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Rail vs. Plane

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Dec 17th, 2017, 04:46 PM
  #1
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Rail vs. Plane

I will be in Europe next spring. Most of the time in the UK. But I would like to take 5 days to go to Germany. Which is the best way to travel? Rail or Plane? How would the EuroRail Pass benefit me?
I would like to see as much as the countries as I can when traveling through them. I'm aware that some of it would be night travel via train. Is it best to get tickets for either way of travel rail or plane when I'm in Europe or now ? I'm from the USA. I already have my plane tickets for the trip over to Europe and back to the states. Cost wise is there that much of a difference? Is 1st class much different from 2nd class on a train? How safe are trains when traveling internationally in Europe?
Raven4 is offline  
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Dec 17th, 2017, 05:24 PM
  #2
 
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Are you talking about ONLY the UK and Germany?

If so, you wouldn't benefit from any rail pass. And there would be no overnight trains. (unless you are talking about a sleeper train between London and Scotland)

>> I already have my plane tickets for the trip over to Europe and back to the states. <<

Where are you flying in to and home from?

>>How safe are trains when traveling internationally in Europe?<<

Very safe -- just take reasonable precautions. If you mean trains on the Continent, they would not be 'international' since 26 countries are in the same Schengen zone.
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Dec 17th, 2017, 05:41 PM
  #3
 
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Suggest reading up on European trains and ticketing here:

https://www.seat61.com/index.html

From the UK to Germany you will be better off flying. Look into Easyjet and check skyscanner.

Within Germany, take the train. A rail pass is unlikely to be of use, but read that section on seat61.

Where in Britain?

I never bother with first class. There is MUCH less difference between classes on a train than between classes on a plane.
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Dec 17th, 2017, 07:34 PM
  #4
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I would be traveling through Belgium and Luxembourg also.
Raven4 is offline  
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Dec 17th, 2017, 07:41 PM
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Five days for Belgium, Luxembourg AND Germany?
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Dec 17th, 2017, 07:56 PM
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In that case take the train from the UK.

See: https://www.seat61.com/Belgium.htm
thursdaysd is offline  
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Dec 18th, 2017, 01:24 AM
  #7
 
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You’re not going to be seeing much of Germany with that itinerary? What do you actually want to see? Germany is a good sized country.

I like riding trains for the sake of riding them but the scenery is mostly not that exciting.

I’ve taken both classes. First means a little more room and usually a whole lot quieter. So sometimes it’s worth it to me, usually not.
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Dec 18th, 2017, 01:34 AM
  #8
 
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You can buy train tickets from London to any city in Germany from €59.90 upwards in 2nd class or €109.90 upwards in 1st class.

London to Cologne by train is hardly any faster by air, and a lot nicer by train. But trains will equally get you from London to Berlin or Munich or anywhere.
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Dec 18th, 2017, 07:35 AM
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First class in most cases is not much different from second. However, we once took a first-class trip from York to Glasgow that was worth the extra cost (which wasn't much, as there was some sort of special discount). They were constantly offering us snacks and beverages. We could have easily made a meal of them.

There are multiple train companies in the UK, and I don't have enough experience to generalize about the others.

There are also multiple categories of train in most countries, so you really need to ask about specific trains to get a reasonable answer.
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Dec 18th, 2017, 03:53 PM
  #10
 
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There are multiple train companies in the UK, and I don't have enough experience to generalize about the others>

long-distance train franchises like Virgin and East Coast have traditionally offered free food - lots of it and drinks even booze in first class but most trains in Britain do not. One person who posts above reported that in first class to Edinburgh she got rather tipsy with the free booze! Sometimes the price difference between classes can be negligible - due to the discount tickets that most countries offer now -first class is also often discounted and if cheapest 2nd class tickets are sold out then the remaining 1st class could be very little extra and IMO there is always some difference in comfort because many Europeans choose to go first class.

But on modern high-speed trains the difference is often not that much to warrant paying a lot extra for most folks.

And bvlenci is right - first class v 2nd class benefits vary as to country and type of trains. Trains without seat reservation requirements cannot get SRO crowded but trains without can in 2nd class and less so in first class - an important difference.

for lots on trains like class differences check yes Man in Seat 61 who posts above - his commercial site- www.seat61.com; and www.budgeteuropetravel.com and www.ricksteves.com.
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