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21
As you guys seem particularly knowledgeable about this route, may I ask a couple of more questions?
Sure :)

Do you know how it works on the SK / Ukraine border (bearing in mind that I won't take the sleeper from Kosice, but will take the 'shuttle' train over the border)?
Keep in mind that you'll need to change trains in Cierna nad Tisou (Slovak border station), since there are no direct seating cars from Kosice (only passengers from sleeper cars don't need to switch cars in Cierna), otherwise everything is easy and smooth, that border crossing is not very popular, so on Cierna-Chop leg you might end up like the only passengers or only with a few fellow travelers.
From what I've read, Slovak formalities will be done on the train.
Yep, but it's not done at the Cierna station, the train departs as usual, but then in the middle of the field closer to the border there is a sort of improvised border checkpoint stop where Slovak officials would enter and check your passports (might take it for a check to their cabin outside) and maybe luggage by the customs official.
Then, once I am in Chop, I will go to some special border desk and get the entry stamp, which should take just a few minutes? 
Here your train will just stop at the platform next the station building, you get out and go inside (usually there are couple border guards showing you the way and making sure you enter the right door). Inside there is a huge room with a few border guards cubicles for passport check, you go there first and after there will be the customs officers next to the big tables, but they might not even stop you. You will walk from the door beneath the white timetable. The ticket desk (first international & next domestic) will be on your right, you can see it on the photo as well (beneath the Soviet mosaic or whatever that is)
Then, can I leave and collect my ticket
Hmm, I think for both trains (107 & 13) you can actually print your ticket yourself at home. The pdf after the purchase will say if you need to print it at the ticket desk only (usually it's for some irregular/seasonal trains and not a year round/regular ones).
wander around the station / go outside? It seems like I should have plenty of time to connect trains - do you agree? (I will be catching the 3 o'clock-ish train from Kosice).
The train station isn't very interesting (unless you are a fan of the late Soviet architecture), so you can take a walk (next door there is local trains station, it kind of even looks like it's bigger than the long-distance trains one) or just go to the store to buy some food (there was kind of a small supermarket on the left from the station square or some cafes/shops on the square next to the local trains station, which is on the right from the long-distance trains station square). Anyhow, you have plenty of time till 20:35/20:56, nothing to worry about.
I am still not sure which train I will connect to: either the 20:35 or 20:56. Any preferences? We (2 of us) did want to take a 2-berth sleeper, but that seems only bookable on the 20:56 train.  https://booking.uz.gov.ua/en/?from=2218115&to=2200300&date=2018-05-12&time=00%3A00&url=train-list    I suppose it would be best to arrive in Khmelnitskiy at 8 am rather than 6:30 am...
Maybe Maxy, as a local, can confirm it, but it seems like 13 indeed will be a better option in your case
And is it fine to collect my pre-bought Chop-Khmelnitskiy ticket at Chop station? I'm not gonna be penned in some customs waiting area am I?
No, no, UA officials usually are rather friendly (obviously unless you are Russian national), so would be surprised if you spend more than 10 minutes on all the checks on UA side. Regarding the ticket printing, as was already said earlier, you might not need to go to the ticket desk at all
22
As you guys seem particularly knowledgeable about this route, may I ask a couple of more questions?

Do you know how it works on the SK / Ukraine border (bearing in mind that I won't take the sleeper from Kosice, but will take the 'shuttle' train over the border)?

From what I've read, Slovak formalities will be done on the train. Then, once I am in Chop, I will go to some special border desk and get the entry stamp, which should take just a few minutes? Then, can I leave and collect my ticket / wander around the station / go outside? It seems like I should have plenty of time to connect trains - do you agree? (I will be catching the 3 o'clock-ish train from Kosice).

I am still not sure which train I will connect to: either the 20:35 or 20:56. Any preferences? We (2 of us) did want to take a 2-berth sleeper, but that seems only bookable on the 20:56 train.  https://booking.uz.gov.ua/en/?from=2218115&to=2200300&date=2018-05-12&time=00%3A00&url=train-list    I suppose it would be best to arrive in Khmelnitskiy at 8 am rather than 6:30 am...

And is it fine to collect my pre-bought Chop-Khmelnitskiy ticket at Chop station? I'm not gonna be penned in some customs waiting area am I?

Thanks in advance for any info you can provide :)

23
Train fares and tariffs / Re: MAV ticket
« Last post by Maxy on April 23, 2018, 08:50:25 am »
Normally the purchase period for this through car is 30 days in direction from Ukraine.
But for period of 18-25 May this through car will temporary out of operation due to construction works related with switching tracks to new Beskyd tunnel.
24
Train fares and tariffs / MAV ticket
« Last post by ghioane007 on April 23, 2018, 06:17:14 am »
Hello All,

Is MAV able to issue tickets and reservations for Kiev-Debrecen journey in the through sleeping car Kiev-Vienna? If yes, how much in advance can they be bought?

Thank you

Thank you
25
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.
26
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.
27
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.
28
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.
29
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
30
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.
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