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1
Train fares and tariffs / Re: Sleeper trains Amsterdam to Italy (Naples)
« Last post by tUt on April 17, 2018, 10:07:04 pm »
Maxy already did a great job in explaining your options, but perhaps the only thing which makes sense to add here is that maybe you don't really need to travel all the way from Amsterdam to southern Italy by land, which is way too time consuming. Imho, in your situation it seems to make more sense to fly half way and then use an overnighter, in this case you can depart on the afternoon on May 13 and be in Naples already next morning. Most obvious choice would be to fly to Northern Italy (Turin or Milan or Genoa) and then take one of the direct Italian domestic overnight trains to Naples (most likely will look something like this). Or, if you want some adventure, you can fly to some place like Vienna and then take an overnight train from there. Or do a reverse, i.e. use an overnighter first and then fly to Naples.
2
Train fares and tariffs / Re: Sleeper trains Amsterdam to Italy (Naples)
« Last post by Maxy on April 17, 2018, 02:27:40 pm »
also keep in mind - most scenic section of the way - is crossing Alps.

If you go via Paris and Thello - you miss it.
If you go by overnight train from Munich and Rome - you miss it
If you go via Basel-Domodossola - in general you'll go via Alps whole Swiss section of your way, but the most significant mountain ridge on your way you overcome by 20 km Simplon tunnel, i.e. train doesn't really climb up.
But on other hand - with spartageskarte you may choose any itinerary via Switzerland (with any detour, including Bernina pass or whatever you like).
And only if you via Innsbruck - Bologna during daytime - you cross mountains "honestly" via Brenner pass, climbing to 1374 meters. That's quite serious argument for choosing this option.
3
Train fares and tariffs / Re: Sleeper trains Amsterdam to Italy (Naples)
« Last post by Maxy on April 17, 2018, 02:20:13 pm »
Welcome to reality.
There is no possiblity to cover your travel by single ticket. You must find optimal combination of tickets by your own and buy them from different sources.

It's shame to admit, but National Railways of each contry in Europe consider the necessary to maintain the possibility to sell direct tickets and provide support to wishers to travel with changew only to the nearest and medium-distant other countires, while support same possiblities to countries which are "too remote" is considered as "unimportant" and "not worth the efforts".

And Italy and Netherland - is one of those cases, when each railway threat other as "too remote" and suggest "normal people anyway don't travel so far by train".

Railway tariff which allow to cover whole way - simply doesn't exist.

Amsterdam to Naples - are really abit far from each other, distance between them is longer, than most people find acceptable to overcome by train.

It's not possible to cover this distance neither by direct overnight train (i.e. during evening-night-morning) nor by combination of daytime services (i.e. by start in early morning and finish before midnight).
You need at last 19 hours to overcome this distance and combine overnight train and daytime services.

You may travel by different ways (with different detours to West or to East) and night section can be placed on different parts of your travel (closer to Amsterdam, closer to Naples or wherever in the middle).
Basically you may choose between following 4 overnight sections. Also in each case I'll provide minimal price in case of single accomodtaion of early purchase (first minute price)/full price (price before departure), and by italics - minimal price of supplying daytime sections in 2nd class and place to buy

1.
Nightjet Duesseldof to Innsbruck 129/199 EUR without shower (only sink in compartment), -/219 EUR with private shower.
ICE Amsterdam - Duesseldorf 19,9 EUR (buy at bahn.de)
EC Innsbruck - Bologna from 24 EUR (but at oebb.at)
Bologna - Napoli alternatives:
Trenitalia from 35.9 EUR by high-speed train or from 9.9 EUR IC
or .italo Bologna - Naples high-speed train from 24.9 EUR


2. thello Paris - Milano
115/290 EUR with shower (it's temporary promo wich will last till midlle of may action, when you got cabin with shower on price of cabin without shower, that's the reason of such ratio, normally 115 is first minute price of cabin without shower, but not of a cabin with shower)
Thalys Amsterdam - Paris, 35 EUR
Milano - Naples alternatives
Trenitalia (39.9 high-speed or doable by intercities by 9.9*2 EUR) or .italo hispeed from 38.9 EUR


3.nightjet Munich - Rome
129/199 EUR without shower, -/219 EUR with private shower.

bahn.de Amsterdam - Munich, travel with changes (usually 1 change in Franfkurt is enough), from 49,9 EUR.
Rome - Naples alternatives
trenitalia
IC from 9,9 EUR
high speed trains from  16,9 EUR
local trains - fixed price 12.3 EUR available even before departure
or .italo - high speed trains from 9.9 EUR


4. trenitalia Alessandria - Naples -/202,8 EUR, only option without showers in this train

ICE Amsterdam - Basel from 39.9 EUR, buy from bahn.de
Basel - Domodossola from 23 CHF(spartageskarte from SBB.ch)
local trains Domodossola - Novarra -Allessandria 10.65 EUR, buy locally.
4
Train fares and tariffs / Sleeper trains Amsterdam to Italy (Naples)
« Last post by imamickie on April 17, 2018, 05:15:44 am »
I really want to experience traveling in a sleeper car. I'll want to get a private room. I will Depart Amsterdam May 13. When I look up the Trenitalia it seems very confusing. Where to by tickets, what is the price of the class ticket and the sleeper?
How many tickets will  I need? Will I have to change trains and then purchase additional tickets? On the Trenitalia site I saw more than 1 Thello train, old and new. What are the sleeper single cabins like? Hope to hear back from you. Thank you.
5
Ok, so lets take a look at each leg and see what options you have:

Amsterdam to Heidelberg via Koblenz: very easy & relatively cheap (from 29,90 euro) if you would purchase your tickets in advance either via German Railways (DB) or Dutch Railways (NS) websites. The only inconvenience is that during your 5-6 hours long trip you'll have to make a few train changes, but in Europe it's an ordinary procedure, so nothing really to worry about

Heidelberg to Prague: again, easy and cheap (from 19,90 euro on German Railways bus or from 29,90 with a train section) with the so-called Sparpreis Europa offer. DB website is your helper here. In case you want to be adventurous/can't buy tickets in advance, then you can take a look a the offers like Happy Weekend Ticket (Schönes-Wochenende-Ticket) or Quer-durchs-Land-Ticket (more info on our Germany page http://europetrainsguide.com/Countries/Germany/Germany-DB.html or DB website). Travel time about 7 hours, so you either will have to start in the dark or arrive after the sunset... December

Prague to Vienna: even easier & cheaper, since here you have a private rail company RegioJet, which competes with the Czech/Austrian State railway companies. Ticket for the direct trains (4 hour journey) start from only 15 euro. Might be helpful our page http://europetrainsguide.com/Advice/How-to-Travel/Vienna-to-Prague.html , it's the reverse route, but still

Vienna to Budapest: fast (<3 hours) and cheap, Austrian Railways sell discounted tickets for as low as 19 euro. Step by step guide on how to buy it - http://europetrainsguide.com/Advice/How-to-Buy-Train-Tickets/Austria-OeBB.html . Also might be of help http://europetrainsguide.com/Advice/How-to-Travel/Budapest-to-Vienna.html

Budapest to Salzburg: with the direct train it's 5+ hours and either 29 euro (discounted ticket, in advance purchase required), or 45 euro ("Excursion (Tourist) Ticket" (in Hungarian it is called Kirándulójegy), can be purchased on the day of travel). Or, as a total alternative, travel with two separate tickets, i.e. Budapest-Vienna and Vienna-Salzburg

Salzburg to Lucerne via Munich or Innsbruck: in both cases you should start with the Austrian Railways (OeBB) website. If you plan to travel via Munich, then Salzburg-Munich is cheaper to do with the so-called Bavaria Ticket (again, see our Germany page). Then Munich-Luzern address already known to you German Railways (DB) website

Churn overnight??? You mean Chur?

Bernina Express and travel to Zermatt ?? Swiss Railways (SBB) since not very long ago offer this very cheap day pass offer - https://www.sbb.ch/en/travelcards-and-tickets/tickets-for-switzerland/1-day-travelpass/saver-day-pass.html , so perhaps you can use it. In Switzerland it's not that important to ride those private scenic trains, you can easily enjoy traveling on the regular trains (run on the same lines & often even less crowded compared to the fancy tourists trains)

Verona via Lake Como: with in advance purchase on the same Swiss Railways (SBB) website you can get the so-called international Super Saver Tickets to Italy, it will be the cheapest option. Or, as an alternative (will depend a lot on your departure point) you can simply use regional trains

22nd ?? Well, Venice? Triest? Udine? Italian Railways (TrenItalia) website will give you a hint on prices & travel times, but in general the distances there are not very long, so you don't really need to bother with any in advance tickets purchase, just use regional trains & buy tickets before departure

Italy-Ljubjana: for Northern Italy-Slovenia options we recommend checking out our Slovenia page (see the last section) - http://europetrainsguide.com/Countries/Slovenia/Slovenia-SZ.html , you can choose one of the options and simply do it in reverse order.

What sites would be best to book these tickets on please and how long before can they be booked?
Well, it should definitely be the official websites of the railway companies in each country (we already gave the links to all those above), since buying via agencies and other middle-man like resellers is a) more expensive & b) less reliable
Another question, would I be better to buy a pass?  If so which one would suit?
Doubt it, your itinerary doesn't really have any super expensive legs, especially if you ok buying discounted point-to-point tickets in advance.
I probably have a few more questions, but once I get the itinerary right, can ask then.
Sure, that's the usual way how we proceed. You check all the recommendations, websites, fares, etc. and then come back with the particular questions, which can clarify those point you aren't sure about ;)

Regarding the "itinerary right" ... as of now it looks a little bit zig-zag like, first east, i.e. Heidelberg-Prague-Vienna-Budapest, then back west Budapest-Vienna-Salzburg-Switzerland, then again east -Northern Italy-Slovenia. It can be done, but maybe simple geographic logic didctates to make it more straight, e.g. Netherlands-Germany-Switzerland-Northern Italy by train, then fly to Prague with one of the multiple lowcost airlines and finally make you way southeast to Slovenia via Vienna andBudapest. Or, if you want zigzags, then maybe at least don't do Prague-Vienna-Budapest-Vienna (all the trains from Budapest to Salzburg go via Vienna)-Salzburg, but instead Prague-Budapest-Vienna-Salzburg to avoid Vienna-Budapest part twice
6
Travel plans, routes and timetables / Australian Newbie with Itinerary
« Last post by MAKSAUST on April 06, 2018, 06:10:07 pm »

Hi, I am new to this site, and finding what I have read so far very informative, but confusing to say the least when it comes to my own itinerary.
We have booked airfares to arrive in Amsterdam in the early hours of 1st December.  We will stay 3 nights and depart on the morning of the 4th.
We are having Christmas in Slovenia, Ljubljana and as long as we are there by 23rd December.  We like train travel and day travel, hence getting into the next stop by daylight. 
I would be interested if you could tell me if this is a realistic itinerary, I have made some hotel bookings already, but they can be cancelled or altered to suit.

4th December Amsterdam to Heidelberg via Koblenz (2 night)
6th Depart Heidelberg for Prague (3 nights)
9th Depart Prague for Vienna (3 nights)
12th depart Vienna for Budapest (3 nights)
the next two stops not sure about is there a better option?
15th depart Budapest for Salzburg (1 night)
16th Salzburg to Lucerne via Munich - or Innes burg 
Lucerne (3 nights)
19th Churn overnight  (the next few days need help with)
20th Bernina Express and travel to Zermatt ??
21st Verona via Lake Como
22nd ??
23rd Slovenia Ljubljana fly out again on 30th December
What sites would be best to book these tickets on please and how long before can they be booked?
Another question, would I be better to buy a pass?  If so which one would suit? 
I probably have a few more questions, but once I get the itinerary right, can ask then.
I thankyou in advance to any help or assistance.
7
Once again, the generous time and effort from you is making a difference for me. I’m taking it all in.  I am going to do more reading today and will follow your advice. Thank you.
8
Quote
I followed the link to find the routes for 1 Euro.  Because we are traveling in May, I'm unable to pull up that date.
1. But you can simply play - choose the travel date which is the lattest date to which tickets are commenced for sale on day when you are playing (for example today - 1 EUR tickets are awailable to dates till 4th April) and ensure you see this avaialability, then play a little (try to put ticket to basket, ensure you can follow all needed steps till entering data of your credit card and so on) Simply do this excersice for ensuring you'll be able to buy it from first attempt when they'll be commenced for sale for actual day of your travel.
Quote
I'm curious, what is this website/business, company?
This 1 EUR tickets are proposed for all TERs (TER is regional train of French Railways)
Quote
Why do they offer this rate for a few routes?
it's proposed for all routes within former Languedoc-Rousillon region.
In fact I think it was invention of former Languedoc-Rousillon regional authorities. They find "unfair" the situation when travellers on long-distance train may get benefits from early booking, while travellers on local trains don't have similar proposal. They cannot force French Railways to introduce such proposal for local trains, but they decided to emulate is by dumb subsidizing. That the way how they understand kinda"restored the justice" but only within their region. AFAIK - the difference between French Railways price and this 1 EUR you pay - is paid by regional authorities of Languedoc-Rousillon to railway.
The must comical thing - Languedoc-Rousillon region during last reform of administrative divisiton in France was abolished (merged with the nerby regions to new bigger Occitane region). Authourities of new Occitane region - retaken and continue to support this fancy 1 EUR ticket invention. But they do it only those parts of Occitane, which is former Languedoc-Rousillon. They do not spread out this 1 EUR invention to those part of Occitane which didn't belonged to Languedoc-Rousillon.

2. For easier understanding - start learning about transport unions from Austria, because Austrian transport uniouns are the easiest for understanding, because their boundaries correspond the boundaries of States (Länder) of Austria, and the borders of Austrian Länder are often very geographical and natural.

Boundaries of transport Union cover all corresponding state(s) and often few kilometers outside, i.e. covering neighbour piece of neighbour states (or even other countries).
So. If you travel between cities in different States - the transport union tariff is applied instead of railway tariff.

Here is example

There is such very picturesque small place, often visited by tourst, named Hallstatt in Austria. It's located in Upper Austria Region. Distance from Hallstadt to closest 2 bigger cities - Salzburg and Linz - is nearly the same - 138 km from Hallstatt to Salzburg or 132 km from Linz to Hallstatt.
But Linz - Hallstadt is travel within same State (Upper Austria), so tariff of transport union applies. Ticket cost 18.80 EUR no difference, you buy in advance of before deparute. Valid for any train. Ticket is intermodal (it's not only from train, it covers urban transport in city of departure and city of arrival too, for example it's valid in Salzburg from bus or trolley-bus from train station to city center or wherever).
While Hallstadt - Salzburg - is travel between different States, so tariffs of tranport unions is not applicable, but the railway tarriff applies - normal price (price before departure) is 28.7 EUR (valid for any trains), but if you buy in advance - there is first-minute deals - non-refundable tickets with price from 9 EUR (but only for specific train, you choose which train in moment of purchase and no way to use it in train with other hour of departure), subject of limited availability. It's ticket only for trains, don't cover urban transport.

Is there some tricks to get possibility to unlock first minute deals of railway tariff is you travel within single transport union? (for example if you agree to get non refundable ticket binded to special train but prefer to pay less).
Answer is - yes. For this - you must artificially "extend" the needed route in your ticket to go beyond single transport union. For example instead of Linz - Hallstatt - try to search Amstetten NÖ - Hallstadt (Amstetten NÖ - it's closest station before Linz which is already in other State) - and you'll see 9 EUR first minute deals unlocked.

Is there way utilize transport union tariff if you hadn't managed to buy your ticket in advance and buying before departure, but traveling between cities in different States? Well, sometime it is, if you travel not very far, between neighbouring transport unions. But it's not easy and work not so well. For example from Hallstatt to Salzburg. For this - find the place where transport unions overlap. For example - here is the transport union of Upper Austria State
https://www.ooevv.at/?seite=zonenplan&sprache=DE
here is transport union of Salzburg State
https://salzburg-verkehr.at/pa_file/bahnnetz-land-salzburg/?download=bf00ba823c044a87bfed962f9fb43d94
you need to juxtapose those maps and deduce the area where they overlap and what is name of station on railway line from Hallstatt to Salzburg within this area of overlapping. I undestand it's hard to do from 1st attempt, so let me do this time it for you. This place is Straßwalchen.

After this - go to Austrian railways website and check prices Hallstatt - Straßwalchen (17.1 EUR) and Straßwalchen - Salzburg (6.8 EUR). So you see - you may pay 17.1+6.8 EUR instead of 28.7 if you buy in advance if you know magic word Straßwalchen, which I've explained how to deduce. But minor inconvenience - exiting from train and boarding again at Straßwalchen is not mandatory, but you shouldn't use the train which goest via Straßwalchen without stop.


5. For example you need to travel from Stuttgart to Munich, you know you definitely you will travel in some particular day, but due to some circumstances you know you cannot commit to particular time. So normal first-minute ticket (Sparpries) will not suite you, because it will be valid only for departure hour choosen during purchase.
So from 1st look all is quite sad - Normal Price (price before deparute) is quite high - 55-59 EUR. For those who travel solely by regional train - there is special proposals (pass for 1 day for regional trains) available before departure - 44 EUR in working days and 42 EUR in Weekend. But is there way to pay less, if you buy in advance without being commited to paricular train?
Yes, it is.
You buy ticket in advance for train combination - only regional trains from Stuttgart and Munich and EC or RJ train from Munich to Rosenheim (in fact - any next stop of long distance train after Munich could work instead of Rosenheim). Better choose on of lattest train of the day as mandatory train between Munich and Rosenheim. If you buy in advance - price 19,99 EUR will be avialable. And bingo - you got ticket which is vaild for travel of any regional trains during this day from Stuttgart to Munich and bind to specific train for Munich to Rosenheim. But for you it works like full flexibility because you don't need to go to Rosenheim at all.
9
I need help with 1, 2, and 5.

I followed the link to find the routes for 1 Euro.  Because we are traveling in May, I'm unable to pull up that date.  I'm curious, what is this website/business, company?  Why do they offer this rate for a few routes?

2 and 5- I'm lost.  I am reading about rail travel everyday and it's starting to sink in.  Anything else you could say to explain what you were expressing in 2 and 5?

amy
10
I afraid there is not much information about transport unions in English. The good article to begin is this wikipedia article
https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Verkehrsverbund
but it's only in German (because transport unions are most common in Germany, Austria, Switzerland).

First minute tickets it's simply limited quantity of tickets with price significantly lower than normal price (price before departure).
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