train reservations for Eurail

Aug 17th, 2014, 11:15 AM
  #1  
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train reservations for Eurail

Hi,

I have been making train reservations for my Eurail pass with my agent who informed me than my following trips have no available seats:

Paris- Amsterdam 24th aug
Amsterdam -Brussels 27th aug
We can book with full fare as below or you can book train reservation counter in AMSTERDAM.

What does it mean that I can book a train reservation counter in Amsterdam?

What are the possibilities now as on Rail Europe it shows that the reason i cannot book my reservation is that I'm too close to the travel date.
newbee86 is offline  
Aug 17th, 2014, 11:23 AM
  #2  
 
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For Amsterdam Brussels you can take an intercity train. Slower, but no need for a reservation. Have a look at https://www.nsinternational.nl/en
hetismij2 is offline  
Aug 17th, 2014, 01:14 PM
  #3  
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thank you very much that helps , 38 extra minutes not bad.
newbee86 is offline  
Aug 17th, 2014, 02:48 PM
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I looked up www.voyages-sncf.com for August 24 Paris-Amsterdam Centraal Thalys trains. There are still many trains with seats. I also looked up at www.raileurope.com, and it also shows available seats for Aug 24th. It even shows them available for reservations. Unless they don't tell you you cannot reserve them until at the end of the booking process especially for pass holders where certain routes have only limited pass holder slots, what you have been told by your agent does not seem to match the availability.

Buying tickets at the Amsterdam reservation counter can be troublesome if you don't have chip and pin cards. At least at the ticket counters, they have a big sign noting that you cannot use credit card unless it is a chip and pin type. The alternative is all cash. That can be a lot of cash. However, since you seem to be starting from Paris, Amsterdam counter suggestion does not make sense in the first place.

IC route sounds much better.
greg is offline  
Aug 17th, 2014, 03:02 PM
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It´s not that seats are unavailable, rather there are no seats available for eurail pass riders. This is very often the case, particularly in France.

You are much better off purchasing tickets and skipping the eurail pass, particularly on the Paris Amsterdam route where tickets purchased up to 3 months in advance go for as little as 35€.
Sarastro is offline  
Aug 17th, 2014, 03:05 PM
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The person who wrote that just left out a verb, they probably meant you could book the Amsterdam to Brussels ticket in Amsterdam.

I suspect you can't book seats on Raileurope too close to the date because they are not the actual railroads, they are a mdidleman, so maybe they have a cutoff date or something. Maybe you misunderstood or didn't see something right on the website, if what Greg says is true (that they do show you can book reservations for the Paris-Amsterdam ticket).

I haven't bought tickets recently in Amsterdam but as Greg says, I've heard they will only take a chip and pin CC, even in person. But seat reservations are not that expensive at all, cash shouldn't be a problem for them.
Christina is offline  
Aug 17th, 2014, 04:34 PM
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Yes, but the OP is leaving in about a week - so long past the time when they could buy discount fares.

It even looks like they might have bought some sort of pass - I hope NOT.

To get detailed info on all trains in europe go to bahn.de - which has a complete list of all trains across the continent (although as I said - it's rally too late for most discounts)
nytraveler is offline  
Aug 17th, 2014, 10:42 PM
  #8  
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I checked the train tickets separately it added up to a 1000 euros on our route where as the pass with reservation added up to a 800 euros, we are 2 people and that is a lot of money.
unless I'm doing something wrong the pass is definitely cheaper in our case.

when i search train reservations through www.voyages-sncf.com the reservation prices is 410 euros. it sounds like a full ticket price.

does it mean when i get to Paris there is a chance of finding a train reservation over there?
newbee86 is offline  
Aug 17th, 2014, 11:03 PM
  #9  
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on raileurope.com there are reservations which i can print out at home. i suspect my agent is using raileurope-gcc.com which i cannot book a printable reservation on.


So my question is is a printable reservation acceptable?
newbee86 is offline  
Aug 17th, 2014, 11:11 PM
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Are you sure about the prices? I checked Paris to Amsterdam. A second class ticket is E35 with a 90 day advanced purchase and E51 for travel in the next few days. The Amsterdam to Brussels ticket is E29.

Are you going other places?

I think if the pass holder reservations are sold out then you won't be able to get a reservation in Paris but it doesn't hurt to try. There are very few rail pass seat reservations available on French trains.

If you can't get a reservations the options are to buy 2 tickets or take regional trains which will take a long time.
adrienne is offline  
Aug 17th, 2014, 11:15 PM
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<< So my question is is a printable reservation acceptable? >>

Yes. I didn't know there was another type of reservation.
adrienne is offline  
Aug 17th, 2014, 11:15 PM
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Does it have a bar code? Then it's fine.
adrienne is offline  
Aug 17th, 2014, 11:19 PM
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In my experience booking trains in France, in aggregate basis, this is the order of cots, from the highest to the lowest:

last minutes at station > RailEurope point to point > pass+reservation > PREM or other advanced fares + short distance point to point tickets purchased at SNCF in France.

Most people here book the super discounted PREM fare likes on long distance trains months in advance. Not 7 days ahead. Short distance train prices are too cheap to consider passes. The advance fares, not only are they cheaper than the pass route as a whole, already include seat assignments on TGV/Thalys.

For long distance reservation mandatory trains, even if the cost is favorable, pass holder seat quota (on TGV) and need to pay reservation (high on TGV, higher on Thalys) negate supposed advantage of using passes.

Is it possible that the seats are available but your agent cannot send you the reservation paper in time for your trip?

Yes, you can reserve seats in Paris, if still available. I thought I saw a reservation only option on SNCF yellow ticket machine. But unless you have a chip-and-pin credit card, you had to queue up at the station or at SNCF boutique to make your reservations.
greg is offline  
Aug 18th, 2014, 01:48 AM
  #14  
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Adrianne> I cannot find the fares you mensioned.

yes we are going from amsterdam to brussels then to lyon then to nice and back to paris. The tickets are no longer advanced purchase as I'm so close to my travel dates.

I purchased the pass already but if i can find a ticket cheaper than the reservation from paris to amsterdam i wouldn't mind buying it. in the case of 35 euros that is a good deal. please let me know where i can find this rate?
newbee86 is offline  
Aug 18th, 2014, 05:17 AM
  #15  
 
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Raileurope prices are generally exorbitant and the schedules they display are not all inclusive. Nor will Raileurope sell discounted tickets such as PREMs or iDTGV tickets. There is nothing wrong in checking their prices but I have never purchased anything from them as they are consistently more expensive than are these sources:

www.capitainetrain.com
www.voyage-sncf.com (in French only)

It´s very late for purchasing tickets for next week but www.voyage-sncf.com is showing tickets (which include reservation fees) for Paris to Amsterdam on the 24th costing 121€. If you were to travel on the follow Wednesday, the price drops to 51€.
Sarastro is offline  
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