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speed train from Karlsruhe to Paris

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Apr 5th, 2011, 07:57 PM
  #1
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speed train from Karlsruhe to Paris

My family and I (three of us) will need to take a speed train from the Karlsruhe HBH on June 19th, 2011 to Paris (Gare du Nord). We will need the return trip to take us back to the Karlsruhe HBH on June 21st. I've been trying to conquer my trepidation of navigating the deutschebahn website (bahn.de). It's the actual choosing and reserving tickets that's concerning me. I don't want to mistakingly reserve the wrong thing, even though I realize the website is offered in English. We're staying near the Swiss border, so driving the 200 km to Karlsruhe on the morning of Sunday, the 19th, will have to be done quite early, assuming there will be an ICE or TVG departing from Karlsruhe to Paris that morning. Can anyone offer any advice/suggestions, please, as to assure oneself they are, in fact, buying/reserving the correct tickets? What should one do when the actual price of the tickets isn't even available??? Does anyone know what the price of these tickets tends to/can be in June??? Thanks very much for any information!

Actually, now that Ive looked on bahn.de, I see that only TGV and RER make this journey. Why wouldn't ICE be available for this trip??? Should I look elsewhere?

Thank you!
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Apr 6th, 2011, 12:12 AM
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This route is covered by TGV trains only while the Frankfurt-Paris route via Saarbrücken is done by ICEs only. Agreement between the two railway companies concerned.

Nobody drives 200 kms to catch a train. You are staying near the Swiss border? Where? Check if going via Basel and catching a TGV there isn't more convenient.
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Apr 6th, 2011, 02:25 AM
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Yes, why not leave from Basel? The station even has a French side which my Swiss friends always use for travel to Paris because there are cheaper fares available.
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Apr 6th, 2011, 05:14 AM
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You're making too big a deal out of this.

How can you mistakenly buy the wrong tickets, unless you deliberatley put in the wrong dates or input your wrong ages?

Just identify the nearest station to where you are staying, use www.bahn.de (assuming it's in Germany) to book from there to Paris.

It'll show the options. Pick a sensible one (e.g. if there's an option leaving at 04:00 with 16 changes, and another leaving at a more sensible hour with 2 chnages, pick the latter!), then just check availability of Savings fares when it asks you to do so, and buy the cheapest.

You print out your own tickets. Easy!

Do a dry run first to check how it works and get comfortable.

If you end up going Basel to Paris, book this at www.sbb.ch instead.
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Apr 6th, 2011, 03:41 PM
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Thank you for your replies. We will be staying only 45 km from Basel. Going from Basel to Paris was a GREAT idea, instead of from Karlsruhe to Paris (Gare du Nord). However, I was given the following message when I searched there for trips on the specific date we'd need to go:

Dear customer,
Sorry! No connections have been found that correspond to your request. It is possible that the requested service does not operate from or to the places you stated on the requested date of travel (e.g. because some services do not stop at certain places on weekends).

If I do have to book these tickets through bahn.de, like I looked into doing last night before I posted here, I'm still concerned about the prices not being available. The option to print out my tickets wasn't offered, but that's the least of my concerns. Traveling with a child who has health issues and never traveling by train before makes buying tickets online a bit of a challenge. Thanks again for any helpful suggestions.
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Apr 6th, 2011, 04:17 PM
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Did you enter Paris Nord as your destination? The train from Basel goes to Paris Est. Just put Paris as the destination and see what happens.
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Apr 6th, 2011, 04:19 PM
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I forget to add that there is a 10:00 train arriving at 13.34 on June 19. There are other times as well.
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Apr 6th, 2011, 06:27 PM
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Thanks, Adrienne. Yes, I entered Paris first, then it asked me to specify what region of Paris, so I chose Paris North. We would need to leave Basel some time mid-morning, at the latest.
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Apr 8th, 2011, 01:12 AM
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If you are still having trouble going from Basil, I believe the train from Karlsruhe to Paris actually starts in Stuttgart. and one of the problems you may be having is the length of time you are trying to book ahead. The ticket price is usually lower on trains that you don't have to make a change- of course this limits the options. And one other note, the price for a seat reservation can equal the cost of the tickets on certain trains. I believe you MUST have seat reservations on the TGV trains...
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Apr 8th, 2011, 01:53 AM
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Tickets from Basel to Paris can of course not be bought through the German railway website because this route does not even cross German ground. Use either the Swiss or the French railway site for this.

For June 19 it is too early to book now.
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Apr 8th, 2011, 02:03 AM
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I just took a look at the SNCF site to get an example of (one way) fares and train times. 3 months from now, 64€ is the most common price for the direct TGV Lyria trains and travel time is 3 and a half hours. There are departures on the Lyria at 8:02, 10:02, 14:02, 16:02 etc. but there are also other trains that are available with a connection. The cheapest fare showing on the day I looked was 52€.

Would you be returning to Basel, or do you have actual plans to go to Karlsruhe for some reason?
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Apr 8th, 2011, 04:56 AM
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Book Basel SBB to Paris Gare de l'Est online at www.sbb.ch, as this offers self-print tickets, www.tgv-europe.com may not do so for this connection, only tickets collected at French stations, and of course Basel is in Switzerland!

Dates after the timetable change on 12 June may or may not be loaded yet.

Fares start at 29 euros, but rise like air fares to about 90 euros depending on how popular the train or day or date is, and how far in advance you book.
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Apr 8th, 2011, 06:24 AM
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Actually you don't book Basel SBB but Basel SNCF -- there are two different stations in the same building.

From the wiki about it:
Basel SBB is the central railway station in the city of Basel in Switzerland. Trains run by the Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) to destinations within Switzerland use this station, as well as Deutsche Bahn ICE trains to Germany as well as Zürich and Interlaken and the Cisalpino service across the Alps to Milan in Italy.

The station building also contains Bâle SNCF (in SBB online timetables shown as Basel SBB Gl. 30-35, and in other online timetables as Basel SNCF), which is located through a border crossing and is used by terminating trains to and from France. The station is served by three lines of the Basel S-Bahn. Directly outside the railway station is the Centralbahnplatz, which is a major hub of the Basel tram network. Additionally, a direct bus service goes to the airport from just outside the station. The other major railway station in Basel is Basel Badischer Bahnhof.
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Apr 8th, 2011, 06:43 AM
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Oh right, I see that they still call it Basel SBB part of the time...
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Apr 8th, 2011, 06:48 AM
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<< Thanks, Adrienne. Yes, I entered Paris first, then it asked me to specify what region of Paris, so I chose Paris North >>

Did you read my post where I told you the train from Basel goes to Paris Est, not Paris Nord? This is why you're getting the error message and can't see the train times.
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Apr 9th, 2011, 06:27 AM
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Thank you all again for your input. Someone asked if we will be needing to spend time in Karlsruhe for some reason other than catching the train. No, there's no reason, but we'd be able to leave our rental car perhaps at a friend's house their, instead of leaving it at the train station for three days. Stuttgart is an equally long drive (approx. 200 km) from where we're staying, near the Swiss border. Our hotel in France is only a 20 minute bus ride from the Gare du Nord (train station in North Paris). If it makes the most sense to take the train from Basel to East Paris, then we'll just make due with the longer bus ride to get us near our hotel the day we arrive, and then back to the train depot when we leave to return to Basel. I suppose either way has its pros and cons that will have to be weighed. The reservation cost being sometimes as high as the ticket cost is unreasonable. Hopefully, that will just not be the case here. I read somewhere it could be as low as 5 euros per ticket, too. I'll give it a few weeks more, perhaps, and then narrow it down to the best option. I appreciate all the great ideas and info shared here!
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Apr 14th, 2011, 06:19 PM
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I have nothing to contribute to the timetable debate but I think it is something of a record to have kerouac and Seat 61 discussing a route. Two of the most respected commentators on travel: Liebchen received expert advice that would be worth a big fee elsewhere.
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Apr 14th, 2011, 06:39 PM
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If you're going all the way to Karlsruhe you may as well check out their museums.
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Apr 19th, 2011, 06:12 PM
  #19
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URGENT:
Thank you, everyone for your info. I am now about to book tickets from Basel to Paris, BUT... I have to first make sure the Basel train station has long-term parking available (3 days). It seems as if all major train stations would have this available, but better safe than sorry. Thanks in advance!
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Apr 19th, 2011, 07:19 PM
  #20
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I'm in shock. I just looked at prices for our round-trip TGV ride from Basel to Paris, and back again for two adults, one teenager, in second class mid-June. This is the cheapest price sbb.ch offers, so no refunds, nor exchanges. Reservations are included. Am I missing something about pricing, or is this typical for Summer train travel? Oh my golly!
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