Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

Train Pass Advice needed for Austria, Germany, Switzerland, France trip

Train Pass Advice needed for Austria, Germany, Switzerland, France trip

Old Aug 6th, 2014, 07:59 AM
  #21  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,228
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
"And though others may say there is very little difference between first and second class to me at least after zillions of train rides a significant difference - mainly in many empty seats with SRO at times in 2nd class... Regional trains stop 12-14 times usually en route to Salzburg - RailJet trains do not stop at all and are about 30 minutes faster - not that much I agree on such a short trip but RJ are the classier new trains that are much much more comfy than regional trains, many of which I've ridden even have hard plastic seats."

You can spend the extra €23 if you want to for the 1st class Bavaria Ticket. But I honestly don't get PQ's fervor for the idea. And I'd like to clear up some inaccuracies and possible points of confusion that PQ's experience with zillions of train rides may be triggering.

It is possible that 2nd class regional train cars get more crowded during rush hours. The regional M trains to Salzburg have an overspill area for bikes, strollers, etc. with flip-down seating for such circumstances.

http://www.der-meridian.de/uploads/m...ph/32/s710.jpg

I honestly can't remember standing on such long-distance regional trains on my trips - though I have found myself using the flip-down seats occasionally. The only standing I've done is on S-Bahn commuter trains in metro areas.

"Oops - about the first-class Lander Ticket for Bavaria - first class for two is 23 euros more but that is for 4 trips - two folks going to Salzburg and two coming back so it is about 6 euros extra p.p. each way to be assured of peace and comfort in first class - a no-brainer to me."

1. The OP isn't traveling round trip in one day to Salzburg or round trip at all. It's €23 extra, plain and simple, for two for this one-way journey.

2. If "peace" means isolation from average German folks, then maybe 1st class is in order, because on the M trains (the ones that serve Salzburg with the Bavaria Ticket) there will likely be no one else in the first class seating area but maybe business persons and international tourists with railpasses. 1st class is considered an elitist waste of money by most Germans and represents only a tiny fraction of ticket sales. Consequently, there are very few 1st class seats on most German trains.

3.) Minor differences in "comfort" levels don't impress most Germans enough to buy 1st class tickets; they may or may not impress you. Photos of the 1st and 2nd class M train interiors:

http://www.der-meridian.de/uploads/m...ph/30/s710.jpg

http://www.der-meridian.de/uploads/m...ph/29/s710.jpg

(Does anyone see any hard plastic seating???? Me neither.)

4. "Regional trains stop 12-14 times usually en route to Salzburg - RailJet trains do not stop at all and are about 30 minutes faster."

PQ got the 30-minute time difference right. But...

You should know that the RailJet train cannot be used with the Bayern Ticket and is NOT part of the Bavaria Ticket discussion. Also, the RJ trains DO stop in Rosenheim en route to Salzburg.

The regional trains are the only ones you can use with the €27-for-two Bayern ticket - or the €50 1st-class Bayern Tickt. The direct M (regional) trains to Salzburg do not stop 12-14 times. They stop 10 times if you wish to count. So what? I guess if you need to save the extra 30 minutes that it takes to stop 10 times, and you're worried that a human being who speaks a different language might get on and sit near you, or talk to you or someone else, you should opt for a RJ train ticket; one-way to Salzburg will be €94 for two in first class.

Remember that on any given train, a first class seat will not get you to Salzburg one minute faster than a 2nd class seat. Also, the 1st-class Bavaria Ticket is subject to the same time restrictions (after 9 am weekdays) as the 2nd class ticket.
Russ is offline  
Old Aug 6th, 2014, 12:19 PM
  #22  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 78,320
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Of course Bavarian Tickets cannot be used on RailJets - I never said they could and did not mean to imply that - just saying with the Lander thing you are on significantly slower trains - hard plastic - I was referring to regional trains in general in Bavaria and Germany - the Meridien trains are not your typical regional trains and was not saying specifically they had those seats though you put words in my mouth saying I did - like so often taking things out of context.

Germans commuting and travelers with perhaps too much luggage is a completely different thing and for luggage there is DEFINITELY often more room to stow it easily in 1st class than 2nd.

What Russ says is a waste of money may not be to someone on the trip of a lifetime with perhaps too much baggage, etc.

If Russ has not seen groups of school kids swarm about regional trains in Germany he has not ridden them very much - it just happened recently to me on a train to Fussen - at noon. It does happen and one would realize that if they really rode enough trains.
PalenQ is offline  
Old Aug 6th, 2014, 06:02 PM
  #23  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,228
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
"...the Meridien trains are not your typical regional trains and was not saying specifically they had those seats though you put words in my mouth saying I did - like so often taking things out of context."

You were advising annmu07 on the trip to Salzburg - the only regional train trip in the mix. That's the M trains. Why should "plastic seats" spill out of your mouth - if there's no possibility she'll end up on plastic seats at all?? It's ridiculous. And it's just as irrelevant as scary stories about swarms of school children that will do what... pick your pockets? Knife you in the kidneys? Or are they just chatty and playful - kids getting out of school? (Good heavens - they'll be on the same train with you for 5-10 minutes until they get home?? You wouldn't want to experience THAT!) And it's just as irrelevant as the "cost per day" of a railpass as well - what matters in terms of cost is your total cost. (But next time you'll tell us what the cost per hour is, maybe? That should be very, very small.) And it's just as inaccurate as your idea of a non-stop M train to Salzburg as well, or the notion that regional trains are so much slower that "they stop incessantly..." What does that mean?? They never stop stopping? They never even leave the station?

You just really need to stop with the excessive exaggeration and the invention of scary stuff, PalenQ. If railpasses and first class travel are great, you should be able to convince others without misrepresenting the alternatives.
Russ is offline  
Old Aug 7th, 2014, 11:44 AM
  #24  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 78,320
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I report what I have experienced in decades o German rail travel - zillions of trains and I will stand by everything I say about regional trains and I will not be bullied by the likes of you that you are right and I am wrong - we have different observations than I - I am talking here not of Meridien trains but the many regional trains I have been on all over Germany-

School kids are not dangerous but it's like being put in a high school or middle school lunchrom - kid shoving each other, jostling, just having fun, etc but do you want to be in the center of that surrounded by dozens of loud acting out kids, like kids do.

I'll report what I have seen and you can call me allkinds of derogatory things like you have - fine - it will not bully me into saying anything other than what I have found to be true. Your prescriptive idea that only you are right is wrong- when you mention Bavarian Lander Cards you could just as well mention the first-class price - for someone traveling Munich-Salzburg and back it's just 5 euros or so more each way - about the cost of a cup of coffee and you'll have a train car, like you said, practically to yourself vs the chance of being in a full 2nd class car. But you do not even mention that option because you do not like the idea of 1st class at all - I say give the person all the options not jus tone prescriptive one that you prefer. Be more objective and your advice will be more balanced and even better than it is - you do a tremendous job on the cheapest way to go, even though never mentioning the restrictions and negatives that may be involved - but some folks may well prefer other options you do not even mention.

I always mention Lander Cards and discounted tickets and bu tonly if viable Railpasses - good for folks who want completely flexible travel and arer taking 3 or 4 inter-city trains.

You report what you want and I'll report what I will and the OPs will be the better off for having two views.
PalenQ is offline  
Old Aug 7th, 2014, 01:12 PM
  #25  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 78,320
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
The direct M (regional) trains to Salzburg do not stop 12-14 times. They stop 10 times if you wish to count.>

Wow I was off by a whopping two stops - ten stops in 90 minutes is one every nine minutes? Sounds incessant to me? The point is that you never know when at one of those stops a group of hikers, shoppers, school kids, commuters may swarm aboard - you never know and that is one reason paying an extra 5 euro each way for first class if doing a return the same day makes a lot of sense - added to the fact that most of the seats will be empty and larger, etc. Would you say if it costs only one euro more still to go 2nd class? Think so. Cheapest is always the best...for you but not everyone.
PalenQ is offline  
Old Aug 7th, 2014, 09:43 PM
  #26  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,228
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
The point of my last post, PQ, is that you say stuff with little regard to truth and accuracy - and your inaccuracies CONSISTENtLY favor your argument. Regional trains are said to have 2-4 MORE stops than they really have (never 2-4 stops LESS.) RJ trains are said to be non-stop (when they are not.) And you would NEVER make an "error" like "RJ trains only make 2-3 stops" because that just doesn't distort the truth satisfactorily. You WANT it to be a non-stop train, so that's what you say.

Then you completely distort the choice of upholstery between regional M trains and RJ trains for Munich - Salzburg into some absurd discussion of plastic seats. You don't seem to understand that nobody cares if you had a plastic seat on an S-Bahn train somewhere else at some other time on one of your zillion train trips. The OP wants to understand the choices for HER trip. But for some reason it is more important to you that her regional train option look much more uncomfortable than it actually will be.

We've been over this before - your comments that saver fares cannot be refunded, for example. It's fine to say that you don't like the inflexibility of saver fares. It's quite another thing to say they cannot be refunded (when they can) just because you don't like them. You see, it's hard for me when I see the same truth-twisting in this thread - hard NOT to point out this abuse of the facts in light of your continued addiction to distortions.

"You report what you want and I'll report what I will and the OPs will be the better off for having two views."

That's a notion I completely agree with. I don't have any problem with others' views - only with the abuse of FACTS and the spinning of information that you (or anyone else) engage in to support your views. It is not name-calling or bullying to point this out. I am simply calling you on your misinformation. Like I said above - "you should be able to convince others without misrepresenting the alternatives." Understand?
Russ is offline  
Old Aug 8th, 2014, 10:48 AM
  #27  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 78,320
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I never purposefully distort facts as you charge. Never - I may make mistakes like counting 12 stops foolishly without think the first and last stops were departure and arrivals, etc. but I resent and am offended by your charge of willful distortion of facts as you charge.

But if it makes you feel better OK slander me all you want but you will not bully me into not saying what I, after I'd say many many more train trips in Germany than you, have seen and believe.

Amen.
PalenQ is offline  
Old Aug 8th, 2014, 12:31 PM
  #28  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 78,320
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Back to the OP's plans - the only pass I would even think about if wanting 2nd class travel, which don't get me wrong is OK just that first class is much more OK IME, is a Swiss Pass - if they are traveling around the areas very much - if staying put in Wengen, unlikely, then no pass - if they want first-class travel with total flexibility to hop any train then the Eurail Select Saver Pass would be a good deal vis-a-vis regular walk up or fully flexible fares.

But if want to peg themselves in far in advance to a specific train and 2nd class is OK then do the string of discounted online and regional passes - except do not dismiss a Swiss Pass even for a limited time in Switzerland.
PalenQ is offline  
Old Aug 8th, 2014, 12:32 PM
  #29  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,228
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
"I resent and am offended by your charge of willful distortion of facts as you charge."

Well, the evidence is right there that you do distort - and that any "error" you make is an error that favors your argument. True errors would be more random and would sometimes fail to support your points.

I guess it's true that we are sometimes not aware of how we spin things. That's something we should all be wary of. Maybe you are not aware of this practice of yours. So when I point to specific stuff you do, toss off the pride and have a closer look at it - and consider my comments feedback for change. We don't always have accurate facts in our heads, but they are usually at our fingertips if we're willing to invest a minute or two to verify them. Maybe that's an investment you should make a little more often.
Russ is offline  
Old Aug 8th, 2014, 01:26 PM
  #30  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 78,320
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I guess it's true what they say of pit bulls!
PalenQ is offline  
Old Aug 9th, 2014, 10:17 AM
  #31  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 78,320
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
OP - If thinking a first-class Eurail Select Saverpass if you get a 6-day or longer pass and buy it before Sept 29, 2014 you get an extra day free - makes it a better deal - if you want the benefits of a pass - total flexibility and first class travel. Cheapest is not always the best though some folks judge things only by the bottom line.
PalenQ is offline  
Old Aug 11th, 2014, 07:43 AM
  #32  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 78,320
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
With the extra day a 7-day flexipass valid for an overall two-month period would cost $532 or about $76/day or about 55 euros a day for unfettered first class train travel - the OP only needs 5 days so the special, which only applies to six or more days on a flexipass, would not be useful but for others pondering several longer train trips straddling borders 55 euros a day for hop on at will first class travel is IMO a bargain.
A cobbled together string of discounted, highly restricted and 2nd class tickets could not save very much over that.
PalenQ is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
nanaof4
Europe
14
Apr 19th, 2013 01:18 PM
javafan1
Europe
26
Jun 22nd, 2012 09:43 AM
tilly2354
Europe
11
Feb 23rd, 2011 10:21 AM
aluchini
Europe
5
Aug 16th, 2005 07:21 AM
Clousie
Europe
9
Apr 25th, 2003 03:00 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Manage Preferences - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information -