my last trip because the travel was all within Germany, and it was quite inexpensive to do so with a 4-trip Eurail pass.

Impressions: 2nd class is more crowded, for sure, but crowded with interesting people. European holiday travellers predominated, and there were lots of students. Conversations were easy to start, so the travel seemed to take less time, and was far more memorable.

1st class is quite a bit more comfy with wider seats, more legroom. But also less interesting, in the sense that other travellers are likely to be businessmen, intent on their laptops, or involved in conversation amongst themselves. If you're counting on your train trips to give yourself a little quiet 'self time', you may want to consider 1st class.

Regardless, if your train schedule takes you any distance on a holiday or weekend, be sure to get a reserved seat -- which can be done in either class of travel.

Fritzl
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Old May 23rd, 2006, 07:30 PM
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German first class can vary! I booked first class seats from Munich to Zürich, non smoking. Guess what? My seat was right next to a three quarters glass partition. Just on the other side of the partition was a smoking seat!

Fortunately other seats were vacant and I moved.

The seats in first class were no better than my rides in second class on ICE trains, but the conditions were less crowded.

Last year I made the same trip second class and there was a little less leg room.
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Old May 24th, 2006, 02:36 PM
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2nd class cars get to the destination at the same time (sometimes seconds earlier) as the 1st class cars.
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Old May 24th, 2006, 02:50 PM
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Yes, and people flying coach arrive at the same time as people flying in business or first, but that doesn't mean they're identical.
I travel in first class most of the time; it's worth it to me. I like the quieter compartments, the extra leg room, the solo seats that you can't get in second on ICE trains. Also, you can get drinks served to your seat on ICE trains, but they're not free.
Generally speaking, our rule is that if traveling first has no real impact on our overall travel budget, then we travel first class. If it means we'd have to cut back on something, then we don't.
The train station in Cologne has am upstairs first class lounge with hot and cold drinks, some snacks, newspapers, attendants, tvs, internet access points, and restrooms. When I take long distance day trains through Europe, I often have a connection in Cologne, so I take advantage of the lounge (the official entrance is from the ticketing area on the main floor, but the elevator has long been broken; when traveling with luggage, it's better to take the elevator up to track one where the back entrance to the lounge is located).
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Old May 24th, 2006, 03:09 PM
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>hot and cold drinks,
FREE hot and cold drinks, that is! ;-)
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Old May 24th, 2006, 04:14 PM
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Just check on whether some trains you'll be on are all 2nd class...that's when 1st becomes a total waster of money. This may be the case when you travel short distances on regional trains...Listen to Ira, he's the expert. The longer the distance, the more it matters...also be careful to observe whether you are advised to reserve or not....you don't want to be stuck without a reservation in First Class if you have paid the extra money. By all means, though, do not pay more than a few euro for a reservation. Some agencies in the US really gauge people for this...like $10/segment/person. That's way too much...
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Old May 24th, 2006, 04:45 PM
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- Reservations and tickets on the www.bahn.de website
- Pay by credit card
- Tickets sent to your home address
- NO US agencies involved
- NO cheaper alternative (except railpass)
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