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21
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)
22
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.
23
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.
24
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.
25
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
26
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 :)
27
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.
28
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
29
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 :)

30
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.
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