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Buying train tickets on line

I have purchased train tickets from EurRail in the past but I discovered another company on line The TrainLine.eu which is cheaper. Is this a legit company? Has anyone had experience with this web site? Are there any pit falls I should look out for? The TrainLine prices are better than others I have seen for the same trips so I immediately became a little concerned; however there are many reasons that this could be perfectly fine. Thought I'd ask if anyone has had problems with this company. Thanks.

Posted by
18914 posts

Trainline.eu is used by many here and is totally legit.

Most of the time, though, there's no reason not to buy right from the company that runs the trains. The seat61 website reveals all.

Posted by
16067 posts

I don't believe Eurail sells individual train tickets. I think perhaps you mean Raileurope, which does sell individual train tickets as well as Eurail passes.

I consider Trainline.eu much more legitimate that Raileurope. Trainline sells tickets at the exact same price as the national railway sites, unlike Raileurope, which often marks them up and does not offer the advance purchase discounts that the national railway sites and Trainline offer.

Posted by
5980 posts

You do know that there is no company called EurRail that runs railroads in Europe, and that RailEurope is a travel agent that sells passes and tickets but doesnt actually run trains? Each country on Europe has their own railroad system that runs the their railroads and from which you can buy tickets for specific rail trips. What exactly are you looking at?

Posted by
21213 posts

Where are you traveling -- what countries??? Generally your best bet is on-line purchases well in advance to take advantage of any deep discount tickets that might be offered. Go to the national rail site for best options.

Posted by
9785 posts

Where possible, I buy directly from the train company: Trenitalia, Italo, SBB, Oui SNCF, etc. If I have a problem with one of those, I try Trainline.eu.

Posted by
17984 posts

When Trainline first came out, it was not that good at finding the best tickets in Germany. For instance, it did not know about a lot of the regional passes that would make the fare less. As time has gone by, they have definitely gotten better, but they still aren't perfect. If you want to go the most common route between two main points, it will do very good, but if you want a less common route, especially one using buses, Trainline often won't show you the route. I have queried them with a lot of routes that I have taken, and they don't recognize where I want to go, but the Bahn site does. But then I am pretty familiar with German geography and the Bahn system. Most people would probably never think of going where I go.

So, for travel within Germany, I would always use the German Rail query webpage. Trainline might do as well, but it might not.
For travel from Germany to other countries, particularly where you have multiple connections in the not-Germany countries, Trainline is probably the best option.

Posted by
12358 posts

I have not used TrainLine and definitely not Rail Europe. For on-line point to point adv. purchase discount tickets, I only use Deutsche Bahn. Using the credit card on the bahn.de website to pay for tickets on ICE trains or the TGV for the Paris to Frankfurt route, I have had no problems printing them out or showing them to the conductor. Just do exactly what the print out ticket states.

Posted by
86 posts

I use bahn.de, loco2.com and Trainline.eu, as well as the national train sites. I agree with an earlier poster that Trainline.eu doesn't always have everything, but I disagree that it doesn't show bus routes. I was able to save a bundle recently by booking a bus instead of a train for a short route. I have had difficulty with my U.S. credit card being processed by some of the official sites, including Bahn.de, but not by the others. In any case, I always start at seat61.com for advice on where and when to buy.

Posted by
2487 posts

Raileurope is indeed the worst place to buy your train tickets. For an ad random date in December they dare to ask USD 171 for a single 2nd class ticket Amsterdam-Berlin. Trainline offers the normal advance-bought ticket at EUR 39,90.

Posted by
2295 posts

I like to use loco2.com. It's very user-friendly and the prices, to the best of my knowledge, are the same as trainline's.

Posted by
1018 posts

We have used trainline.eu and have been satisfied. For a short trip in France, we were able to use the trainline document to retrieve tickets at one of the train station. For a longer trip (i.e. Nice to Paris) trainline offered the feature of printing the ticket with seat reservation. Interestingly, nobody checked our ticket on the Nice-Paris trip.

Posted by
1250 posts

Trainline.eu is brilliant and a very easy website to use. But they aren't an agency for all countries and, sometimes, you need to use the local operator instead. I believe (perhaps wrongly?), they don't always have access to any "special deals" being temporarily offered by the local train company, so if money is the main consideration, it is worth checking if you can save a small amount. Otherwise, I am a big fan of them.

Posted by
101 posts

You're right. In my country, Denmark, trainline.eu doesn't sell any discounted tickets, and not all options are showed when you look up an itinerary. So it's always best to check with the operator first.

Posted by
3318 posts

I've used trainline many times - their prices are the same as the train companies (SNCF, etc.) and the tickets are sent via email in the form of a QR code which makes it so easy!

Posted by
8889 posts

I concur with the others.

1st choice - The company actually running the train. Usually a national company, but also some route-specific companies, like Eurostar and Thalys. Some of these sites are easier to use and have better acceptance of foreign cards than do others. All these are listed on the Seat 61 site here: https://www.seat61.com/Europe-train-tickets.htm

2nd choice. - https://www.trainline.eu/ or https://loco2.com/
Easy to use, same prices as national rail sites, but they only cover some Western European countries (notable exception: Switzerland). Often do not show connecting bus services (must go to national website for those).

999th choice - Eurail, RailEurope or other resellers in a different continent.

Posted by
17984 posts

I disagree that it doesn't show bus routes

I guess I should have said "almost all" bus routes. Trainline does include Flixbus, which runs on some major routes in Germany. They do have lower fares on popular routes also served by rail, but, as far as I can see, they only seem to run from towns that also have train stations, are mostly major towns, and their scheduled runs are less often than Bahn trains.

No, I was referring to bus lines like RVO, in Bavaria, that serves thousand of small towns not served by the Bahn, with regional and local buses, and certainly not served by Flixbus.

I've seen lots of connections to bus stops in local towns that are not even recognized by Trainline. In 2012, I went from Berchtesgaden to Rosenheim, mostly following the Alpenstrasse. I spent one night in Frasdorf. Trainline doesn't even recognize Frasdorf, but the Bahn did and showed the bus routes to get there.

In 2007, I went from Simbach to Burghausen using a 40 min bus connection. Trainline does not recognize the bus; instead it puts you on a 1H25 train connection.

As long as you stick to major cities and routes, Trainline seems to work well, but if you want to explore smaller places, particularly using regional buses, it's abominable.

Posted by
31294 posts

I tend to prefer using Trainline.eu as a first choice, as they sell tickets for a number of rail networks in Europe so this provides "one stop shopping". However that depends to some extent on which countries I'm travelling in, as they don't yet sell tickets for all European rail networks.

Once you're registered on the site (including payment details), it's very user-friendly and easy to use. If you have questions about a purchase, I've found their customer service to be very responsive and helpful. I vaguely recall that the payment process works better if you're using Verified by Visa or similar features on whatever credit card you register on the site.