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On-line rail tickets: do they need validation before boarding the train?

On-line rail tickets: do they need validation before boarding the train?

Old May 27th, 2010, 09:05 PM
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On-line rail tickets: do they need validation before boarding the train?

I have purchased our tickets on-line and have printed out the e-tickets with their bar codes. I had understood that all we had to do was board the train, take our allocated seats as shown on the tickets, and present the e-tickets to the ticket inspector, with the same credit card as was used to purchase the tickets as proof of identity. I have just been told by someone who travelled by train using e-tickets last year that these tickets need to be validated before boarding, and that this can involve some delay at busy times. That is not how I read the on-line instrucions. Can someone clarify this for me, please?
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Old May 27th, 2010, 09:11 PM
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I also bought online tickets from the German rail website for our June trip from Berlin to Prague. I am posting, so that I can automatically see the answer when I login. Thanks.
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Old May 27th, 2010, 09:13 PM
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You are right, that "someone" was wrong.

Maybe that someone confused it with certain rail passes which may or may not require that procedure, or tickets for local public transport (from a vending machine) which always have to be validated (with a few exemptions).
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Old May 27th, 2010, 09:15 PM
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P.S. Since you tagged your posting with Germany, I assumed that you mean German Rail only. In other countries even e-tickets may or may not be validated.
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Old May 27th, 2010, 09:33 PM
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I did not validate my recent eticket as it was for a specific date and time with seat reservation and was bar coded. I did need to show the same credit card that I used to purchase the ticket for security reasons to ensure that my ticket was not stolen. So you are correct.

Normally you validate tickets that have an open date/time/seat to ensure they are not used multiple times.
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Old May 27th, 2010, 09:35 PM
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Hi kiwi-rob,

Yes, to echo Cowboy1968, you are right. I travel on German trains often and always use e-tickets. The conductor will stamp it.

If you have a seat reservation, it will be an expensive train, not a local, and it will have conductors.

Have fun!

s
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Old May 27th, 2010, 09:38 PM
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Also, a small point.

You designate a particular credit card to show with your ticket, and the cc you designate doesn't have to be the one you used to purchase the tickets. I have one cc I use for tickets, etc, and when I am actually travelling, it is in my hidden wallet. So I have designated another cc to verify my ticket; it works fine.

s
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Old May 28th, 2010, 12:14 AM
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I think you can even use an old credit card that has expired as proof of ID.
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Old May 28th, 2010, 12:28 AM
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So whatever credit card is swiped on the train needs to be in the same name as the ticket holder or ticket purchaser? If it's only proof if ID they're looking for why not check passport or identity card rather than swipe a credit card?
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Old May 28th, 2010, 12:43 AM
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Thank you all for your responses. My (mis)informant may well have been travelling with open tickets, and that may explain the confusion.

We are travelling by train in Germany only, except for our last trip which will be from Munich to Prague via the Nuremberg train/bus combination. Some of the connection times are a bit tight, so I didn't want to be caught having to do anything else other than get from Gleis 3 to Gleis 8.
Rob.
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Old May 28th, 2010, 12:51 AM
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You can choose as ID the national ID cards of Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxemburg, and Italy.
But no passports, and no ID cards from other countries.
I assume that the on-board device that the conductor is carrying can only read those documents.

On German Rail you also do NOT have to validate tickets without reservations since the on-board device scans the barcode on the print-out and will know if the ticket had been used before.

The CC or ID card used for ID should be in the name of the ticket holder.
The purpose to split on-board ID procedure from the CC used to purchase the ticket is, for example, that parents can buy their son a train ticket with their CC, but the kid uses his own CC or national ID card as proof on the train when he is travelling.
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Old May 28th, 2010, 02:23 AM
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>So whatever credit card is swiped on the train needs to be in the same name as the ticket holder or ticket purchaser?

No.
Whatever credit card is swiped on the train needs to have the same _number_ as that mentioned as ID when the ticket is purchased. Name of the holder is irrelevant.

A German ID card can be scanned by the device, an US passport cannot.
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Old May 28th, 2010, 02:49 AM
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>

Kiwi - are you going from Munich to Nurnberg and then getting the bus? I just did this a couple of weeks ago (Frankfurt to Prague) and made a full report under my OP Question on German Train Tickets.

Recommendation: Bring Food! Get food at your originating station since the bus does not make any stops between Nurnberg and Prague.
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Old May 28th, 2010, 04:03 AM
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Perhaps they were confusing the system with Italy where one does have to validate individual tickets or risk a fine.
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Old May 28th, 2010, 04:01 PM
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Thanks, again, everyone. I already have your OP printed and tucked in my travel wallet, Adrienne. It is very helpful, thanks. That short change time between the train and the bus was one of the things that had concerned me initially.

We have four weeks to go before we leave, but who's counting?
Moi!

Rob.
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