Is RailSaver Outdated?

Mar 25th, 2007, 05:19 PM
  #1  
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Is RailSaver Outdated?

We'll be in Switzerland this summer for our annual three week visit. Although we usually purchase a 22 day SwissSaver Pass I decided that this year it might be better to check out other options as we will be based in one location for almost the entire time. We will be taking a number of side trips.

So I went on www.railsaver.com, entered our entire itinerary with all the possible side trips, and it came back, with all the individual ticket prices listed, that we should not purchase any rail passes as the total cost of tickets for each traveler will be less than a train pass. Terrific, I thought.

Next, I went on www.rail.ch to compare the ticket prices that RailSaver listed to what Swiss Rail lists. Uh, oh. Not so terrific any more.

I don't know where RailSaver got their prices but they definitely did not have any relation to the prices that one would actually have to pay. RailSaver looks good but they were much less per ticket than the actual ticket costs.

So I'm forgetting about RailSaver and will now compute the difference between a half fare card vs a SwissSaver Pass.

What I want to know is this. With incorrect ticket prices from RailSaver why is this still being recommended by some posters? Or is it that I am doing something wrong when I use RailSaver or when I use rail.ch?
Lenore1 is offline  
Mar 25th, 2007, 06:59 PM
  #2  
 
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this is rather shocking as my experience comparing railsaver.com to actual prices is that railsaver usually uses higher prices than those actually at the station in Europe. Of course they are in reality as major railpass sales outlet so inflating prices is in their favor, to make a railpass seem better than it might be and thus for someone to order a railpass thru their sight.
So i shocked that in this case it appears the opposite! If traveling much at all the 22-day Saver Swisspass seems hard to beat considering that it covers virtually anything that moves in the country apart from cows! I feel Swiss Passes in general are a true bargain in light of local fares - passes now sold in Switzerland apparently are significantly higher than those sold in the U.S. even though Swiss Rail owns a chunk of Rail Europe, who markets these passes in the U.S. I always recommend BETS (www.budgeteuropetravel.com) for Swiss Rail products due to their sheer expertise and lack of some of Rail Europe's mailing fees even though they are a RailEurope agent. You have done your homework and know the pass is a great deal. Why railsaver.com who not say the same is no doubt some glitch.
PalenQ is offline  
Mar 26th, 2007, 05:32 AM
  #3  
ira
 
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Very interesting, Lenore.

I looked up Zurich to Geneva.

Railsaver says the ticket is 73USD.
When I went to purchase the ticket at their site (via RailEurope) it gave me a fare of $92 or $69 - depending on the train.

At rail_ch, the price was 77 SF = $63.

What were your routes?


ira is offline  
Mar 26th, 2007, 05:39 AM
  #4  
 
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Is it possible that Railsaver is showing a marked-up price as does RailEurope?
Dukey is offline  
Mar 26th, 2007, 05:44 AM
  #5  
 
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In any case Railsaver is a clone of RailEurope - in fact the former president of RE is now the CEO of Wandrian Rail, who powers railsaver.com to help Wandiran sell railpasses and not necessarily give an objective look at whether a railpass is economically good or not.
RailEurope has the exact same service as railsaver.com yet no one on this board would ever recommend folks go there - but they blindly do so with railsaver.com even though this is a clone of RailEurope.
PalenQ is offline  
Mar 26th, 2007, 06:02 AM
  #6  
ira
 
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Hey PQ,

One should use railsaver to determine if a raipass saves money, not to buy tickets.

Since they generally overestimate the cost, if they tell you not to get a railpass, you can rely on that.

ira is offline  
Mar 26th, 2007, 06:04 AM
  #7  
ira
 
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Hi L,

>RailSaver looks good but they were much less per ticket than the actual ticket costs.<

Are you sure that you aren't comparing USD at railsaver to Swiss Franks at rail_ch?

ira is offline  
Mar 26th, 2007, 06:53 AM
  #8  
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Here is an example of what I found.

Davos Dorf to St. Gallen, 2nd class, one way

RailSaver - 19 USA Dollars
Rail.ch - 45 Swiss Francs

And all the other tickets that I checked on RailSaver were just the same - nowhere near the actual prices.
ira, it does not appear that one can rely on RailSaver any longer.
Lenore1 is offline  
Mar 26th, 2007, 07:33 AM
  #9  
 
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45 Swiss Francs is about $37.00
Dukey is offline  
Mar 26th, 2007, 07:52 AM
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Or could it be - a conspiracy theory - that since Wandrian Rail (operator of railsaver.com) and Raileurope are competitors and RE markets the Swiss Pass (RE is part owned by Swiss Railways) that railsaver.com is sabotaging Swiss Pass sales of RE by posting bogus fares?

I'm not saying it's so but is this dastardly method possible. I wonder if Wandrian Rail and their railsaver.com tool even sells Swiss Railpasses or if they do they must buy them thru RailEurope. This could be getting nasty?
PalenQ is offline  
Mar 26th, 2007, 07:56 AM
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Correct me if I am wrong but i have always been under the impression that railway PASS prices were set by the railroads and not by the agencies which market them.

Am I incorrect about that?

I realize that different agencies can add on "extras" such as processing fees, S+H charges, etc., which can drive the final COST of buying a pass upward.
Dukey is offline  
Mar 26th, 2007, 08:18 AM
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Well coach this is murkey - Eurailpass railpass prices i believe are set by the Eurail Committe sitting in Utrecht, Holland and more and more passes are becoming Eurail - even some country passes.

But other passes, like Swiss, French and British seem to be not and are set i believe by the major wholesaler - in the first two rail europe and the later BritRail, which ironically is also run by a former RailEurope higher up.

I may check sometime to see if Wandrian Rail even sells Swiss Passes - if not could be the 'smoking gun'.

I'd feel comfortable that RE, part owned by Swiss Railways, sets the prices for that pass - but not sure. After years of studying these things it's all still a little murky.

Last year the word was that the Eurail committe was thinking of deregulizing Eurailpass prices and let their marketers set their own prices but that hasn't materialized yet it seems

What is new that passes are based in euros and this is why since Jan 2007 the prices of Eurailpasses and other country passes with the Eurail monniker have ping-pongs up and down every few weeks by a few bucks - up one week, down the next. Thus prices are not set in stone for the year as they nearly were before.
PalenQ is offline  
Mar 26th, 2007, 08:21 AM
  #13  
 
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Since RE is owned by the combo SNCF and CFF and is their North American marketing arm it seems that the railroads would be telling RE what to charge and not the other way around.
Dukey is offline  
Mar 26th, 2007, 08:25 AM
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Coach - you are right i think generally but there are railpasses that were created by RailEurope - some of the 2-country passes and i think it's a bargaining process. Again it's a bit murky but if RE and the Swiss and French railways are in fact one entity they are bargaining with themselves.

This is getting all very murky to me now. And i really don't know who sets prices and when.
PalenQ is offline  
Apr 5th, 2007, 06:43 AM
  #15  
 
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ttt
PalenQ is offline  
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