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11
Travel plans, routes and timetables / Re: Australian Newbie with Itinerary
« Last post by tUt on May 18, 2018, 09:33:23 pm »
...it is invaluable to us Aussies as even travel agents are unable to assist inless you are booking a tour with them.
Well, most travel agents only know how to sell you the most expensive option anyhow :) So I don't think you lost much by not doing your bookings via agencies, maybe besides your time, but in this case point-to-point tickets bought from the actual operating rail companies would save you a lot of money, so your time=savings ;)

Depart London for Brussells (we will not be doing Amsterdam now)
This one is very easy, just make sure you purchase your tickets either via Belgium railways (NMBS/SNCB) or Eurostar websites, since the agencies (like Rail Europe) tend to overcharge unexperienced travelers on routes like this.
Brussells to Heidelberg
Again, Belgium railways (NMBS/SNCB) website is your choice here, otherwise it won't be much different from buying Amsterdam-Heildeberg from the Dutch railways
Vienna to Salzburg   (is there a scenic route for this or for
Salzburg to Lucerne
Vienna-Salzburg... not really, however with Salzburg-Lucerne both routes (or via Bavaria or via Innsbuck/Western Austria) are rather scenic scenic, with the later its a lot of mountains, while with the former you'll get to see a bit of Lake Constance and some mountains
Is there a train from Veroma to Ljubljana?  Or do we do a bus?
No direct trains, but direct buses (e.g. FlixBus) are available (4:30-6 hours depending on connection/bus company)

Most places we are staying 2 nights and some 3 nights.  I have tried to work out so travelling in day time only and arriving before dark.  So may mean early wake up.  The accomodation booked is near the train station for conveince...your ideas are again welcome and whether this is too much or doable.
Sure, especially with your plan to have roughly 2-3 days stopovers without traveling, making a day long trip afterward won't be very tiring. Plus it's not like you'll be doing 10+ hours journeys or something like it, your longest trip would be <7 hours, which is ok on more or less decent trains

I hear and read about strikes on the rails.   Will any of my itinerary effected?
Well, big paralyzing strikes are more a thing for Romance-speaking Europe (i.e. France, Spain, Italy), while with Germanic speaking countries (e.g. Germany, Switzerland, Austria) and nearest neighbours it's not very likely, especially with fancy international connections. Imho, don't think with your itinerary you should worry much ;)

As we are travelling between 24th November in UK to 23rd December through Belguim, Germany, Hungary, Austria, Switzerland to Slovenia is the snow something that can delay trains?
It might, but essential delays happen only in the extraordinary snow situations, so you should get very lucky to end up in one of those. With shorter weather related delays you shouldn't really worry much, it won't be a problem, since it will be railways' job to exchange your ticket, get you as soon as possible to your destination and so on.

What other things do we have to be aware off?
In the touristic cities it's mostly about rip-off money exchange points (i.e. make sure you know the correct exchange rate), unworthy expensive city tours/restaurants on the main squares or the walking steets and, in some countries (e.g. Italy), pickpocketing, so just be careful with your wallet, passports & cellphones
12
Travel plans, routes and timetables / Re: Australian Newbie with Itinerary
« Last post by MAKSAUST on May 18, 2018, 01:05:32 pm »
I hear and read about strikes on the rails.   Will any of my itinerary effected? As we are travelling between 24th November in UK to 23rd December through Belguim, Germany, Hungary, Austria, Switzerland to Slovenia is the snow something that can delay trains? What other things do we have to be aware off?  The itinerary is made without incidents along the way 😁
13
Travel plans, routes and timetables / Re: Australian Newbie with Itinerary
« Last post by MAKSAUST on May 18, 2018, 12:40:58 pm »
Hi ...thankyou for your help so far ...it is invaluable to us Aussies as even travel agents are unable to assist inless you are booking a tour with them.
I have hopefully finalised my itinerary and due to Edihad cancelling our flights...we now fly Emirates and go to London...
Depart Perth 24th November 6am
Arrive London 24th November midday 😂😂😂
Depart London for Brussells (we will not be doing Amsterdam now)
Brussells to Heidelberg
Heidelberg to Nuremberg
Nuremberg to Prague
Prague to Budapest (your idea and have been able to make changes to accomodation booking at no charge)
Budapest to Vienna
Vienna to Salzburg   (is there a scenic route for this or for
Salzburg to Lucerne
Lucerne to Chur
Chur to Tirano 
Tirano to Veroma (looked at your suggestion ended up half way between)
Veroma to Ljubljana
Is there a train from Veroma to Ljubljana?  Or do we do a bus?
Most places we are staying 2 nights and some 3 nights.  I have tried to work out so travelling in day time only and arriving before dark.  So may mean early wake up.  The accomodation booked is near the train station for conveince...your ideas are again welcome and whether this is too much or doable.  We are both mid 60's. TIA
14
Travel plans, routes and timetables / Re: Australian Newbie with Itinerary
« Last post by tUt on May 11, 2018, 10:20:00 pm »
Heidelberg to Nuremberg: it's the journey within Germany, so it's kind of logical to use already mentioned multiple times in the previous post German Railways (DB) website for purchasing your tickets. The distance is not very lengthy here (around 3 hour travel), so it will be pretty easy to get the discounted tickets for as low as 19 euro per person or, in case you want to be more adventurous and don't purchase your tickets in advance, then DB passes for regional trains (Happy Weekend Ticket (Schönes-Wochenende-Ticket) or Quer-durchs-Land-Ticket) are your best option.

Nuremberg-Prague: well, if your stopover in Nuremberg won't be very long (<48 hours), then you can actually do a small ticket trick - purchase one through ticket Heidelberg-Nuremberg-Prague (starts from only 24,9 euro) with the intentionally forced intermediate stop in Nuremberg for up to 48 hours. If the journey is longer, then you can buy a separate Nuremberg-Prague ticket (with DB bus it's from 14,9 euro, while with FlixBus or RegioJet companies it might be even cheaper). Also possible to go the entire route by train, but it will take much longer and won't be cheaper.

Salzburg to Lucerne: as was already mentioned earlier, in this case you should first of all decide whether you want to travel to Switzerland via Bavaria (Munich, e.g. Munich to Luzern discounted ticket start from 29 euro or you can travel with the so-called Bavaria Lander Ticket=regional pass for entire Bavaria and then Swiss SuperSaver ticket) or throughout entire Western Austria (i.e. via Innsbruck, discounted tickets start from 34 euro per person). With the later option your number one website would be the Austrian Railways (OeBB) http://europetrainsguide.com/Advice/How-to-Buy-Train-Tickets/Austria-OeBB.html , while with the journey via Bavaria the German Railway (DB) website would be of help.

Lucerne to Chur: domestic Swiss trips are easy, link to the Swiss Railway (SBB) was already given earlier, cheapest option would be also mentioned earlier SuperSaver ticket

Chur to Tirano: well, if you necessarily want to take the Bernina Express train, then it's https://www.rhb.ch/en/panoramic-trains/bernina-express , but you can travel the very same route on the regular (=less touristy) trains for much cheaper (in this case once again SuperSaver Ticket bought from the Swiss Railways website are your best option)

From Tirano  is there maybe 2  nice village or town, that has a train stop, you could suggest on the way to Ljibujana that we could stay overnight please. other than Milan, Lake Como or Venice.
Hmm... it kind of depends on your preferences (nature, mountains, old towns, etc.). Getting out of Tirano by rail only means going westward to Como area first, so if you don't want to make this detour, then maybe it makes sense to use the bus to Edolo and switch to train there? Otherwise nearby interesting town is Bergamo (most people skip it, but it's very nice actually), then there is obviously Verona (touristy, but still), already mentioned earlier Triest is also very nice place. If you want more nature & mountains, then South Tyrol might be your choice (however it's not super convenient to get there from Tirano)
15
Travel plans, routes and timetables / Re: Australian Newbie with Itinerary
« Last post by MAKSAUST on May 10, 2018, 01:01:56 am »
Oh forgot to say, we are no longer going to Amsterdam.  We were flying with Edihad and they have now cancelled flights out of Perth from October, as we leave November, we are now flying Emirates and will be flying into London then train to Brussels, then Heidelberg.  Bit of a nightmare rearranging accomodation and flights again, plus more expense ;-( sorted now.
16
Travel plans, routes and timetables / Re: Australian Newbie with Itinerary
« Last post by MAKSAUST on May 10, 2018, 12:56:15 am »
Thank you for your suggestions, they are a great help.  Understand doing a zig zag across Europe as love train travel, will probably understand what you are saying once we actually do the trip.  Will not be able to change Vienna and Budapest as locked in with accommodation.  I have now completed the itinerary to at least Tirano,
Now adding:
Heidelberg to Nuremberg
Nuremberg to Prague
Salzberg to Lucerne
Lucerne to Chur
Bernina Express to Tirano

Could you give me where to purchase train tickets as previous.
From Tirano  is there maybe 2  nice village or town, that has a train stop, you could suggest
on the way to Ljibujana that we could stay overnight please.
other than Milan, Lake Como or Venice.
thanks again for all you help.
17
Any idea why a two-berth sleeper is 392 UAH compared to 592 for the later train? Is it just a question of distance?
It's not about distance in this case, since it's almost the same (with 107 it is 526 km, while with 13 it's 553 km), and not about train category (both seems to be "Night Fast"),
exactly
Quote
but probably about UZ "brandedness" divide of trains or even separate cars,
separate cars.
Quote
meaning that ticket for a newer (or just in better shape) car would be sold with a higher coefficient to the base price. Sometimes it's very funny when within one and the same train you might take one and the same car category, but actually pay a different price, because one of those cars will have higher coefficient
worth to add - shabbiness or oppositely better shape (or newness) of car is only create possibility for price multiplier, but not the obligation. I.e. when car is brand new - railway administration MAY set higher price, but also may ignore this possibility (i.e. they may "forget" this car is new and sell it at basic price) or use this possiblity partially - set multiplier which is higher than 1 but lower than maximal allowed value for car of such newness.

Railway administration never explain why they use maximal allowed multiplier in one case and don't use it in other, but it's very easy to guess when you observe it during long time  - they obviously rank passengers by relative possibility to pay more.
Kyiv-bound passengers are obviously threaten more solvent, than Odessa-bound, so even in case of hypothetical equal quality of cars - Odessa bound train obviously could cost less than Kyiv-bound. But in this case Odessa-bound train is really also have worse and older cars.
18
Any idea why a two-berth sleeper is 392 UAH compared to 592 for the later train? Is it just a question of distance?
It's not about distance in this case, since it's almost the same (with 107 it is 526 km, while with 13 it's 553 km), and not about train category (both seems to be "Night Fast"), but probably about UZ "brandedness" divide of trains or even separate cars, meaning that ticket for a newer (or just in better shape) car would be sold with a higher coefficient to the base price. Sometimes it's very funny when within one and the same train you might take one and the same car category, but actually pay a different price, because one of those cars will have higher coefficient

Are there any timetable changes in Ukraine, or will these trains run unchanged in July?
Some time ago UZ switched to the European trend of changing train timetable during the second weekend of December, so with the regular trains there shouldn't be any changes. However, on some routes UZ tends to add seasonal trains during summer or holidays, so there might be some extra trains available actually
19
Excellent! Thanks for the advice guys.

I think I will try to get a ticket for train 107 as it seems like I have plenty of time to transfer. Any idea why a two-berth sleeper is 392 UAH compared to 592 for the later train? Is it just a question of distance?

It's a shame I won't be able to see those murals, as I am a fan of that sort of thing. While I understand the thinking behind the 2015 law, I think it's a shame. Do you know if they painted OVER the murals Maxy? Or did they cover them and they are preserved underneath?

And one final thing. Are there any timetable changes in Ukraine, or will these trains run unchanged in July?

Have a nice evening :)
20
Quote
(beneath the Soviet mosaic or whatever that is)
it's not possible to see those mosaics anymore. According to laws introduced in 2015 - those mosaics on Chop station was classified as contained outlawed communist symbols, so they were hidden. All what you can see instead of them - simply walls painted in yellow.

Chop is just the junction station in the middle of nowhere. If you'd like to walk abit - you may choose not to wait in Chop, but reach Uzhhorod. 
There is local train Chop 19:01 - Uzhhorod 19:33, you can take it and wait your train in Uzhhorod.

Please note, 20:35 and 20:56 train take different way from Chop to Uzhhorod.
20:35 - start in Uzhhord, then via Chop and Mukachevo - goes to Lviv the southern way (crosses Carpathian Mountains via Volovets pass).
20:56 - start in Solotvyno, then via Chop and Uzhhorod - goes to Lviv the northern way (crosses Carpathian Mountains via Uzhok pass)
i.e. 20:35 train leave Uzhhorod before Chop, while 20:56 - have stop in Uzhorod after Chop.
If you choose 2nd train - it depart from Uzhhorod at 21:39, so you'll have more than hour in Uzhhorod. Unfortunately city center in Uzhhorod is far from train station.

I am still not sure which train I will connect to: either the 20:35 or 20:56. Any preferences?
Car with 2-bed compartment is newer in train at 20:56
Train at 20:35 also have one car with 2-bed compartments btw, but it's quicker sold-out, so if you take seat availability to random date - it's higher chance you cannot see them.
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