train questions

May 22nd, 2007, 10:25 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 15
train questions

I'm going to Europe in June thru July and am buying a France-Italy saverpass. My question is after I buy the pass how do I make reservations before I get there. I been reading the boards and doing searches, but haven't seen an answer to my question.

I'm traveling from London to Paris.
Then on from Paris to Venice, I'd like to reserve a 2 berth sleeper. This is the one I'm most concerned about resevering.
Then on to Rome and we'll fly to Barcelona.
I'm not to concerned about the train between London and Paris or Venice and Rome. Or should I be.
This is my first trip to Europe so please bear with me.
Any help would be much apperciated.

Thanks,
M
sonja415 is offline  
May 22nd, 2007, 11:23 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 1
While many will have other suggestions, I've made reservations via http://www.budgeteuropetravel.com/. They have been most helpful and the fee for multiple reservations was only $7 per person. Well worth the peace of mind knowing that our party of 4 will sit together on the trains that require reservations as well as having a double sleeper secured for one leg. We travel in July and the train we wanted from Paris to Milan was quite full a couple weeks ago! Have a great trip.
DECinSD is offline  
May 22nd, 2007, 11:39 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 2,206
>I'm not to concerned about the train between London and Paris or Venice and Rome. Or should I be.

You should be, at least with the former. The Eurostar pricings are like those of an airline - cheap tickets if you book long in advance, extremely expensive if you book on the day of travel.
see www.eurostar.com

Euristar Italia has no relation with the Paris to London Eurostar train.
altamiro is offline  
May 22nd, 2007, 11:51 PM
  #4  
 
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Me and The wife are taking The Artesia night train from Paris to Rome leaves Paris at 7pm and gets to Rome at 10am. I went through Eurorail http://www.raileurope.com/us/index.htm
to get all my tickets and reservations( Eurostar too)
If you leave afer 7pm, your France Italy pass will be charged for the next day not the day you start.
Only one problem when you get to Paris Nord train station you have to go to Paris De Bercy train station for the night train. With the France Italy pass our Night train tickets were only $108 each, First class, 2 person double berth.
stonefinder1 is offline  
May 22nd, 2007, 11:54 PM
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Here is some great info too
http://www.ricksteves.com/rail/usepass.htm#validate
stonefinder1 is offline  
May 23rd, 2007, 02:22 AM
  #6  
 
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Posts: 3,000

Here is good info on using the night trains and sleepers.
http://tinyurl.com/y57vft

hopscotch is offline  
May 23rd, 2007, 06:42 AM
  #7  
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Thank you all for the info. I'll be buying my pass this evening when I get home and will try to get the reservations. Do I just make reservations pay the reservation fee online then show my pass at station/ on the train?

Sorry if you answered the question and I'm just not understanding. I was going to buy the pass on Rick Steves site, but didn't understand how to make reservations to make good use of the pass.
I hope this post makes sense.

Thanks once again,
M
sonja415 is offline  
May 23rd, 2007, 08:15 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 2,206
>Thank you all for the info. I'll be buying my pass this evening

DONīT!!!

Why do you want a pass? You have only two trips on which it is good: Paris to Venice and then to Rome. The pass is not valid on Eurostar (UK/F) and only covers the basis ticket for the night train, not the sleeper price, which is as high as the basic fee itself if not higher.

With other words: you want to buy a pass for what? 400-500 US$ to cover trips that would cost about 150-200 $ all together.

Can you pay me the difference instead?
altamiro is offline  
May 23rd, 2007, 08:22 AM
  #9  
 
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There is a discount fare on London-Paris Eurostar trains for railpass holders, but passes are aimed at people making a lot of train journeys. It is never worth getting a pass for a one-way journey like you're proposing. If you were getting a train to Italy, then to Spain, then back to London, a pass might possibly be worth considering, but for a one-way journey, standard fares will be cheaper.
GeoffHamer is offline  
May 23rd, 2007, 08:23 AM
  #10  
 
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yes - definitely cost out point-to-point tickets before buying any rail pass. Many times individual tickets are cheaper.
janisj is offline  
May 23rd, 2007, 08:52 AM
  #11  
 
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If making reservations with a pass Rick Steves i believe will not do it but refer you to RailEurope - which means you will then have RE's $18 fee plus $15 mailing fee for the order whether one or more reservations. If you do it when you buy your railpass you will save the RE's mailing fee. I always recommend BETS (800-441-2387) for any passes and reservations as you speak to someone extremely competent who will explain it all to you. www.budgeteuropetravel.com - their free European Planning & Rail guide - request one on their home page - would answer all your questions - a great free primer to using European trains and passes. Unfortunately i don't believe you can order online thru them and anyway i always recommend actually talking to someone knowledgeable about the efficacy of reservations and whether you should wait to Europe or not - sometimes no many times yes. Actually from your itinerary i'm sure buying point to point will be significantly cheaper than the France-Italy saverpass - call BETS or someone and price just the Paris-Venice night train then just buy the Venice to Rome ticket in Italy - or here for the convenience. But the Paris-Venice night train you should buy in advance. Check out www.voyages-sncf.com for online cheaper prices perhaps.
No pass for you, i'm sure of that - doesn't nearly pay off. (Even with the pass you'd have to pay 15 euros extra to ride the ES train Venice-Rome.) A pass would be a waster of money over point to point unless you are doing much more rail travel than indicated.
London-Paris eurostar fares vary greatly and book as early as possible to get a cheaper fare - again BETS is the best i know but also try www.eurostar.com for prices in pounds as this could be cheaper (or may not - always check US and UK sources.
PalenQ is offline  
May 23rd, 2007, 10:16 PM
  #12  
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Reply:
Thank you all for the information. I purchased my tickets for London to Paris and Paris to Venice. I still have to buy my Venice to Rome but I'll do that when I get to Venice.
On the London/Paris leg I got a standard semi-flexible for $256.00 for 2 persons. On the Paris/Venice leg I got 1st class sleeper for 205.00 Euro.
I wanted a 2 person berth, but didn't see the option (I hope it was sold out).
Some tickets were sold out so I don't know if I got the best deal, but I do know I have tickets and reservations for the trains I can't miss.
And Altamiro- I'd love to send you the money I saved!!

Once again thank you all,
M
sonja415 is offline  
May 24th, 2007, 01:11 AM
  #13  
 
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Sleepers are neither first nor second class. Couchettes come in first or second class versions, generally with four or six bunks in a compartment. You will share with people of either sex.
The standard sleeping cars have three-berth compartments, known as T3, which can be configured to have one, two or three berths, with the unused berths folded away. The fare depends on how many people are sharing (three people in a compartment is cheaper per person than two people in a compartment, etc).
The night trains from Paris to Italy used to have superior 'Excelsior' compartments with a shower and toilet, but these are no longer on these trains.
GeoffHamer is offline  
May 24th, 2007, 07:19 AM
  #14  
 
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2-person sleeping cabins on the Artesia Night Trains i believe demand a first class ticket or railpass - railpass for sure otherwise the price is all inclusive so there is no class per se. Same for 4-person compartments on these trains.

And there are indeed 1st and 2nd class singles and doubles on other trains or at least those that demand you have a 1st class pass to use them. 1st class deluxe singles or doubles now often have shower/WC in room.
PalenQ is offline  
May 24th, 2007, 06:49 PM
  #15  
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Thanks GeoffHammer and PalenQ
Now I have no idea about what kind of accomendations I have on the sleeper. I bought a 1st class ticket, I picked a 1st class couchette and a women only compartment. The couchette and compartment were my only options from the drop down menu.
I guess I'll be surprised, LOL. If I knew how to do the little smiley face I would.

Once again thanks,
M

sonja415 is offline  
May 27th, 2007, 08:27 AM
  #16  
 
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A 1st class couchette on these Artesia night trains should be a 4-person compartment - two bunks on each side of the aisle - as opposed to 2nd class couchette with 6 berths, three on each side of the aisle so much more roomy per person. Not many trains in Europe offer the all-women option which is too bad because it puts off many women travelers i talk to - but not, for some reason men!
PalenQ is offline  
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