Is rail really the best

Old Mar 9th, 2006, 04:36 PM
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Is rail really the best

I will be planning a trip this summer between London, Paris, & Amsterdam. Does anyone have a suggestion on which railpass I should purchase?
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Old Mar 9th, 2006, 04:52 PM
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In my experience almost never is a rail pass a good idea. Point-to-point tickets are much more reasonable.

Try a website like www.railsaver.com and key in your itinerary. Make sure you check the box about picking a pass for you only if it saves you money.

Check the website of your country of origin to see if there is a deal. For example www.sncf.com for any rail voyage originating in France. Some of the nonrefundable advance purchase tickets are deals.

Also your destinations are fairly close geographically. Airfare might be a little cheaper, but you have to consider cost and time of getting to the airports vs. rail stations which are in the city centers.
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Old Mar 9th, 2006, 05:05 PM
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donīt forget buses which can be even cheaper, although there can be some good deals on train tickets buying them in advance.
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Old Mar 9th, 2006, 05:15 PM
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May -- keep in mind that these three cities are only a few hours by train apart from eachother. It just doesn't make sense to fly from one to the other because of having to travel TO the airport, get through security, then take a 30-minute puddle jumper to the city itself, then navigate another airport.

Eurostar from London to Paris takes you from downtown London to the north end of Paris (easily accessible by subway/bus/taxi to the center of the city) with a quick security and passport check. I haven't been to Amsterdam yet, but would assume it's no different.

If you buy your tickets in advance, you can save big bucks. A 1-way Eurostar ticket is $150 if you wait, $200 RT, and if you just buy the RT in advance, it's $97, and you just don't have to use the return ticket if you don't want to.

There isn't a railpass out there that I've found useful for the kind of travel I do. And I've done the research. It's time consuming, but fascinating to find out what point-to-point costs are, then do the research on whether there's a railpass for less.
My guess from reading here is railpasses aren't the same bargain they used to be. But research never hurts to make sure.

Happy travels.

Jules
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Old Mar 9th, 2006, 05:18 PM
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For that itinerary you would almost certainly be better off buying point to point tickets. A raipass is better for someone dong "all of Europe" and traveling every day.
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Old Mar 9th, 2006, 10:26 PM
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Travelling between London and Amsterdam by train practically never makes sense.

Whether you go by Eurostar via Brussels, or by train/sea/train through Harwich, it'll take, all found, at least twice the plane time and almost certainly cost at least twice as much. That includes surface travel and checkin times. Minimum checkin times for the Eurostar train, for example, are three times longer than those for Amsterdam flights from London City airport.

Trains are, of course, the best way to travel between the centre of Paris and the centre of London and Amsterdam. But buying a pass will almost certainly cost you cash and travelling time compared with single train tickets and a flight between Lodon and Amsterdam.

Use www.nonbudget.rev, using LON as the code for London, to see all the airlines flying this route. Then shop around. All other websites quoted on this board ignore airlines - and therefore opportunities for saving time or money.
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Old Mar 9th, 2006, 11:13 PM
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Cotswold (or whomever can answer). I have also been trying to figure out the best deal for train travel. I posted on another thread. Anyway...I can get the
"Benelux 5 Day 2nd Class Adult FlexiPass Companion/Saver" for $132. This covers all my trains minus one short day trip. The only thing is I believe I have to pay a reservation fee. Does anyone know if that's the case? Do I pay a res. fee for each destination? If so, the point to point is cheaper I think.

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Old Mar 10th, 2006, 12:43 AM
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With a railpass you always have to pay for seat reservations and a supplement for certain types of trains such as Thalys (Paris-Amsterdam) and perhaps on the Eurostar as well.

Have you input your itinerary at railsaver.com to compare prices?

It really is unfortunate that you got the usual replies with the words "it never makes sense" and all the other generalizations because there are times when a rail pass makes perfect sense as well as times when flying London-Amsterdam for about 16 Euros makes sense even if you DO have to travel to an "outlying" airport to do it.
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Old Mar 10th, 2006, 01:25 AM
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In Belgium and the Netherlands, there are no seat reservations for domestic train journeys, even on Amsterdam-Brussels intercity trains.
Rail passes give a discount on Eurostar trains.
The only way to decide whether a rail pass is worthwhile is to compare costs of buying separate tickets. Most standard train fares in Europe are calculated from the distance in kilometres so, if you look up the cost of one journey in a country, you can guess at fares for other journeys in that country. Eurostar fares are quite different and are like airline fares.
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Old Mar 10th, 2006, 03:11 AM
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For your trip a flight only makes sense for the Amsterdam to London portion, the rest is much quicker by train, but as you can get the Eurostar from Brussels you might want to add another city to your trip.

For the Eurostar a railpass is a waste of money as the supplement is MORE than the price of some of the normal tickets
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