Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

German Train Travel- need some help with final plans

German Train Travel- need some help with final plans

Jun 3rd, 2007, 05:22 PM
  #21  
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 9,017
>ÖPNV = Öffentlicher Personennahverkehr. That can be any local transport, no matter where. MVV,RNV, local DB trains etc. There's a large variety of ticket automats, just the DB automats are somwhat standarized, running on Windows XP. Nahverkehr is taxed at 7%, while all other tickets are taxed at 19%, so if a certain amount of tax is given on the ticket, you can distinguish between local and long distance
logos999 is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2007, 05:29 PM
  #22  
PJK
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 397
LarryinColorado, your story reminds me of the time I showed some Italians how to operate the machines at the laundrymat in Italy. I honestly think they might have been non-readers. Nothing was in English, but I had figured out the system and tried to help them. My family sat on the curb outside and watched the entertainment. I teach English as a Second language, so grunting and pointing to communicate is nothing new to me.

I have been following this thread today and feel more intimidated than I did previously. We are going to Germany in October and beginning to try to sort out when to drive and when to take the train. We have figured out how to buy tickets from machines in other European countries, so surely I will be able to figure this one out too. PJK
PJK is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2007, 05:34 PM
  #23  
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 9,017
You'll figure it out The bigger problem is to figure out what kind of ticket is best for you, not how to operate the automat. Hope you're good at math.
logos999 is offline  
Jun 4th, 2007, 08:54 AM
  #24  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 1,421
For 4 people from FRA to Bacharach, the best fare is a Preisstufe 6 (price level 6) Gruppentageskarte (group day ticket) for €30,90. Best way to buy it is probably from a ticket counter at the regionalbahnhof at the airport; I don't think there is a surcharge like there is with the Länder tickets.

If you buy the day ticket from an RMV automat, the code for Bacharach is 6990. Gruppentageskarte will probably be one of the buttons in the two column on the right. You select that button and put in the code, but I am not sure in which order.

From FRA to Bacharach, you will probably change trains in Mainz. Be aware that in Mainz, the RB (Regional Bahn) trains (the only ones that stop in Bacharach) board on track (Gleis)11. Track 11 is not in the sequence with the through tracks in the station. It is a stub track and is next to the station building on the end opposite from where you came in.

Mainz station plan at http://tinyurl.com/3colrb
Larryincolorado is offline  
Jun 4th, 2007, 09:17 AM
  #25  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 1,421
This is an amendment to the cost of Salzburg to Berlin. If the OP buys a RT SparPreis 50 ticket from Salzburg to Berlin, the price is €236. Just "lose" the return ticket.

So that saves €118 (about $160) vs using a full fare ticket and makes using special fares less than a railpass.
Larryincolorado is offline  
Jun 4th, 2007, 09:41 AM
  #26  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 1,421
For Freiburg to Rothenburg, instead of just going down the Rhein, consider one of two alternatives.

1: Go east from Freiburg past Tittisee to Donaueschingen. Donaueschingen is considered to be the headwaters of the Danube, one of the worlds great rivers. From there you you travel down the "nacent" Danube to Sigmaringen. The trip along the Danube valley is very scenic, and you come into Sigmaringen across the river from the Hohenzollern castle, which sits impressively on a rocky bluff over the Danube. From there you go through the heart of Schwaben to Ulm and on to Rothenburg. That route takes 7hr 40min, but it is really worth it for the scenery.

The other alternative is to go down the Rhein to Offenburg, then turn inland to Hausach and go up the Kinzig through the heart of the northern Schwarzwald, past Fruendenstadt, to Stuttgart and from there to Rothenburg. That trip take just under eight hours and the section from Hausach to Freudenstadt is very pretty.

A third alternative would be to go from Freiburg to Donaueschingen, then north along the Schwarzwaldbahn to Hausach and from there to Stuttgart. The route along the Schwarzwaldbahn is one of the most beautiful sections of track in Germany, but that route takes 10 hours, probably not in your schedule.
Larryincolorado is offline  
Jun 4th, 2007, 09:42 AM
  #27  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 75,889
For the long train rides the pass is nice because you can use it on any train anytime and after the min 4-day flexipass extra days are but around $20/day i believe and takes all the figuring out out of it and can take any train - rather than being restricted to slower regional trains getting to Salzurg you can hop on trains not covered by the Bavarian Pass, etc.

As for the pass they are sold i believe at a uniform price set by RailEurope i think thru their DER subsidiary - the ex-German Rail Eurail franchise that RailEurope bought a few years ago - yes shipping costs and handling fees can be added on. I always recommend BETS (800-441-2387) for any questions on passes whether you buy one or not they'll answer and for passes as they have no mailing fee except on rush order.

But Larry has laid it all out for you in his always impeccably impressive style so you have all the data. I like passes even if they cost more for the flexibility of hopping any train any time - no 9:30am restrictions, take ICE trains, etc. And SPAR fares are great if you don't want flexibility and if you can get them. You kids under 26 can get the cheap German Rail Youthpass.
PalenQ is offline  
Jun 4th, 2007, 09:54 AM
  #28  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 1,421
Because the German Rail Twin pass is just that, a "Twin" pass for just two people, if you have an odd number of people in your group, and one of them is under 26, then the Youth pass can be less.

However, sharing a 2nd class Twin pass is usually a better deal than a Youth pass. The first four days of a Youth pass cost $192 vs. $173 for one person using a Twin. Extra days on the Youth pass are $7 less, but you don't come out ahead with the Youth pass until seven days.
Larryincolorado is offline  
Jun 4th, 2007, 10:20 AM
  #29  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 1,421
>SPAR fares are great if you don't want flexibility

What a strange way to put that. I'd prefer to say SPAR fares are great if you want to save money and don't REQUIRE flexibility. I used a German Rail pass twice, once in 1988 when it was $160 for 16 days. The last time was in 2000, when I made my first trip to Germany in 10 years. Before I went, I looked up all the schedules for the places I wanted to go and found the optimum connections. I never deviated from my optimum schedule, so flexibility meant nothing. I think railpasses can be a cover-up for lack of planning.

When I came home, I looked up the fares for the trains I actually took, and I figure I saved only a few dollars. In addition, there were less expensive trains I could have taken without much sacrifice and paid less than using the pass. In those days, there were no Länder tickets, just the Schönes-Wochenende.

A few years ago, my wife and I took a loop around So. Germany, from Stuttgart to Rothenburg, to Berchtesgaden, to the Allgäu, to Ulm, to Sigmaringen, and back to Stuttgart. Five of the days would have cost enough full fare (2nd cl.) to justify a railpass, at $388 (today's prices). Using Länder and S-W tickets, we paid €168 (again, today's prices), the equivalent of $228 at $1.36/€.

So, we saved about $160. In comparison, a day and night in the pension in the Allgäu, breakfast and dinner included, cost about $90. So, you could say that by being judicious with our rail expenses, we gained an extra day of vacation, almost two.
Larryincolorado is offline  
Jun 4th, 2007, 10:31 AM
  #30  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 1,421
BTW, Allgäu to Ulm to Sigmaringen was one day, for which we used an S-W-Ticket. The 5th day would have been used for a day trip from the Allgäu to Lindau and back, for which we used a Bayern-Ticket.

In comparing times, on three of the days, regional train provided the best schedule anyway. On the other two days, we would have saved a total of 1hr 31min on the express trains we could have ridden with a railpass.
Larryincolorado is offline  
Jun 4th, 2007, 01:58 PM
  #31  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 75,889
Yes the German Pass comes for some moronic reason only in a Twin Pass version whereas all other passes in Europe seem to have a Saverpass option with up to 5 names on one pass (well some don't even have the saver option but most do)

that's what i should have explained when i mentioned the youth pass option - Larry is of course right that twin is cheaper than two youth passes.

However 18 yr olds may want flexibility to take separate trains, etc.

Twin pass with two names means that you have one pass with, duh, two names on it - but both folks named do not have to travel for the pass to be used. Mainly this would involve taking S-Bahns in say Berlin after you get there using a day on a pass - one wants to rest in hotel and other name on Twin Pass wants to explore town on S-Bahn, which is covered by the German rail pass (U Bahns are not) - but it would never pay to use a day on a pass just to ride S-Bahns and local passes for all transit systems are much much cheaper.
PalenQ is offline  
Jun 4th, 2007, 02:02 PM
  #32  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 1,421
I am doing this "off the top of my head" right now (usually I don't post anything without confirming it). I believe that the railpass and Länder ticket are not valid on some S-bahns in Berlin. They are only valid on the ones going through the Hbf (?). Does anyone know this for sure?
Larryincolorado is offline  
Jun 4th, 2007, 03:29 PM
  #33  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 1,421
OK. I just check the website for Verkehrsverbund Berlin-Brandenburg (www.vbbonline.de) and they don't say anything about any S-bahns not accepting the S-W-T or Länder ticket, so maybe what I thought I heard somewhere was wrong. I assume that is also true of a railpass. It does say you can't use S-W-T or Berlin-Brandenburg-Ticket for the Schöneicher-Rüdersdorfer streetcar, but that wouldn't be valid with a railpass anyhow.
Larryincolorado is offline  
Jun 4th, 2007, 07:15 PM
  #34  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 500
Thanks everyone for all your help! I will look everything over more this week and buy our passes. I have looked at the German Rail website for transportation from Frankfurt airport to Bacharach. We arrive at 3:05 in the afternoon. We will be carrying our luggage. I see a train leaving at -
Frankfurt(M) Flughafen Regionalbf
Bacharach Th, 05.07.07
Th, 05.07.07
dep 16:23
arr 17:24
1:01 0 RE Fares not available

Do you think we could make this train or do you think we will need more time and go an hour later. That one shows no changes of train, so am I to assume it goes directly to Bacharach and that we won't have to get off in say, Mainz, like some people have posted? I would like to know if I am reading the schedule correctly? Thanks!


kkukura is offline  
Jun 5th, 2007, 04:59 AM
  #35  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,228
You might make that first one - depends on factors no one can predict, of course. Have the second option in mind as well.

You have read correctly - those are direct trains. The first one (RE) is likely to be a bit nicer in terms of comfort and appearance, perhaps the double-decker variety; the RB's tend to be older, rattly, and squeally when they brake. But they'll get you there.

Make sure you go to the Regionalbahnhof, downstairs from the main halls. The other station is a bit further removed from the heart of the airport. Just follow the signs.
Russ is offline  
Jun 5th, 2007, 05:13 AM
  #36  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 2,206
>Do you think we could make this train or do you think we will need more time and go an hour later.

Just stop worrying and take the one that you get to
altamiro is offline  
Jun 5th, 2007, 07:18 AM
  #37  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 75,889
And after my last two train trips in Germany show that German trains today are often it seems running late - so you may have more time to catch that train than you think. But like altamiro says there will be another train in an hour and if it involves changes those are a snap - usually from one platform to a nearby one.
PalenQ is offline  
Jun 7th, 2007, 04:40 AM
  #38  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 500
Does anyone know the distance between the KD boat place in Koblenz to the Haubtbahnhof there? I am trying to see if we can make the Rhine cruise from Bacharach up the Rhine to Koblenz and then take the train to Moselkern. On the return trip after going to Burg Eltz I think we would take the train from Moselkern to Bacharach. Do we need boat reservations if we use our Twin Pass? Thanks again. Everyone has been a HUGE help to me in my planning!
kkukura is offline  
Jun 7th, 2007, 07:13 AM
  #39  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 75,889
It's about a mile, perhaps a tad less - the station is about straight west of the boat dock.
PalenQ is offline  
Jun 10th, 2007, 08:32 PM
  #40  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 500
Are the trains air conditioned? I have printed out the train schedules for my trips between towns. Should I check back right before we leave (July 4th) to see if the times have changed? Going from Munich to Salzburg it shows we will get a bus in Traunstein and then get another train in Freilassing to finish up in Salzburg. Am I reading that correctly?
kkukura is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 04:23 PM.