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5 replies
Reservations for Overnight Trains
Longhornmaniac8
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Hi all,

Hope you’re all enjoying late winter’s day wherever you are (except for those of y’all in the southern hemisphere)!

My question concerns overnight trains, and the costs of reservations.

As an example, I was just on raileurope.com looking at passholder reservations prices for an overnight train (well, 2 trains, when you account for the connection) between Prague and Brussels. The price I was quoted for the trains varied, depending on whether or not I used the Thalys between Cologne and Brussels, between $326 and $402 (USD). This was for a random date in June, as they weren’t offering reservations for August yet, when I’ll actually be traveling.

This seemed excessively high, as I was under the impression a couchette cost between $20-$40.

Can anyone fill me in on why this would’ve been so high? Am I missing something? Is this the actual full fare, and not the reservation fee? If that is the case, where do I go to find the reservations fees.

I am leaving from Rome and traveling for 36 days
Florence, Venice, Milan, Monte-Carlo, Geneva, Interlaken, Zürich, Innsbruck, Vienna, Bratislava, Brno, Prague, Brussels, Amsterdam, Bremen, Berlin, Copenhagen, Oslo, Bergen, Stockholm
Longhornmaniac8
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Edit: that total is for 2 people.

I am leaving from Rome and traveling for 36 days
Florence, Venice, Milan, Monte-Carlo, Geneva, Interlaken, Zürich, Innsbruck, Vienna, Bratislava, Brno, Prague, Brussels, Amsterdam, Bremen, Berlin, Copenhagen, Oslo, Bergen, Stockholm
oldlady
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Since I spent an hour researching your last question without getting a “thank you” I’m not going to spend much on this. Should have expected that from a Texan.

Quote:
The price I was quoted for the trains varied, depending on whether or not I used the Thalys between Cologne and Brussels, between $326 and $402 (USD).
It’s either a cost for ticket plus reservation or it’s for fairly fancy accommodations. What kind of accommodations were you looking for? This is reasonable for 2 reservations, purchased through a travel agency, for a 1st class double. Using a travel agency adds about 30% to the price.

A berth in a 6 berth couchette normally costs 30 euros — about $42.

Prague to Brussels is not a great route for train. 4 to 7 connections does not mean much sleep and may add to the cost because of needing numerous individual reservations…. I’d be looking for a cheap flight.

Longhornmaniac8
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Wow,

I totally forgot I had made that other thread, and I never received a notification that anyone had replied…I thought I’d subscribed to it. I literally just now saw it!

Thanks very much for your detailed reply/replies, they will be super-helpful moving forward.

With that said, I don’t appreciate the stereotype. It’s awfully presumptuous to judge someone based only on their location. Without getting into a pissing match, my guess would be that Austin (where I’m from) defies almost every stereotype you have of Texas/Texans, unless you’ve visited and experienced first hand, and I, as well, would not fit your stereotypes. I’ve been told as such by other Europeans on my travels.

Moving on…interesting, I wonder why it asked me what kind of rail pass I had before I filled out their search form if it was for the ticket, and not just the reservation. I was certainly under the impression (from their website) that the prices they were giving were for reservations only, not ticket+reservation.

The prices varied, depending on the accommodations. The 1st class double was over $500, and the couchette were the prices above, depending on whether or not I took the Thalys.

That same website mentioned that it was only one connection, in Cologne. Nevertheless, I will definitely be looking at flights, as well.

Thanks again!

Cheers,
Cameron

I am leaving from Rome and traveling for 36 days
Florence, Venice, Milan, Monte-Carlo, Geneva, Interlaken, Zürich, Innsbruck, Vienna, Bratislava, Brno, Prague, Brussels, Amsterdam, Bremen, Berlin, Copenhagen, Oslo, Bergen, Stockholm
oldlady
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First, I would not rely on raileurope. It is a travel agency that sells railpasses and it’s goal is mostly to get you to spend money. Perhaps part of the huge cost from Raileurope is because they’re quoting 1st class reservations because you have an adult railpass?. I would look at the individual national rail company websites. The links are here: http://www.eurotrip…. On the Czech website, there’s a reasonable overnight train with a single connection in Koln, but no information on pricing.

Checking the Prague-Koln part on the German website, I find full fare for ticket and 6 berth couchette reservation to be 153 euros ($214). It’s 137 euros with a seat reservation. There are specials as low as 39 euros for ticket and seat reservation. Just the reservation is 25 euros in a 6 berth couchette and 35 euros in a 4 berth couchette. If you can book a special fare, it may be a better deal not to use the railpass and just buy the ticket with reservation on-line from bahn.de. http://reiseauskunft… Click on the special fare to see regular fare and the specials available on the train you want to take. Click on “book only extra charge” (to the left of the bar to book the ticket) at the bottom and then “pass offer” to see the cost for just a reservation. If you have an adult rail pass and want to splurge a bit, you can get a deluxe double for 65 euros each, the same price as an economy double in 2nd class.

The Thalys reservation from Koln to Brussels would be a day train. You might find a special on that, too. Try www.thalys.com Thalys reservations are about 15 euros in 2nd class. First class reservations are even more expensive. There are limited reservations available at a special passholder rate of about 10 euros. You can buy the cheaper 2nd class reservation on Thalys even if you have a 1st class railpass. 2nd class on a Thalys train is still pretty posh.

Longhornmaniac8
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Good advice, oldlady, thanks!

As easy as it is to rely on sites like that for one stop shopping, you get the best idea by going to the individual countries’ rail websites.

Part of the problem (to sort of blend my two threads together, rather than keep bumping both of them), is we’re not exactly sure when we’ll be doing what, or even exactly what our itinerary will be (and yes, we’re definitely in the process of trimming it down quite a bit), which complicates booking tickets ahead of time.

I’ll definitely keep an eye out for special fares, though.

Thanks again!

Cheers,
Cameron

I am leaving from Rome and traveling for 36 days
Florence, Venice, Milan, Monte-Carlo, Geneva, Interlaken, Zürich, Innsbruck, Vienna, Bratislava, Brno, Prague, Brussels, Amsterdam, Bremen, Berlin, Copenhagen, Oslo, Bergen, Stockholm