Train Travel

Feb 29th, 2000, 01:57 PM
  #1  
Brynny
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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
can help with.
1. Has anyone purchased through Rail Europe on the Internet and if so, were you pleased with the service?
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
only get 3 days with this pass)?
3. Does anybody have an approximate idea of how much a sleeper is as opposed to a couchette. I will be traveling
Paris to Munich and Munich to Florence. Is the difference in comfort worth the extra money?
4. From what I can tell, my Munich to Florence train will go through Austria (not a Europass country). Where do I
buy the supplement and how much can I expect for that to cost?
Any help at all would be greatly appreciated by this first time train traveler. Thanks.

 
Feb 29th, 2000, 02:55 PM
  #2  
elvira
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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).
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)
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.
4)Buy the Austria supplement AT THE SAME TIME YOU BUY YOUR PASS.
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
http://www.europeontrack.com/ie_index.html

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.
 
Feb 29th, 2000, 03:11 PM
  #3  
audrey
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Hi Brynny,

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
 
Feb 29th, 2000, 03:53 PM
  #4  
Tara
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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.
 
Mar 1st, 2000, 05:23 PM
  #5  
kim
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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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