Railpass: London - Paris

Jul 23rd, 2012, 03:57 AM
  #1  
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Railpass: London - Paris

Hi

I was hoping someone could clarify this for me. We have purchased a 10 day 2 month railpass in Australia.

We have also just purchased a 1 way ticket from London to Paris on the Eurostar as a passholder fare for $97 each. My question is does the trip from London to Paris count as 1 travel day on our pass? or is this a separate ticket?

I really hope someone can clarify this for me.

Thanks
yinney is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2012, 05:07 AM
  #2  
 
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No you do not need to use a day on your pass when doing the passholder fare - the only thing is that you must activate your pass for the 2-month period and you can do that at the Eurostar check-in.

So it is a separate ticket and you do not use one of your flexible travel dates.

Scour these fantastic sites for lots of info on using railpasses and answers to questions like this - www.seat61.com; www.budgeteuropetravel.com and www.ricksteves.com.
PalenQ is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2012, 07:08 AM
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the rule for when you use a 100% flexi travel day - if it is a discount you do not use a day of travel - only when covered 100% - for example in the Interlaken area of Switzerland some rail lines give Eurailpass holders a 25% discount - to get the discount only your pass has to be valid for the two-month period but you do not use a day on your pass - only when covered 100% do you.
PalenQ is offline  
Jul 24th, 2012, 03:27 AM
  #4  
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Thanks PalenQ

Another question, if we want to book seat reservations in advance, the only options we get are passholder fares online through railplus. Do you think it's best to reserve the seats once in europe at the train station or in advance online? I feel like we are paying so much by doing it all online now. What do you advise?
yinney is offline  
Jul 24th, 2012, 06:01 AM
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Most trains in most countries do not require seat reservations but in Italy, France and space many do - only in France is it ever a problem for a passholder getting the requisite seat reservation and those on some lines you are advised to make - even though there are often other routes to consider - like if going Paris to Avignon if direct TGV full then book one of the 2-3 hourly TGVs to Lyon and continue on to Avignon by regional train requiring no reservation.

so please what are the train trips you are talking about? then I and others can make better answers to that question.
PalenQ is offline  
Jul 24th, 2012, 09:23 AM
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The only trains I would advise after years of railpassing would be these TGV trains in France: Paris to the south- especially to Avignon/Nice/Montepllier/Bordeaux and Paris to Basel/Strasbourg and Switzerland.

All others IME are easily arranged shortly before the train, especially if you have a first class pass where there are typically many more empty seats available.

Now one train the Thalys train Paris to Brussels/Amsterdam is a special case - it charges an exorbitant railpass fee of $35 or so in 2nd class and much more in 1st class (but in 1st you do get a fairly nice meal at your seat.

Again you can do an end around - like taking the RER to CDG airport and hopping TGVs from there to Brussels for only a 3 euro reservation fee and easy to get IME - then taking IC trains onto Amsterdam - no reservations even possible.

If going to Bruges simply take TGV Paris to Lille (3 euros) and then IC trains with no reservations from Lille Flandres station to Bruges - from Bruges to Amsterdam you again have IC trains you just hop on and cannot even reserve.
PalenQ is offline  
Jul 25th, 2012, 12:33 PM
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the only options we get are passholder fares online through railplus>

someone once posted a link on www.bahn.de - the German Rail web site and claimed that they could make sear reservations on that site for a nominal fee - I do not know the particulars but you may peruse the English version of the site and see - especially if trains are involving Germany though in Germany only a handful of trains that you will never probably come in contact with demand seat reservations before boarding.

Again what specific countries and trains are you talking about?

Cheers
PalenQ is offline  
Jul 26th, 2012, 01:15 AM
  #8  
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Hi PalenQ

You are truly tremendous and clued up!

Here are our legs as below and let me know which ones you suggest making reservations for:


Friday, 14 September 2012
9:00 - 15:28 Paris - Zurich HB

Saturday, 15 September 2012
18:02 18:58 Zurich HB- Bern - IC836
19:34 20:28 Bern - Interlaken OST IC 1085

Tuesday, 18 September 2012
9:00 9:52 Interlaken Ost - Bern Platform IC962
10:34 12:15 Bern - Geneva IC 716
12:42 19:05 Geneva - Nice Ville TGV 6818

Friday, 21 September 2012
7:55 8:43 Nice Ville - Ventimiglia RE 86011
8:58 12:50 Ventimiglia - Milano Centrale IC 663
13:20 15:05 Milano Centrale - Firenze S. M. N. ES 9533

Monday, 24 September 2012
7:00 8:45 Firenze S. M. N. - Roma Termini ES 9501

Monday, 1 October 2012
21:05 8:22 Venezia S. Lucia - Wien Westbahnhof EN 236

Sunday, 7 October 2012
7:09 9:49 Wien Meidling - Budapest-Keleti - RJ 41

Thursday, 11 October 2012
9:25 16:18 Budapest-Keleti - Praha hl. n. EC 170


Thanks
yinney is offline  
Jul 26th, 2012, 05:11 AM
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I would advise making the French TGV trains in advance simply because French TGVs have a limit on the number of passholder seats on each train - and it could be hard to make once there - it may not but it could - even if the train is not full you may not be able to get a passholder seat due to the quota - that is if you must be on a certain train at a certain time - like going between Paris and Switzerland - there are many alternatives to Paris-Zurich trains - like doing also Paris to Geneva or Lausanne if the Zurich passholder seats are gone, etc. Or Paris to Basel, etc.

Yup for peace of mind you may want to bite the bullet and pay the higher fees for doing here - all other trains you have either do not require reservations or if they do can easily be made IME in Europe as you go along. I highly recommend calling Byron at www.budgeteuropetravel.com if you do want to book here - I have used his agency for years for passes and can attest to his great expertise - works thru RailEurope as everyone just about does - including Railplus I believe - or do online at www.raileurope.com but they charge extra to talk to someone and then often the person there knows very little except to take orders.

Unfortunately in France they have those quotas for passholders and that you can never be sure of getting on trains if you wait until getting to France - I think that stinks and it should be changed to like in every other country where there is no such quotas.
PalenQ is offline  
Jul 26th, 2012, 06:40 AM
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7:55 8:43 Nice Ville - Ventimiglia RE 86011
8:58 12:50 Ventimiglia - Milano Centrale IC 663
13:20 15:05 Milano Centrale - Firenze S. M. N. ES 9533>

take the regional train from Nice to Ventimiglia - just hop on and IC trains in Italy now I read no longer require reservations for railpass holders but the Milan to Florence train does. I would try to plan time in Ventimiglia to try to make the Milan to Florence required reservation. I have never had a problem making Italian train reservations and it would be easier to do so in Ventigmilia perhaps than the really hectic IME Milan Centrale station - but if you have to I'm sure you would have no problem. Especially if you have a first-class pass.
PalenQ is offline  

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