Advance Reservation Double Check

I have done my research and believe I am correct with the following advance reservations I need. I already have a 5 country select pass for Switzerland, Italy, Austria, Germany and France. I will be going in June. Please tell me if I am correct. Reservations I need for sure: 1. Rome to Munich night train 2. Interlaken to Milan (Spietz to Milan portion) 3. Milan to Cinque Terre (Milan to Genova portion) 4. Pisa to Rome 5. Saarbrucken, Germany to Paris I think I am OK not getting an advance reservation for: 1. Trains in Switzerland (Zurich to Interlaken)
2. Cinque Terre to Pisa 3. Munich to Rothenburg Every one of these trains I MUST make or my schedule will be all messed up. I am ready to make my advance reservations in March on the Rail Europe site and pay the fee to make sure I don't miss the train. Am I on the right track?

Posted by Bob
589 posts

Hi Charles. Surprised you haven't gotten a response, as you laid out your question clearly. Perhaps it is because most on this help line do not use rail passes, except in Switzerland. For other countries, most of us have found it less hassle and less expense to just buy individual tickets. I'll comment for Italy. Need for a reservation doesn't depend on the route, it depends on which train type you board on that route. A regional train doesn't need a reservation, all others (Intercity, Freccia... EuroStar) do. For Genoa to CT and CT to Pisa, there will be both Regional and reserved trains. Look on site, if specific train is listed as 'Regionale' or similar, you don't need a reservation. Enjoy your trip!

Posted by Charles
Austin, Texas, USA
308 posts

Thanks for your kind words about my question clarity. I have noticed many ask such broad questions that lead to other questions so I tried to make it simple to understand. Can I ask you a follow up question? Is the rail europe site the best way to go for reservations? When I bought my railpass from the RS rail department, they recommended it.

Posted by Fred
San Francisco
2685 posts

Hi, For #1 and 5 you do need a mandatory reservation. You're correct on the first five...1-5. No need for reservation from Munich-Rothenurg ob der Tauber. Don't use Rail Europe....way too expensive. Can't you do Saarbrücken to Paris by day (The ICE shoots directly from Saarbrücken to Paris), or are you transfering in Saarbrücken from somewhere else? Munich or Frankfurt? Check if France is still a party to this type of Pass. I think they pulled out. Keep in mind that if your Pass is 1st class, you have the extra flexibility of riding in either 1st or 2nd class, which comes in handy when say, the reservation you want in 2nd class Saarbrücken-Paris on a specific date is no more, regardless of the reason, you can switch to 1st class, but it costs double.

Posted by Charles
Austin, Texas, USA
308 posts

What other method is there to get the reservations? The only suggestions from the RS rail department was the Rail Europe site and some consulting place that charges $30. Is there another website I should use? Regarding the Paris train, I am doing that one in the day time (late afternoon/early evening actually). Also, no worries about France. I bought the pass in late December before they pulled out so I am OK.

Posted by Southam
Windsor, Ontario, Canada
910 posts

The native is going to the sites of the individual rail companies, starting with the German system with good timetables for other countries too. Individual tickets directly from the source can be cheaper than RailEurope with better access to discounts etc.
To read the bible on riding the rails,

Posted by Jim
Bern, Switzerland
341 posts

Hi Charles, You should be fine with Swiss trains, so long as you are travelling outside the morning rush hours - before 8:00am! Jim