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12 replies
Rail links
oldlady
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I’ve put together the links for the national rail company websites. The links are to the English pages where I could find a link that worked. You may get switched to local language pages (or need to go to pages in the local language) to buy tickets, etc.

Austria: http://www.oebb.at/e…
Belgium: http://www.b-rail.be…
Bulgaria: http://bdz.creato.bi…
Croatia: http://www.hznet.hr/… If you have a problem, use http://www.hznet.hr/… and click on “English” at the bottom of the page
Czech Republic: http://www.cd.cz/ Schedule information available in English at: http://jizdnirady.id…
Denmark: http://www.dsb.dk/cs…
Finland: http://www.vr.fi/eng…
France: http://www.sncf.com/… Looks like you have to do this in French to find standard pricing or to buy the ticket from SNCF. Clicking on English sends you to raileurope.com with global fares.
Germany: http://reiseauskunft…
Greece: http://www.ose.gr is the link, but I can’t get it to load
Hungary: http://www.mav-start…
Ireland: http://www.irishrail… Use http://www.nirailway… for Northern Ireland
Italy: http://www.ferrovied…
Luxembourg: http://www.cfl.lu/CF… English page not available????
Montenegro: http://www.zeljeznic… This link doesn’t work, probably because of the “yu” but it doesn’t work with “me” either.
Netherlands: http://www.ns.nl/cs/…
Norway: http://www.nsb.no/ho…
Poland: http://www.pkp.pl/ basic info in English by clicking on British flag
Portugal: http://www.cp.pt/cp/…
Romania: http://www.cfr.ro/ English schedules at: http://www.mersultre…
Serbia: http://www.serbianra…
Slovakia: http://cp.atlas.sk/v…
Slovenia: http://www.slo-zelez…
Spain: http://www.renfe.es/…
Sweden: http://www.sj.se/sj/…
Switzerland: http://www.sbb.ch/en…
United Kingdom: http://www.nationalr…

Other links:
Eurostar, the chunnel train: www.eurostar.com
High speed, premier Thalys trains from Paris to Brussels, Amsterdam, Cologne: www.thalys.com

Don
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Very useful. Thanks for posting this.

  • For Norway, look for the “minipris” tickets during booking.
  • In Sweden, look for the “just nu” tickets; sometimes first class “just nu” is cheaper than other available seats.
  • In Denmark, look for “orange” tickets.
  • In the UK, consider Virgin Trains on major routes as an alternative to National Rail.
augustin25
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We owe you a big collective thanks for compiling that list, oldlady.

papyr
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Don wrote:
* For Norway, look for the “minipris” tickets during booking.
  • In Sweden, look for the “just nu” tickets; sometimes first class “just nu” is cheaper than other available seats.
  • In Denmark, look for “orange” tickets.
  • In the UK, consider Virgin Trains on major routes as an alternative to National Rail.

Everywhere, when looking for night trains, try to look for a SparNight special offer.

If you have any questions about Prague or Czech and Slovak republics, ask me.
If you only want to search train or bus connection within Czech&Slovakia and/or to neighboring countries, use www.cp.sk or www.idos.cz search engines. For domestic transport, they also show prices.

oldlady
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Quote:
Everywhere, when looking for night trains, try to look for a SparNight special offer.
A great tip. SparNight tickets are as low as 29 Euros for ticket with reservation.

augustin25
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Are those SparNight specials only for trains that go through Germany, or is it the German term for specials that can be had on many other night trains as well?

papyr
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oldlady wrote:
A great tip. SparNight tickets are as low as 29 Euros for ticket with reservation.

augustin25 wrote:
Are those SparNight specials only for trains that go through Germany, or is it the German term for specials that can be had on many other night trains as well?

It’s more likely a general term (deriving from German Spar=Save and English Night). For example, the Prague-Kosice leg between Czechia and Slovakia offers SparNight couchettes for €17 in a 6-berth and €19 in a 4-berth. So there are SparNights outside the German speaking area and there are also SparNights under €29.

If you have any questions about Prague or Czech and Slovak republics, ask me.
If you only want to search train or bus connection within Czech&Slovakia and/or to neighboring countries, use www.cp.sk or www.idos.cz search engines. For domestic transport, they also show prices.

mim
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I added this to our Tips section here.

I am leaving from New York, NY and traveling for 64 days
Reykjavik, London, Lille, Berlin, Kraków, Lviv, Istanbul, Selçuk, Pamukkale, Kızkalesi, Göreme, Kars, Bat'umi, Akhalts'ikhe, Tbilisi, Telavi, Istanbul

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re12
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Also for general routes around Europe use rail europe.
http://www.raileurop…
In the UK national rail and virgin are good but you could also use trainline as it covers most routes and shows the cheapest tickets.
http://www.thetrainl…?

I am leaving from London with $1550 for 21 days
Béziers, Barcelona, Béziers, Venice, Amsterdam, Brussels
Requesting help with Transport, Hostels, Itinerary, Nightlife, Food, Sights
arturv
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can someone explain me how this reservation works?
If I buy a ticket, do I need to buy a reservation too? Or the reservation is included?
It is so confusing. So many variants.
Thanks.

I am leaving from Brazil and traveling for 30 days
Barcelona, Toledo, Segovia, Madrid, Toulouse, Carcassonne, Paris, Amsterdam, Haarlem, Füssen, Munich
Requesting help with Transport, Hostels, Budget, Nightlife, Food, Sights
re12
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With most of the websites, if you buy your ticket online in advanced you will automatically be given a seat reservation (it will often give you options such as window or aisle seat… so you have some choice in where you sit). If you buy a ticket at a station in Britain it will not come with a seat reservation. In France it should still have a seat reservation, I’m not sure about the rest of Europe.
Online, if a seat reservation is not included it should say so when you check out or it will not have the details of any seat just the train times.
If you buy an open train ticket (a ticket that allows you to get on a train at anytime but on a specific route) you usually will not be given a seat reservation.
If you are using a Rail Europe rail pass, you have to then book onto a specific train if you want a seat reservation, there are details on their website.
If you are traveling alone or in a small group, not having a seat reservation should not matter, if you walk up and down the train for long enough you will be able to find seats next to or near each other. However if you are a larger group or want guaranteed seats make sure you have a seat reservation,

I am leaving from London with $1550 for 21 days
Béziers, Barcelona, Béziers, Venice, Amsterdam, Brussels
Requesting help with Transport, Hostels, Itinerary, Nightlife, Food, Sights
oldlady
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A couple of clarifications/additions to re12’s response.

First, most European trains do not require reservations and you only need to buy a reservation if you choose to take a specific train that requires one. Since the express trains between major cities and overnight trains usually do require reservations, most tourists are going to end up on some trains that require reservations, but you can often avoid reservations if you choose slightly slower (because they make more stops) regional and local trains.

If you buy a ticket on-line, make sure you KNOW whether or not it includes the reservation. Some of the national rail company websites and some of the travel agency websites (Raileurope.com, Railpass.com, Eurail.com) sell tickets that LOOK like they include the reservation since you’re choosing a specific date and time, but sometimes the fine print says something like “required reservation must be purchased in Europe”.

Rail Europe is a travel agency (a competitor to the folks that help sponsor us, BTW) that sells Eurail and other rail passes. There is no such thing as a “Rail Europe Pass”. A Eurail or Britrail pass (for non-Europeans), an interrail (for citizens/residents of Europe) pass or other rail passes created by individual national rail companies serve as a ticket for any train in the countries it covers with the exception of a handful of privately owned scenic rail lines. A rail pass does not cover reservations, so if you use a rail pass as your ticket and choose to take a train that requires a reservation you have to buy the reservation separately.

arturv
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Thank you, guys.

I am leaving from Brazil and traveling for 30 days
Barcelona, Toledo, Segovia, Madrid, Toulouse, Carcassonne, Paris, Amsterdam, Haarlem, Füssen, Munich
Requesting help with Transport, Hostels, Budget, Nightlife, Food, Sights