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Brynny Feb 29th, 2000 01:57 PM

Train Travel
 
I am planning to purchase a Europass Drive rail pass in the next few weeks but have a few questions I hope that someone <BR>can help with. <BR>1. Has anyone purchased through Rail Europe on the Internet and if so, were you pleased with the service? <BR>2. I am planning on taking 2 night trains which will leave around 10 p.m. Does this count as one day or two days (you <BR>only get 3 days with this pass)? <BR>3. Does anybody have an approximate idea of how much a sleeper is as opposed to a couchette. I will be traveling <BR>Paris to Munich and Munich to Florence. Is the difference in comfort worth the extra money? <BR>4. From what I can tell, my Munich to Florence train will go through Austria (not a Europass country). Where do I <BR>buy the supplement and how much can I expect for that to cost? <BR>Any help at all would be greatly appreciated by this first time train traveler. Thanks. <BR> <BR>

elvira Feb 29th, 2000 02:55 PM

1)My travel agent buys our railpasses/ eurostar tix/train tix thru raileurope because of the reliability. Always have our tickets in plenty of time (raileurope apparently mails them as soon as they are ordered). <BR>2)Midnight is the start of the new day for railpasses EXCEPT for overnight trains leaving after 19:00; you're arrival date is counted as the day (Brand new Pass; you leave Paris 23:00, arrive Munich at 8:00; your FIRST day of use would be the day you arrive in Munich) <BR>3)If you are traveling by yourself, I would opt for the sleeper (you need a first class pass plus about $150 PER TRAIN)for the comfort and privacy; if you are a whatever sort, then a couchette requires only a 2nd class pass and about $37 per train (4 or 6 bunks per compartment, usually the trains try to put all women or all men but no guarantees). Then there's a reclining chair sort of thing for $11 which I'd avoid unless I could afford nothing else. <BR>4)Buy the Austria supplement AT THE SAME TIME YOU BUY YOUR PASS. <BR>5)Finally, have you determined that the pass is cheaper than buying individual tickets? If you haven't done the math, Rick Steves' site has help; so does <BR>http://www.europeontrack.com/ie_index.html <BR> <BR>If you opt for a couchette, be aware your bag pretty much goes at your feet (bunks are about 6 1/2 feet long so your bag goes at the foot)or under the bottom bunk. The space is very tight, so you really can't take much more than a pilot's case-sized bag into the compartment. Toilet and washstand are at the end of the car; in a sleeper, I think you get the washstand in the room, toilet still down the hall.

audrey Feb 29th, 2000 03:11 PM

Hi Brynny, <BR> <BR>I have ordered rail passes from Rail Europe's web site. The service is very fast - I think I had my passes within 3 days. Also, the website is very easy to navigate. You can add an associated country (in your case Austria/Hungary) when you order the passes - or you can buy the supplement at the station before you board that train (which may be cheaper - check that out). Rail Europe's site has point to point fares - you put in the two cities and they tell you what the fare is. This would be a good way to see if this is the best deal for you (as Elvira suggested). Good luck, Audrey

Tara Feb 29th, 2000 03:53 PM

I got mine from footloose travel. The service was great and very personal. Best of all, they helped me decide which pass was best for my upcoming trip. Plus I got money back with my pass order. I don't think raileurope does this, but Im not sure. oops, the URl is footloosetravel.com.

kim Mar 1st, 2000 05:23 PM

I have used the rail europe site, following links on Fodors, to check train schedules, etc. I ordered the tickets over the phone because I wanted to ask questions, etc. The number for rail europe is 1-800-raileurope. The people who helped me plan for Europe last summer and Italy this month were very helpful and knowledge. Have fun!


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