I need a "Euro trains for Dummies" Book

May 3rd, 2006, 06:19 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 955
I need a "Euro trains for Dummies" Book

Ok, I admit to being an total idiot when it comes to trains. Been to Europe many times, only rode the train once. So I need help from the bewildering awray of train ticket sites that google brings up. I mean both towns have multiple train stations, etc.
Here's my situation. My frequent flyer miles brings me into Brussels at 7:30 am on June 23. we then want to go to Amsterdam, where I am preextending prior to going on a Baltic Cruise, our first ever large ship cruise.
When we return, July 9, we are supposedly to disembark at 7:30, but I've been told that could end up being a bit later. We want to get on a train as soon as possible back to Brussels, where we will spend the night at the Sheraton Brussels Airport Hotel for a 10am flight out the next morning. After dumping the luggage at the Sheraton, we would like to go into central Brussels for a nice dinner, sites, etc., then return to the Sheraton. All of this by train.
I have reviewed books and web sites and even talked to a ("gasp") travel agent, but I am still perplexed. Gotta be some kinda train challenged thing; left/right brain, whatever. Can someone take a little time and help a train dummy? Like where and when to I buy, and what stations am I looking for?
(Boy, I feel stupid.)Thanks.
BillJ is offline  
May 3rd, 2006, 06:32 PM
  #2  
rex
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 13,194
You can catch the train right at the airport, and that will take you to Brussels Midi, and from there you can go to Amsterdam Centraal. You can buy your tickets right at the airport in Brussels; it will be reasonably obvious where to go to find the ticket counter.

There isn't much point in buying anything ahead, as I see it.

Best wishes,

Rex
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May 3rd, 2006, 07:21 PM
  #3  
yk
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 24,197
What you need is the Belgian Railway website:
http://www.b-rail.be/main/E/

Choose Brussels Airport for the airport station
Choose Brussels Central for tourist center

Like Rex said, there's no need to buy your tickets ahead of time. You can buy your tickets when you arrive at the train station.
yk is offline  
May 3rd, 2006, 07:53 PM
  #4  
 
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generally speaking & I'm no expert but have always been able to simply buy tickets from a person live at the booth/window (if I was confused) or a machine in the station. Especially when you're just getting around locally it's pretty easy, and not intimidating once you've done it a couple times.
suze is offline  
May 4th, 2006, 01:40 AM
  #5  
 
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Brussels has three train stations plus the airport station. Take the train from the airport to Brussels Central Station and catch the International Express from Brussels Central to Amsterdam Centraal. Alternatively you can spend more and take the Thalys to Amsterdam from Brussels Midi/Zuid, the south station. Buy your tickets in the airport station when you arrive or any station. Brussels is officially bilingual, French and Dutch, but most people speak French. The ticket people should certainly speak English at the airport.

Your routing is rather simple and should be no problem. To learn more about the trains in Europe see these pages:
www.enjoy-europe.com/hte/chap17/rail.htm
www.enjoy-europe.com/hte/chap17/rail2.htm

hopscotch is offline  
May 4th, 2006, 04:04 AM
  #6  
 
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Have a look at www.seat61.com
robertinlondon is offline  
May 4th, 2006, 02:27 PM
  #7  
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Thanks a whole lot, folks. "I can see clearly now." yk's suggested link helped immensely. First time I'd seen enjoy-europe. Looks like a fine resource. I've bookmarked both. seat 61 wouldn't boot up.(?)
OK, now I'm cool. Upon arrival BRU I will go directly to the train station. Trains leave about every hour, and I will change trains at Bussels Nord going both ways. Very easy back and forth for our last nite. Upon debarking the ship, off to A'dam Centraal, and reverse the trip.
Thanks so much. When in doubt, ask the Fodorite's.
Bill
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