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Germqn/Swiss November Rail Travel Experts Thoughts

Germqn/Swiss November Rail Travel Experts Thoughts

Oct 12th, 2013, 04:53 AM
  #1  
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Germqn/Swiss November Rail Travel Experts Thoughts

I'd like to have your feedback. As you can see below, I enjoy rail travel so I am not concerned about numbers of train days as evidenced by a previous Europe trip with 33 trains over a 12 day span (my wife refused to accompany me although she is going this time for the markets.) Planning thus far:

11/28 Flight to Berlin
11/29 Rail Berlin to Quedlinberg, Auto rental pickup
11/30 - 12/3 Auto travel to Offenburg (Christmas markets, birthday party with friends)
12/6 Black forest Railway to Romanschorn, Voralpen Route to Luzern
12/6 - 12/9 Stay Luzern, Swiss Rail trips to Mt. Titlis, Luzern - Arosa roundtrip via Andermatt
12/10 Flight Home

Questions -
1. After point to point rail cost comparison, the Swiss/German Two Country Rail Pass seems the least cost, best suited for my travels. Am I missing something?
2. Has anyone experienced the Black Forest Railway and the Voralpen Route?

Thanks for your feedback.
Huggy
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Oct 12th, 2013, 05:21 AM
  #2  
 
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1) I cannot believe that.

For the Berlin-Quedlinburg portion I would for sure look into saver ticket options (Quer-durchs-Land-Ticket - only regional trains are involved, cost is 50 Euro for two adults.)

For Offenburg to Romanshorn I would use the Baden-Württemberg-Ticket until Konstanz (26 Euro for two adults, travel after 9 am.) From there on it's Swiss fares. Buy a Swiss Half Fare Card or Swiss Pass or Swiss Flexi Pass for the Swiss portion of your trip. See www.swisstravelsystem.ch

2) No, but I did parts of the latter. I wouldn't bother with the Voralpen-Express. Sure, it's nice, but not spectacular. You'll see (much) more scenic landscape later on this trip. So, head straight from Konstanz to Luzern.
Ingo is offline  
Oct 12th, 2013, 05:37 AM
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"11/29 Rail Berlin to Quedlinberg"

Available right now for 11/28: 29€ advance-sale savings fare to Q'burg at 7:30 am from Berlin Hbf. Using the IC train as far as Magdeburg. Ticket is train-specific. Buy now to get this price; prices go up as tickets sell. Or use the QDL ticket Ingo suggests at 50€.

"Has anyone experienced the Black Forest Railway..."

Yes. Beautiful ride, nice towns to visit. What questions do you have?

Offenburg is a good rail base if you're staying with friends or family but otherwise I think I would base myself in small town nearby since the rail travel you'll be doing in the area will be completely free that way. Stay in an old-world village like Gengenbach (on the BF railway 6 minutes from Offenburg,) and you'll receive a KONUS card at no charge. The card offers area discounts and FREE rail and bus travel for the duration of your stay. Offenburg is not part of the KONUS program.

http://www.dreisamtal.de/en/service/konus.php?lang=en
Russ is offline  
Oct 12th, 2013, 06:48 AM
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"Available right now for 11/28: 29€ advance-sale savings fare to Q'burg at 7:30 am from Berlin Hbf."

That's the fare for TWO adults, by the way.
Russ is offline  
Oct 12th, 2013, 07:09 AM
  #5  
 
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1. After point to point rail cost comparison, the Swiss/German Two Country Rail Pass seems the least cost, best suited for my travels>

Well if you do the discounted tickets in Germany then I would just buy a 4-consecutive-day Swiss Pass which will cover more than the Germany-Switzerland 'Eurailpass' - like giving 50 % off Titlis ascent from Engelberg by gondola and overall may be cheaper if you twin it with discounted Terman tickets - but if you want flexibility to hop any train anytime in Germany then the combo may be the better deal.

for lots of great info on Swiss and German trains check out these superb IMO sites - www.budgeteuropetrave.com; www.seat61.com and www.ricksteves.com. For Swiss - www.swisstravelsystem.com.

But except the 50% of ascent of Titlis the Germany-Switzerland pass would seem to cover all your Swiss trains except Andermatt and railways leading to it - Eurail good on lake boats on Lake Lucerne just like Swiss Pass.

Swiss Pass does give free entry to 400+ Swiss museums if going to any in Lucerne that is also a factor - Swiss Transport Museum however is now only 50% off - but still $12 or so value.
PalenQ is online now  
Oct 12th, 2013, 07:50 AM
  #6  
 
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If you like the Black Forest railway line, you will like the Voralpen Express too. Change at Kreuzlingen and Romanshorn (unless you would like to visit some of the many gems along this itinerary)

Arosa roundtrip: do you mean Lucerne - Goeschenen - Andermatt - Chur - Arosa - Chur - Zurich airport?
neckervd is offline  
Oct 12th, 2013, 08:48 AM
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The discount on the three-stage ascent of Titlis has been mentioned above and that ascent at full price is not cheap. The trip from Luzern to Engleberg and the ascent are definitely worth the time, etc., IMO.
Dukey1 is offline  
Oct 12th, 2013, 06:35 PM
  #8  
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Thanks to all. Had not seen the Querdurchs-Land -Ticket. Seems the way to go. Glad I posted the question as I had visited both the DB and Swiss rail sites.

Neckervd: Will end up back in Luzern so will follow that route in general as I have one more day to spend in Switz.

It appears that the the recommendation for the Voralpen Express is one in fave and one for don't bother. As I enjoy the train ride and need to get to Luzern from the end of the Black Forest line, I will hop on that segment.

Appreciate all your help.

Huggy
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Oct 13th, 2013, 08:48 AM
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You are in Switzerland four days and sem to be traveling everyday - thgen look strongly at the 4-consecutive day Swiss Pass and not the Germany-Swiss Eurailpass.
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Oct 13th, 2013, 01:59 PM
  #10  
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Pal:

Only three as I will be in Luzern on the last day. No need for a 4 day pass.

Huggy
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Oct 13th, 2013, 07:25 PM
  #11  
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Pal:

"But except the 50% of ascent of Titlis the Germany-Switzerland pass would seem to cover all your Swiss trains except Andermatt and railways leading to it - Eurail good on lake boats on Lake Lucerne just like Swiss Pass"

Please explain your comment about travel to Andermatt and travel leading to it? Would not the 2 country pass cover this?

We wish to travel first class on trains and the pass allows me flexibility on dates of travel so I may opt for the 6 day pass.

Thanks,

Huggy
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Oct 13th, 2013, 09:03 PM
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You're in Switzerland the 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th and only fly home on 10th. Makes definitely four consecutive days in my book.
Ingo is offline  
Oct 14th, 2013, 04:20 AM
  #13  
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Ingo:

Except I will not use a train on the 9th. If I choose to use a train, I will have the pass. My plans sometimes are altered as I travel.

Thank you for your assistance.
Huggy is offline  
Oct 14th, 2013, 05:59 AM
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In order to make it clear: IMHO neither the Black Forest railway nor the Voralpen Express are among the most scenic railway lines. But Voralpen Express is still better than Schwarzwaldbahn.
And both are better than the itinerary via Freiburg - Basle.

I still cannot understand why you want to go from Lucerne to Arosa and back in 1 day. But it's up to you.
neckervd is offline  
Oct 14th, 2013, 07:23 AM
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Neckervd:

Being a railfan is a hobby that I enjoy. Riding in an open air car in freezing weather is something that most people find rather disturbing behavior. Riding in a closed rail car in Switzerland is something that is much more appealing. Most people would probably not choose this as a hobby. As I commented in my first post, I once rode 33 trains in 12 consecutive days in four countries. I come here for travel advice and not mental commentary although some of the answers I read here leave me shaking my head in amazement.

To each their own and let the buyer beware! This is my retirement therapy after 40 years of business travel.

Really, I am fine. I was just given a clean bill by the local hospital. My wife understands my mental condition and has put up with me for 39 years. She, in fact is traveling with me to watch over me and carry my drugs.

I appreciate any assistance I receive here.
Huggy is offline  
Oct 14th, 2013, 09:23 AM
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Are you sure you won't need the Swiss Pass on that fourth day? It is also good on city transportation and also covers the museums. You may want to squeeze in a short boat cruise on the lake (lunch cruise e.g.), just to see Luzern from the lake.

Btw, you have to get to the airport on the fifth day. What about the Swiss Flexi Pass for four days?
Ingo is offline  
Oct 14th, 2013, 10:57 AM
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Btw, you have to get to the airport on the fifth day. What about the Swiss Flexi Pass for four days?>

A 3 day Swiss Flexipass is almost always better than a 4 day or longer Swiss Flexipass - I would say always but there may be some chance it would be better.
PalenQ is online now  
Oct 14th, 2013, 12:41 PM
  #18  
 
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Please explain your comment about travel to Andermatt and travel leading to it? Would not the 2 country pass cover this?>

Well Andermatt is on a railway line that does not honor Eurailpasses - Disentis to Chur/St Moritz is fully covered but Brig to Andermatt and the shuttle train from Goschenen to Andermatt are not part of the Eurail scheme so you'll pay extra.

Now that may not be a whole lot on regional trains - avoid the Glacier Express that plies that line as it charges an indecednt supplement for railpass holders - but Goschednen-Andermatt-Disentis is not covered so you'll pay regular fare on regional trains for Goschenen-Andermatt-Disentis. Eurailpasses are fully valid on the rest of your loop, including the sideline to Arosa and then via Chur to Lucerne.

Swiss Passes cover the whole route.
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