Touring - Euro rail (nor Eurorail) website???
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Anyone know if there's a website that shows timetables prices etc for European rail journeys. I'm trying to work a trip out (you may have seen my other post), and I would like to go by rail, but I can;t find anything that allows me to find out how long it will take, how much it will cost etc, to travel from Manchester UK (or more easilly, Waterloo, London) to Lake constance or (depending on ease and time, Berlin, Salzburg or Prague). I have a number of options; prague-Berlin, Lake Constance-Salzburg, Salzburg Nurnburg, all following some great cycle routes in Germany, trouble is, I would prefer to get to our jump off pint by train rather than plane. I know it's possible, but can;t seem to find a way of putting the individual journeys together.
Oh, I've tried the Eurorail site, which was just a little better than useless. So, any help would be much appreciated.
01-22-07, 06:43 AM
We were given a schedule of affected trains in the region of our eurail pass, after purchasing our tickets. I assume they will for whatever region you purchase your tickets within.
01-22-07, 09:13 AM
I've done a little research for a trip I'll be taking this summer. In order to get from London to the continent, you only have one option by train, and that is the Eurostar. This will get you as far as Brussels or Paris, where you'll have to switch trains for your connections to Berlin, Salzburg, or Prague. More information on rates can be found at the Eurostar website:
Based on my research, the Eurostar does not allow you to walk up with a fully loaded touring bike. You either have to package your bike in an "approved" bike bag (that meets size regulations) or use a registered package service that operates out of Waterloo station(I still haven't discovered whether or not they make you take your bike apart or not). This service apparently guarantees your bike at your destination within 24 hours although I've heard that if you book the service more than 24 hours in advance of your departure, you can ensure that you and your bike are on the same train. Registered bike delivery is an extra £20.00.
I can't be of much help beyond there, but I am certain that you will be able to locate trains that can accommodate your loaded bike. So once in Brussels or Paris, you can fully assemble your bike for the journey.
One other option might be a ferry from the UK to the Netherlands or Germany.
EDIT: I saw that your were considering a Eurail pass for your trip and I don't believe that pass covers any high speed trains like the Eurostar. The pass does offer a discount on such journeys however.
Thanks for that. Much appreciated.
I have to say that I am genuinely surprised at how difficult it is to travel by train with a bike. It may seem like a case of nostalgia, but I do remember when I was younger, in the 70s and 80s, when you could simply put your bike in the guard's van, even sit with it, which often was rather fun. I can see that there were certain issues, though - we used to sit on mailbags. How security concious is that?
I have to say that we'll probably end up flying, which is an option I would rather not do, but we have 9 days to travel about 300 miles, and much as it strikes me there's an increased risk of arriving minus bike or with bike mangled by baggage handlers, at least all we have to do is book our tickets and book in our bikes, and hopefully we're done. With rail, we have to negotiate the service to Waterloo, then to Paris, with one ticket, then either get different tickets in advance or get them on the day, not really knowing if there's space for bikes.
I had wondered about the ferry, myself, but could only find an overnighter to Zeebrugge or Rotterdam. Do you know of any that go to Germany? That would be worth checking out, if there were such a thing.
01-22-07, 11:33 AM
Gotte, I have traveled in Europe quite a bit and one of the best things about that continent are their trains! You get to see so much when you ride the train, the quaint towns, the vineyards not to mention that you get to meet a lot of locals, since that's how most Europeans travel.
Don't get the eurorail pass. For the amount of time you'll be in Europe, it's not worth it. If I were you, I would buy an individual ticket.
01-22-07, 01:59 PM
Last fall we used the Eurail regional pass for Germany-Benelux. Five days for 2nd clas travel $ 279 US. You have 2 months to use the 5 days and each 'day' is midnight to midnight. There is even a 2-person version for folks traveling together. The German & Netherland train schedules show which trains have bicycle cars on them so you know where on the track to wait for it.
You could land in Holland then travel to Berlin by train, tour then take train back from wherever you are. The regional passes are good to the border of the country so if you travel into a country not valid in the regional pass, you simply pay the difference to your destination.
I'm not sure if you can buy these Eurail passes in the UK - we had to buy in the States and bring them over with us. We were not cycle touring but I would check out the bicycle carriages on each train to see who was riding and their equipment. The 1st class Eurostar trains do NOT accomodate bicycles (unless their folders in a suitcase) but the InterCity and RegionalBahn trains typically will.
The ONLY difficult part of traveling by train with a bike is getting from England to the Continent. That's because there is only one service available, the Eurostar, and since that is a high speed service, you need to bag your bike. Also, the Eurostar part of the journey is nearly impossible to find a price for unless you go to a train station. Unless you get a good deal on it, the Eurostar can be a mega rip-off.
I travel on it at least twice a year, and we always get a good price, but it does involve a bit of work.
For timetables and prices of non-Eurostar trains, check this website:
Thanks for that. Becnal. Just replied to your other post, on my other rail thread.
I was wondering, though, about catching the ferry to Calais (or maybe rotterdam or Zeebrugge), and then catching a train straight down to our destination (whatever it might be).
I was just about to suggest a ferry for the Canal crossing. Probably less hassle with bike than taking the Eurostar. It will take longer though. You can find info on the various alternative ferry lines here:
01-24-07, 09:46 AM
+ 1 on the Channel ferry. It is longer but saves hassle & expense of EuroStar attempt. Once on Continent, as Becnal says, train is simple(r).
01-24-07, 04:55 PM
Or you could search here. (http://www.sbb.ch/en/)
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