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pre purchasing train point to point train tics for trip

We are 4 seniors arriving in Frankfort early AM of August 2, 2019 and need to get to Cochem Germany same day . Should we pre purchase that ticket since it appears to be a regional train? We also will be needing a longer train ride from Metz France to Bayeau to see Normandy Beaches and would like to get a train mid morning on a Saturday , August 10 and wondering if we need to prepurchase that? Would like to purchase once there if possible but is the Metz- Bayeau a fast train and require reservation? If we need to purchase ahead what is easiest website to use? Thank you!

Posted by
4186 posts

Frankfurt to Cochem - you can do it using regional trains, but if you book in advance you can get a cheaper fare if you use the IC for the first leg to Koblenz. However, these cheaper advance tickets are strictly limited to specific trains, so it may well be too much of a risk of missing your train and losing your money if your flight is delayed. Book at bahn.com. I assume that you are arriving at Frankfurt airport - you can get the longer-distance train from there without travelling into the city centre, but make sure you select "Frankfurt(M) Flughafen" as your journey start point. You can buy tickets up to six months in advance.

For Metz to Bayeux you will definitely save money if you book in advance. There are various options for booking French trains online - the official one is www.oui.sncf, but there can be problems using it from the US. If so, use www.loco2.com or www.trainline.eu. You will need to cross central Paris from Gare de l'Est where the Metz train arrives to Gare Saint-Lazare where the Bayeux trains leave from. The quickest route is to take RER Line E, but make sure you have enough time between the two long-distance trains - I'd recommend at least an hour. Book three months or so in advance.

Posted by
4186 posts

NB: Note that it's Frankfurt, not Frankfort, and Bayeux, not Bayeau. You need to be careful with spellings as rail ticket sites will generally not correct them, and you might end up buying a ticket to a completely wrong location.

Posted by
4325 posts

Regional train tickets bought on the day of travel are the same price as the pre-purchased ones. Normal one-way tickets price out at about €145 for 4 adults (no senior discount) at the DB site. You will also find a €68 price for departures after 9 am using regional trains (these are the "Day ticket for Germany" or "Quer durchs Land" Ticket in German.) Purchase does not equal seat reservations - which are not available on these trains - so there is no point of pre-purchasing these tickets. This QdL ticket can be used only after 9 am on your travel date of August 2, however.

A 3rd cheaper option: At FRA airport's Regionalbahnhof station, buy a normal RMV ticket for 4 (about €20 total) to Mainz + one Rheinland-Pfalz Ticket daypass for 4 (€40) to cover Mainz - Cochem. (Mainz Hbf is a station on your route where either your train will pass through, or where you will change trains, depending on your departure time; an additional change of train takes place in Koblenz.) The R-P ticket is valid for travel out of Mainz only after 9 am on your date of August 2 (a Friday.)

So what time do you anticipate leaving FRA airport that day?

Posted by
3 posts

Thanks! Sounds as if we will purchase the regional train out of Frankfurt when we arrive , No plane tic yet but have my eye on one that arrives about 9 am. When i tried to put in train from Frankfurt airport but no luck but will try again. looks like tranfser from airport to the main Frankfurt train station is pretty easy so may stay flexible and spend some time in Frankfurt before departing for Cochem. The other tic is harder so will do some homework and definitely make a reservation. The trip thru Paris to get to station sort of worries me! Never been to Paris but imagine it is busy! Only other train needed is from Bayeux to Paris , again is this regional train so no reservation? We can be flexible on arrival in Paris. Thanks so much!

Posted by
100 posts

Quick note to reinforce an earlier comment. You don't get reimbursed if you miss your train. No refunds, no credit for another train. Learned this the hard way when I pre-booked my Frankfurt to Aachen train, and my plane was 4 hours late. You're spending thousands on a wonderful trip--it's not worth saving a relatively few dollars on advanced purchases for trains. BTW, seat reservations on IC trains are only a couple Euros more--recommended, although you probably won't be sitting all together.

Posted by
15212 posts

There's no deadline to purchase tickets on the faster, reserved French trains, but they're usually cheaper the earlier you book them and it's possible for either a whole train or the 2nd-class section to sell out (and not allow standing in the aisles, as some other trains do) for a Saturday in August. Summer reservations for France tend to be released in one or two big date blocks, perhaps as early as March for August.

Posted by
4325 posts

"Sounds as if we will purchase the regional train out of Frankfurt when we arrive... looks like tranfser from airport to the main Frankfurt train station is pretty easy so may stay flexible and spend some time in Frankfurt before departing for Cochem."

Whoa... slow it down for now, I think... There is no reason to travel into Frankfurt from FRA airport - regional trains to Cochem do NOT stop in Frankfurt since Frankfurt is NOT on the way to Cochem - there is no reason to change trains there. If you have just spent the night of August 1 on an overnight red-eye flight, maybe you slept well, maybe not. You would probably be wise to make the long trip to Cochem as simple as possible. Then you can freshen up, rest, do some lightweight sightseeing, whatever. The train options are as follows:

9:59 - 4 different trains, 2.7 hours
10:37 - 3 different trains, 3 hours
11:23 - 2 different trains, 2.3 hours

There is a certain amount of rigor involved in changing trains - IMO that 11:23 with only one change of train (in Koblenz) looks pretty good and provides adequate time to pass through baggage and security, to hit the ATM and the restrooms, to grab a sandwich or whatever for the long train ride, and to make your way to the rail terminal, buy tickets at a ticket machine (or service counter) and find your platform. It also might allow for a small flight delay.

You can use the two-ticket strategy (€60) I explained above or the one-ticket strategy (€68.)

"When i tried to put in train from Frankfurt airport but no luck but will try again."

I don't understand... no luck finding a schedule? I had no trouble just now - but I used the DB itinerary search page, I used the airport station named below, and I checked the "only local transport" box (so that you only get regional trains and the lower regional train prices.)

Frankfurt(M) Flughafen Regionalbf

DB itinerary search page: https://reiseauskunft.bahn.de//bin/query.exe/en

If you mean "no luck" finding tickets, well, they aren't for sale yet, and as I pointed out before, there's no reason to buy them now or in advance at all. The prices I quoted you do not change from day to day or from trip to trip for the regional trains.

Please note that Jack's comments above apply only to pre-purchased tickets bought for journeys that use high-speed trains. If you buy the regional train tickets I indicated, you can be as late as you like - use them for ANY of the regional train connections later that same day.

Posted by
3 posts

Thanks, you are right we should make the trip from airport to Cochem. I had not indicated regional only but when i did that I saw the possible choices. Will not prepurchase so leave it flexible! The Metz to Bayeux i feel we should make reservation as it is longer trip and want to start early in day. Will try for the one with just one change in Paris. Thanks for all your help! Any other suggestions appreciated!