Premier Trains

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Nov 22nd, 2005, 05:18 PM
  #1
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Premier Trains

If you've got a Eurail pass can you ride the fast trains (ES, ICE, TGV, Thalys, etc.) for the price of the reservation or do you have to pay for a ticket (with a discount?) aswell as the reservation fee?

Thanks =)
IainH is offline  
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Nov 22nd, 2005, 06:12 PM
  #2
 
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For the price of the reservation and or supplement:
with pass
ES about $15 fee - get drink and pastry in first class
ICE- no additional fees, reservations not required
TGV - 3 euro reservation fee
Thalys - about $12 in 2nd class, about $28-30 in first - in first get a meal with drinks
so basically the train fare is paid for by the pass - mandatory reservation fees not or supplements which often get a little something on board
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Nov 23rd, 2005, 07:16 AM
  #3
 
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Sounds like you've been reading the RailEurope brochure that talks about 'discounts' on premier trains. Generally they are not really discounts but mandatory reservation and supplements as i list in above post.
But if you have a railpass that only covers part of the journey on say a Thalys train (Paris-Brussels-amsterdam or Paris-Brussels-Cologne) - a pass covering only one of the countries you pass thru then you'd get a discount - perhaps paying 50% of normal fare.
You talk about ES trains - i assume you meant Eurostar Italia but if you meant Eurostar Paris/Brussels-London then the pass gets you a passholder discounted fare - currently $75 thru RailEurope.
I recommend the free European Planning & Rail Guide from BETS (800-441-2387) as this magazine answers all your questions about the premier train fees and is a great primer on European rail travel for novices - rail maps, travel times, fares, itineraries, etc. I originally read about it in Lonely Planet guides as one of their suggested rail resources and found it extremely informative.
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Nov 23rd, 2005, 03:58 PM
  #4
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So I would just show my pass and then just pay the reservation or supplement fee and then I can get on and go?
IainH is offline  
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Nov 23rd, 2005, 05:52 PM
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Yes but you have to go to the ticket window with your pass and buy the reservation/supplement before boarding.
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Nov 25th, 2005, 04:03 AM
  #6
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Does that apply to the Eurostar chunnel train between London and Paris too?
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Nov 28th, 2005, 09:34 AM
  #7
 
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In theory it does... but passholder fares ($75 each way) though available on every day of the week, including more expensive weekends, are sold in a very limitet allotment on some trains and can be hard to get at the ticket window and you may have to pay much more for a regular ticket. So though you could possible show up and get one it's unlikely many days and last i priced them in London they were charging $95 for a passholder fare, which though varies as to the dollar vs pound exchange rate. So i recommend booking in advance thru BETS (800-441-2387) or other RailEurope agent to be guaranteed a passholder fare. Note that Mon-thu there are $90 round trips that have nothing to do with a passholder and these would be cheaper if going round trip - but these are even harder to book as the day of the train approaches so also should be booked far in advance. Can book 9 months in advance. If you have any questions on Eurostar call BETS - they'll take time to answer without obligation.
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