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Amanda Feb 18th, 2001 03:18 PM

Train Reservations
I would like advice on the best way to reserve for train spots. I will be traveling in July/Aug. with a 1st class Eurail pass. I am wanting to reserve my two overnight trains here, as well as the my Eurostar from Paris to London. Should I book them in Europe? What about regular trains, such as the Eurostar Italia, is it okay to wait until I'm there? Also, I read that I could book my reservations ahead, say in Munich for my Italian trains. Is this accurate? I want to do this in the most economical, yet secure way. <BR>Thanks

clairobscur Feb 18th, 2001 05:19 PM

The most economical and secure way would be to book here (I mean in Europe) some days before your take the train (for instance when you arrive in a town,while you're still at the station, make your reservation for the train you'll ride when you'll leave). <BR> <BR>Anyway, with a 1st class pass, you shouldn't have any problem finding a seat except on very very busy days (last weekend of july/first weekend of august, for instance).

clairobscur Feb 18th, 2001 05:23 PM

The eurostar between paris and london is a peculiar case, though. Quite often, special deals are offered. So, you should keep an eye on that, and buy your ticket when an interesting rate appears.

Ben Haines Feb 18th, 2001 08:22 PM

Fodors <BR> <BR>Dear Ms Fleming, <BR> <BR>I like Clairobscur's advice on Eurostar. On other trains it's fine o ait ill you're in Europe. You can, indeed, book all west European seats and berths from any main station in Europe, including the Travel Centres at Euston, Kings Cross and Cannon Street stations and the easternmost windows at Charing Cross, any great station in Germany and from staff at travel centres at Gare du Nord and St Lazare in Paris who have "I speak English" badges. All these places and people take credit cards. The wait at Raileurope's office on Piccadilly in London is long, and the staff ill-informed. <BR> <BR>I doubt you need to reserve now your overnight trains. If you do, you may well be able to do so on line or by phone with a credit card, at 20 percent less than booking in North America. If you'll tell me what dates you're taking berths, and between what cities, I'll gladly comment further and give web pages for making the bookings or phone calls. If you're new to night trains in Europe please tell me, and I'll copy you a note I keep on disc about enjoying these. <BR> <BR>Welcome to Europe <BR> <BR>Ben Haines, London <BR> <BR>

Amanda Feb 19th, 2001 01:19 PM

Ben - Thanks for your reply. Any information you could pass on would be appreciated. I will be traveling mid/end July and on some weekends. Any info or numbers you have would help. Also, the night train info would be great too! I'm looking at reserving a double sleeper car, as I don't want to do the couchette-thing. <BR>Thanks!

lisa Feb 19th, 2001 01:38 PM

Ben, from various postings, it is clear that you have lots of info on the trains. What can you tell me about 1st class sleeper from Barcelona to Avignon in July. I will then be doing Avignon Paris and Paris to Brussels. I'd be interested in your info on the sleeper. Can I e-mail my address?

Ben Haines Feb 24th, 2001 02:24 AM

Fodors <BR> <BR>Amanda: <BR> <BR>I'm afraid I still haven't learnt what dates you're travelling where. If you'd like to tell me by e-mail I'll gladly comment. In general, I can say that 12 to 31 July are school holidays across Europe, so trains are busy. You need to book night berths 7 to 19 days ahead, seats on Friday afternoon or evening trains the same time ahead, and seats on other trains a couple of days ahead. I can give phone numbers when I know your travel plans. With the e-mail copy of this message I'm copying the disc note on night travel: please tell me if it won't unpack. <BR> <BR>Lisa: <BR> <BR>Please do e-mail your address, and I'll happily copy the disc note. <BR>Alas: I can tell you nothing about the 1st class sleeper from Barcelona to Avignon in July, as there is none. The reference library of a city near you may have the Thomas Cook European Timetable, and at table 90 you'll see what there us. You can start off cheerfully: Barcelona Sants 1920, Cerbere 2200 to 2355, sleeper or couchette. Now the sad part: Arles 0349 to 0611, Avignon 0627. A bit better is to stay in bed till Msrseilles 0503, then take the 0612 and reach Avignon at 0713. Or even out to Toulon, then back again. <BR> <BR>But really, I think you want a day connection, something like Barcelona 0845, Catalan Talgo with buffet car express, Montpelier 1316 to 1327, Train a Grande Vitesse with buffet car, Avignon 1423. <BR> <BR>You can even squeeze a night out of Avignon to Paris, on the nonstop Le Phoceen from Avignon 0003 to Paris Gare de Lyon 0658. Or again make a longer night by doubling south to Marseilles, and leaving there on the Phoceen at 2236. <BR> <BR>Ben Haines <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR>

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