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D train from Vienna to Budapest

Hello fellow travelers,

For train from Vienna to Budapest, I found that there are RailJet, EC and D. I found information on the former 2 types of train, but not the D train. We are planning to travel this journey during a weekday morning around 11:00.

(1) Is it correct that there is no seat reservation available on the D train?
(2) How does the D train compare to RailJet or EC train?
(3) In general, is it necessary to make seat reservation, regardless the type of train, in this journey?
(4) Is it the earlier I can buy the tickets, the better the price?
(5) Does the train in this journey ever get full?

Best regards,

FJ

Posted by
1488 posts

(1) No.
(2) Train comes from Romania, most likely older cars.
(3) No, but highly recommended.
(4) Yes.
(5) Yes.

Posted by
4690 posts

Questions 5 - yes it can get full, but that just means you have to stand unless you have a seat reservation. No one is counting how many people board the train.

Posted by
32 posts

Hello wmt1, Emily and tonfromleiden,

Thanks for your information!

Good to know that seat can be reserved on this journey in the D type of train, and that trains on this journey can be full.

Last night, when I searched the date for a May departure, I saw no ticket available. I thought perhaps seats could not be reserved on the D train. It may simply meant that it is not available on the oebb website yet. Today, when I did another search on a Jan departure, I saw that the D train seat reservation available. But it does not appear we can select a specific seat like the RailJet.

Thanks for pointing out seat61, which has a wealth of information.
I read up on it somewhere before I posted the questions in this forum. I think he provided more information on the RailJet and EC trains than the D train. Perhaps he has the D train information, but somehow I have missed it.

Thanks again for all of your help! And have a good weekend!

FJ

Posted by
4690 posts

Please understand that Railjet, EC and D trains are just brands of train, like brands of cars. OEBB.at, the website of the Austrian Rail Service, is where you should buy your tickets. Oebb offers Railjet trains which are the most modern and fast. Try to buy your ticket for a Railjet train, not an EC or D train. OeBB also offers EC trains, but a bit of and older, slower style.

Posted by
1764 posts

@ Emily - using the oebb.at website/booking is certainly "fiddly," as the man in seat 61 reports. I had trouble with it two years ago and again today. Many error messages and worries about whether things are going through. I wish my German was good enough to be confident to use it without going to English, which I think may be one of the problems. If you have any tips or suggestions, I would appreciate them.

Posted by
13542 posts

Try not to over think it. It will work out just fine. And dont stress about the train type. The RJ is a tad nicer, but not always the fastest. Pick a time and the quickest train, 2nd class and enjoy.

Posted by
1488 posts

using the oebb.at website/booking is certainly "fiddly," as the man in seat 61 reports. I had trouble with it two years ago and again today. Many error messages and worries about whether things are going through. I wish my German was good enough to be confident to use it without going to English, which I think may be one of the problems.

@Janet
What error messages do you get?

I am not aware that there are any differences between the German and English version of the website.

There is a button "Search connection" which allows to enter the details (route, departure or arrival time, etc.). When you have found a train connection you like, just click on "Tickets and prices" in the line of that train. The booking page will open then, showing not only the connection you have chosen, but alternative ones too, to give you the chance to compare prices. This may be confusing. Just select again the connection you want and proceed with the booking. Make sure that you scroll down to end of the page as there is the seat reservation, if you want one.

As said often before in this forum, paying with a credit card requires the additional security feature "3D Secure" to be enabled for your credit card. (Amex does not deal with enhanced security, so it is not necessary for this brand of credit card.)

Posted by
4690 posts

Janet - What exactly are you trying to do? I use the website in English all the time and never have issues. In fact, I have it open now searching timetables.

Posted by
1764 posts

Thank you, wmt1 and Emily. I tried again today, switching to English on the home page and then using the "Book Ticket" button and everything worked fine. But I also checked again today, and this is true: if you use the "Search Connection" button on the home page, it brings up an English-language page showing the various options. But when you click on your choice of train, the page that comes up for you to make your booking is in German.

Posted by
1488 posts

But when you click on your choice of train, the page that comes up for you to make your booking is in German.

Top left there is a MENU button which allows you to switch to English.

Posted by
208 posts

Using the advice from this thread, I bought our tickets from Budapest to Vienna in May. Also, tickets from Vienna to Halstatt, to Salzburg, to Varenna on Lake Como (long travel day involving 4 separate trains), to Milan.

One question I had--if you buy the non-refundable tickets, and then the train you are on gets in late, and you miss the next leg of your journey, are you just screwed by their tardiness? Or will they let you catch the next train?

Posted by
8889 posts

One question I had--if you buy the non-refundable tickets, and then the train you are on gets in late, and you miss the next leg of your journey, are you just screwed by their tardiness? Or will they let you catch the next train?

If that happens, you are allowed on the next train. Show your ticket for the next train to the conductor on the first train, (s)he may need to mark the ticket in some way, or tell you what to do.

Posted by
1488 posts

If that happens, you are allowed on the next train.

As far as I know this is possible only if the different legs had been booked together and are on one ticket.

Posted by
208 posts

I attempted to book the Salzburg Varenna trip all at once, but it wound up giving me two tickets--one for the first two legs of the Journey, and one for the second two legs.

Posted by
1488 posts

I presume that the reason is that two independent railway companies are involved.

Posted by
169 posts

Don't know if this is helpful but I did a round trip from Vienna to Budapest in early January. Buy tickets at OeBB station in Vienna. Outward journey as RJ but return was on the D344.

2.5 hour journey and heating was not working. Not sure that is a regular occurrence or not on D trains?

Posted by
4690 posts

Gerry - buying at the station is about the worst advice as walk up fares are about three times the prices of tickets bought online.

Posted by
1488 posts

As said in my first answer, the D train comes from Romania, with all side effects of this country struggling to reach western European standards.

Posted by
32 posts

Good information and experience exchanged! Thank you!

We decided to go with the RailJet for this journey.

After trying the oebb web site a few more times, I got a better idea on how to use it. And I did purchase a RailJet ticket using a Visa card. The 3-D secure (verify by Visa, I think) did not ask me to enter another passcode, as I originally thought.

Trainlin.eu, mentioned by seat61, would be a good alternative, even just to check the schedules and pricing, . It shows both bus (if available) and train schedules and pricing on the same page, and it shows both 1st and 2nd class train pricing side by side. Moreover, it highlights the lowest price (can be 1st class on trains.)

I have a different question, and I will start another thread.

Best regards! :)

Posted by
1765 posts

D Train is from Romania? You need to update wikipedia

Let's not mix up train operators and train categories. The ÖBB still operates some D trains but according to vagonweb.cz train D 345 is composed of Hungarian (MÁV-START) carriages.

Posted by
1488 posts

D Train is from Romania? You need to update wikipedia

Wikipedia is correct. The category D originates from a new type of railway car introduced about 130 years ago in the German empire and subsequently in Austria. As this type of car was all but exclusively used in fast long-distance trains, the term D train became a synonym for express train, both in colloquial language as in the time tables.

During the past decades the category D cars have been replaced by much better rolling stock with more and more comfort, e.g. IC (InterCity), RJ (RailJet), REX (Regional Express), ICE (Inter City Express), etc.

The old D trains are still used - to put it mildly - for less appealing destinations with according passengers, like Romania, Ukraine, Croatia, Serbia, etc.

The one D train in question, from Budapest to Vienna, departs from Cluj (Romania), another from Beograd (Serbia).

Posted by
12884 posts

Not pertinent to the OP's query but a "D" train was a classification of train belonging to the DB (Ger. Nat Railways) in the 1960s and 1970s.

I rode (some) them in 1971. It was known as the "D-Zug."

Posted by
1488 posts

"D" train was a classification of train belonging to the DB (Ger. Nat Railways)

The railway car construction which gave the D train its name was a German invention in the 19th century. As this type of car was adopted for long-distance trains throughout Europe there were D trains not only in Germany, but in Austria, Switzerland, etc., too.