Trains

Old Dec 17th, 2003, 09:29 AM
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Trains

My Dad was telling me that when you buy a train ticket you first must get it validated at the station. Is This true?
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Old Dec 17th, 2003, 09:35 AM
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Basically true; after purchasing and when boarding the train you will find a posting machine at the head of each track. Just insert ticket and get it stamped.

By the way, also true on the buses in Italy. The stamping machine in on board the bus.
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Old Dec 17th, 2003, 09:36 AM
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Hi

After you buy your train ticket, and before you board the train, you must validate it by inserting it into one of the yellow boxes at the head of the train track.

This is to discourage people from using tickets over again.
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Old Dec 17th, 2003, 09:41 AM
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It depends upon where you buy the ticket and ride the train.
In France, the answer is yes.
There are little machines on the passenger platforms that put a time-date stamp on the ticket and some of them cut a notch in it at the same time. I takes less than 5 seconds to do it.

In Switzerland and Germany, I don't recall seeing that practice for the intercity trains.

If you ride on the U=Bahn in Munich you must cancel strip tickets in a stamping machine before boarding. The number of strips cancelled depends on the length of the journey.

Of course if you have a multi day or multi week pass, there is no need to cancel anything.

The Munich system runs on the honor system for the most part. I have heard that there are inspections, but so far I have not experienced one in my visits there.
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Old Dec 17th, 2003, 09:52 AM
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In Italy you want to validate your ticket JUST BEFORE YOU USE IT. On your trip day, validate it as you go onto the platform for departure. The ticket is then valid for a certain number of hours from the time punched on the ticket.

Why?

Tickets that are not for ES trains are not reserved for a particular train. They are good for any train on that route of that class.

Sometimes the ticket takers on these trains do not get around to the entire train to punch the ticket before you reach your destination. If you had not validated your ticket at the beginning of the trip, you could then "reuse" the same ticket for another trip.

You could chance riding for free with an unvalidated ticket, but if caught you would be charged a hefty fine.

This same reasoning explains ticket validations on a bus. No one on a bus checks your ticket as you enter or exit. If a roving official does a spot check on a bus and you have no validated ticket, you will be assessed a fine.
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Old Dec 17th, 2003, 12:42 PM
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You do not have to validate/punch train tickets for the Thalys, Eurostar (the London/Paris/Brussels Eurostar, not the Italian one), ICE trains...these are trains in which all seats are reserved and your ticket is valid for a specific seat on a specific train at a specific time...
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Old Dec 18th, 2003, 12:04 AM
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A correction to the last (BTike's) post. ICE trains are not all reserved (except for the Frankfurt-Munich, Frankfurt-Hannover, and Frankfurt-Berlin "Sprinters" which run are only specific trains running early in the morning). Also, here in Germany, one doesn't have to validate your tickets for any trains except for some urban transport (i.e., S-Bahn, U-Bahn, busses, and trams). I found this quite surpising as, yes, if they don't get around to checking your tickets, you could potentially use them twice.

Paul
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Old Dec 18th, 2003, 01:20 AM
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Paul, I believe the Brussels to Germany (and back) ICE trains require reservations as well. At least that's what they always tell me. Also, the "ultra fast", premium ICE trains that run to Frankfurt Airport also seem to require reservations (again, that's what they always tell me when I buy my tickets).
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Old Dec 18th, 2003, 01:35 AM
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Actually, according to the DB site, only the early morning (6:16) ICE Brussels-Frankfurt requires a reservation and the ones back do not. Also, the ICE trains to the airport (execpting the Sprinters and the Brussels-Frankfurt one mentioned here) do not require reservations. Even the newest, fastest, best, etc., Frankfurt to Cologne (in 59 minutes) does not. I was quite surprised at this when I rode it last April. (It's also surprising that the ICE trains don't require a EURail, et. al., supplement.) Please note, there may be a few other exceptions to the no reservations on ICE 's.

Paul
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Old Dec 18th, 2003, 01:44 AM
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In France, there are orange machines at the entrances to the platforms which stamp a date on the ticket. In Italy, there are yellow machines which stamp the date and time. As far as I know, no other national rail system uses a system like this.
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Old Dec 18th, 2003, 06:43 AM
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Perhaps the DB people can talk to the B-rail people, because when I buy tickets on ICE trains--besides the early morning one (i.e, the 12:16)--I am most definitely told that seat reservations are necessary--and that they are necessary on *all* ICE trains leaving Brussels.
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