Christmas/New Years Train travel, closures

Hello:

Planning a trip for the winter holidays 2015 - I know some things are closed, for sure on Christmas Day, and likely early on 12/24. What other days should I expect closures... 1/1? I have been doing a lot of reading and can't seem to find much...

We will be going 12/18-1/3... First Germany near Nurnberg, Christmas near Strasbourg, and the week after belgium and/or amsterdam and/or paris... still undecided and may depend on where we can get return airfare from.

My question is mainly in planning train travel, can I travel on 12/24, 12/26, 12/31, 1/1? Either to transfer cities, or looking at day trips.

Thanks!
Kim

Posted by Frank
Tresana, Highlands Ranch, CO, USA
13070 posts

You can. Schedules may be limited. We were in Germany over Christmas. Went from Munich to Prague on the 26th. The trains were absolutely jammed - even in first class. So plan carefully for those days with prepurchased tickets.

Posted by Chani
Tel Aviv
5401 posts

The 26th is a holiday in many places, so you'll have to check what's open. Friends of mine were in Budapest one year, and the 26th closures were the same as the 25th.

Posted by Tom
Lewiston, NY
10645 posts

In most countries, public transportation runs 365 days of the year. On holidays, though, commuter transit runs at a reduced schedule.

As the other poster noted, trains can be packed. If seats are reservable, reserve it.

Posted by Beatrix
Calgary
2138 posts

I will repeat what the others have said because it is so important: yes you can travel, usually trains run on Sunday schedules. And yes, they are full! Do make reservations if you can. Local and regional trains don't allow you to make reservations but the IC, ICE and many others do.

If you want to purchase sales tickets for longer distances, do so exactly 92 before you plan to travel. That's when they become available online and that's when they will sell out in a flash.

Posted by Kim
San Francisco
475 posts

OK thanks everyone!

I am going to try and avoid train travel on those days if I can work it into the schedule....

Mainly want to try daytrip to Colmar on the 26th (from Strasbourg) - or I guess it could be the 24th... Already spending 4 nights in Strasbourg (arrive 12/23, leave 12/27) - trying to avoid having to stay an extra day to see Colmar...

Thanks!!
Kim

Posted by Frank
Tresana, Highlands Ranch, CO, USA
13070 posts

A further thought for your Christmas travel. This is one time when a first class ticket may be worthwhile. The day (26th) we went from Munich to Prague we had weather problem so many of the trains were running late, connections being missed, etc. In Nurnburg we miss our connection because of a slow train - ice on the electric cables. When I went into the ticket office to change the ticket, it was packed and the Take-A-Number machine indicated I would be 75th in line. There were at least ten, maybe 15 tickets windows open but everyone was taking a lot of time. I had waited about five minutes when I suddenly saw a lone ticket window in the corner with no line and sign overhead that said, First Class." Five minutes later I had tickets on the next train two hours later. Then we saw a first class lounge with free beverages, snacks and WC. For that day the first class tickets paid for themselves.

Posted by Kim
San Francisco
475 posts

Aaah that is an excellent suggestion frank! I would not have thought of that. We just might spring for first class just for the safety of it. Good suggestion!! Thank you!,

Posted by Kim
Paris
1173 posts

I don't think you'll have any problem traveling between Colmar and Strasbourg on the 26th. Train schedules should not be any different that day than any other weekday. The place where you run into severe difficulties traveling on the 26th is in the UK, where that day is a major holiday, Boxing Day.

Even if you do run into a weekend or holiday schedule in France on the 26th for some weird reason, the service between Strasbourg and Colmar is so regular that you'll still have good choices.