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Logistics question: best connection to change trains- IR to TGV

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Logistics question: best connection to change trains- IR to TGV

Old Nov 5th, 2004, 08:50 PM
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Logistics question: best connection to change trains- IR to TGV

After much research, and precious advise got from you at this board, we sorted the itinerary out, and got to this:

Family of four, parents and their two kids aged 4 and 6, arriving to Malpensa on December, 26, at 2:40 PM, flying from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Planing to take a bus to Milano Centrale, to catch the Cisalpino into Brig, Switzerland. This is where the first question arises:

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How much time to allow between the flight's arrival, and the departure of the Cisalpino into Brig at Milano Centrale, considering time spent at the curb to check luggage out, customs, gates, bus and train ticket stands, travel time between the airport and train station, ATM machine, and all this stuff?

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Stay in Brig overnight ( 26 to 27), and take the bus on Dec, 27 into Saas Fee ( plenty of fun for the kids with sledging, toboggans, sleds pulled by huskies, horses' carriage, all the Roberto, my son in law, wanted).

3 nights stay at either Hotel Tenne or Hotel Schweizerhof in Saas Fee.

Dec, 30, at about 9 AM, take the bus back into Brig, and then the Intercity train from Brig to...

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and this is where another question arises:

What's the best, easier connection to take the TGV into Gare de Lyon-- Geneve or Lausanne?

Another question is what do you think is a reasonable time frame to change trains without having to rush?

Should they book the seats all the way to Paris when leaving Brig, or it would be better to book the TGV tickets as they get to the station, be it Lausanne or Geneve?

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Stay a week in Paris, from Dec, 30 to January, 6, and on January, 6- taxi to GDG, direct flight back home ( all together this time).

Counting on your kindness and invaluable advice once more, I thank you in anticipation.

Ceci
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Old Nov 5th, 2004, 10:43 PM
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I can only comment on the TGV: reservations are required and often if you buy last minute tickets you get 'standing' so book the TGV in advance.
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Old Nov 6th, 2004, 02:42 AM
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Ceci - Malpensa is well on the way to Brig - so there's no point in back-tracking to Milan. (You'd be wasting 2 hours++ unnecessarily ...)

The nearest railway station to Malpensa is GALLARATE - which is on the Milan-Brig route.

Gallarate is 10-15 mins by bus or taxi from Malpensa. You can find bus timetables on:
http://www.sea-aeroportimilano.it/

(It lists bus departures at 15.30 and 16.38).

Trenitalia lists a 16.57 Eurocity train from GALLARATE to BRIG.
Journey time 1hr 43mins.

For later departures see:
www.trenitalia.it

You'd need to catch the 15.30 bus from Malpensa - or take a taxi - to catch the 16.57 train.
Bus fare - €1.50. Tickets on board.

Hope this helps with your first question ...

Steve
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Old Nov 6th, 2004, 03:04 AM
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Hi Ceci,

You (Roberto) will buy tickets from Saas Fee to Paris -- bus, train, & tgv all included. He can buy the tickets when he first arrives in Saas Fee to be sure he can get seats together. Ticket agents do this all the time.

I don't think that either Lausanne or Geneve will be "easier" than the other for connections -- I would choose the train/connections that are the most convenient for departure/arrival times. Lausanne is a smaller station, so **perhaps** that would be easier; usually, though, connecting trains are located conveniently close together, so even the size of the station is moot (imo).

I think this is a great plan!! Much better. I do hope your daughter gets to go to Amsterdam on the *next* trip!!

s
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Old Nov 6th, 2004, 06:51 AM
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Steve and Swanday, thank you.

You've been very helpful. I was myself uncapable of findind out the conveniente of tacking the Eurocity from Gallarate. It surely makes the jorney to Brig much shorter and easier.

Swanday, do you think that 14 mins is time enough for the connection in Lausanne?
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Old Nov 6th, 2004, 06:57 AM
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Forgot to answer, Swanday, my daughter has already been to Amsterdam during her college years, as a backpacker. However, she was very frustrated for not being able to get into the Van Gogh Museum . That's why she'd very much like to go back, and show it to the kids.

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Old Nov 6th, 2004, 07:45 AM
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Hi Ceci,

Yes, 14 minutes should be plenty for the connection -- likely Roberto & your daughter & grandchildren will be sitting on the train for 10 minutes waiting to go!

Well, let me add one caution: 14 minutes will be **plenty** if the family can move all their suitcases, etc, in one trip. If everyone can carry his/her own case and no one has to make two trips, then yes, it'll be an easy connection. If not, the 14 minutes will be only -- adequate!

Keep checking the www.rail.ch website to see if they'll post track numbers for the connection. Once Roberto & co. know the track numbers, they'll know exactly how far they'll have to go. Unfortunately, there was some construction in Lausanne this summer that disrupted the normal track assignments, and I see the rail site isn't posting track numbers for Lausanne yet. But keep checking. If you/they want to be super sure, they can e-mail the Swiss rail website and ask for the track number for that train on their day of travel; I've always gotten quick, courteous, and thorough responses from the SBB.

Hope this helps!

s
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Old Nov 6th, 2004, 08:41 AM
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Ceci:

14 minutes connection time in Lausanne is enough time..the station isn't that big although there are several platforms. The Swiss trains are notoriously punctual although if you are packing luggage and the kids I would be at the doorway ready to get off and moving to the next train as you roll into the station.

Where are you staying in Brig?
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Old Nov 6th, 2004, 12:11 PM
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It surely helps, Swanday. Your posts have all been mostly helpful. Thanks, again.

Topman, do you think that Geneve would be easier than Lausanne?

Their hotel in Brig is yet to be decided. This Brig's overnight is mostly for the sake of relaxing after the long flight, and subsequent, although short, train ride. The major focus of my family, mostly my son in law, is Saas Fee and all it has to offer as snow activities for the kids. But Saas Fee is still about an hour drive, or bus ride from Brig, so staying in Brig overnight looked like a sensible stop midway. Also, it looks cute on the pictures I saw.

Do you have a hotel suggestion in Brig?

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Old Nov 14th, 2004, 02:24 PM
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Just an up date. My family is staying at Minotel Victoria, in Brig, and Hoyel Tenne, in Saas Fee.

The only connection from Brig with the TGV to Paris that seems possible right now is Lausanne.

In Paris, they'll be staying with us at The Sainte-Beuve.

We haven't yet decided where to have our New Year's Eve dinner. Possibly at La Coupole. Any other suggestions at short walking distance from Rue Sainte Beuve for us, that would be suitable for our 4 and 6 y.o?
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