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AMS-TRIER : Train Veterans! Need help with Train Tickets and Prices.

Any train veterans able to help me with this puzzle? (See below) I am looking to travel from AMS Centraal to Trier HBF. This is what I gathered on DB Bahn website. Sa, 12.05.12 | Depart AMS @ 07:04AM - Arrive Trier @ 12:46PM There are two train changes of which one at Düsseldorf says that "Connecting train may not be reached in time." because of "ICE 121: Amsterdam Centraal - Düsseldorf Hbf: Construction work..." so we may not reach in time. We really need to reach Trier by 1PM on 12 May. How do I solve this puzzle? Greatly appreciated, Gerald
_________________ ### UP-DATE ### It appears the trains are back on schedule! The one I'm looking at makes stops at Düsseldorf and Koblenz. Sa, 12.05.12 | Depart AMS @ 07:04AM - Arrive Trier @ 12:46PM It seems that the only tickets available are 90 EUR. Apart from getting a Bahn card, is there any way of getting it at a cheaper price and still reach Trier by 1PM? (We prefer to depart AMS in the morning on the 12th of May) Thanks!

Posted by
18929 posts

"DB Bahn website does not allow me to purchase the tickets online, rather they will mail me the physical ticket. And I don't even know the fare price, and they are asking me to key in my credit card detials." I can't believe it's due to your location, but when I put in Amsterdam Centraal to Trier Bahnhof on 12 May, I see a connection from 7:04 to 12:46. It says that no "Special Fares" are available, but shows the standard fare of €90. And when I go through the purchase process, "Print your online tickets" is checked. It's an open ticket; it just says Amsterdam Centraal to Trier Bhf. I don't understand the "early departure" part. It would seem to me it means it departs from Amsterdam at 6:04. If so, and it says it goes to Köln Hbf, it should get there in plenty of time to catch the scheduled train to Koblenz, which goes through Köln Hbf on it's way from Düsseldorf. I think the reason it says "Connecting train may not be reached in time" is because it doesn't stop at Düsseldorf. By the time you got to Köln and backtracked to Düsseldorf, it would probably be too late to get the scheduled train. Anyway, you have three month and the standard ticket is completely refundable up to the day of travel and should be available then, too. Maybe there will be more information as you get closer to travel time. But, if you don't mind the 17:16 train the evening before, that works too. It goes by Thalys from Amsterdam to Brussels, that's why you can't buy it online. It will require a person in Germany to physically print out the ticket and mail it to you.

Posted by
17 posts

Hi Lee, I was looking specifically at this train:
Friday, 11.05.12 | Depart AMS @ 1716PM - Arrive Trier @ 2356PM via Luxembourg and Bruxelles-Midi. It doesnt show a price nor allow online ticket printing?

Posted by
31490 posts

Well if there are not normal connections due to construction then you will have to make alternate plans. At least they were good enough to warn you. 2 suggestions - Take the 5:46 to Brussels, 51 minutes to change to the 9:33 to Luxembourg. It gets there at 12:40. If you dash upstairs and grab a taxi you may get to Trier 20 minutes or so late, but you have time to plan. or - Leave Amsterdam the previous day. If you left Amsterdam at 1716 on the Friday afternoon, via Brussels and Luxembourg (23 minutes and 10 minutes connections respectively) you could be in Trier at 4 minutes to midnight. or - Do as above but spend the night in Brussels or Luxembourg and get an earlier start the next morning to be in Trier in time. - = = I don't have any more cards up my sleeve.

Posted by
17 posts

Nigel, Thanks for your help. Your input is a lifesaver! I am more inclined towards staying the night at Trier. In fact, the 1156PM alternative in Trier sounds pretty good. Do you know how I can purchase the tickets online? DB Bahn website does not allow me to purchase the tickets online, rather they will mail me the physical ticket. And I don't even know the fare price, and they are asking me to key in my credit card detials. Any ideas on this one? I tried finding a netherlands train booking but can't seem to locate one.. Gerald **Update: I found the website at treintickets.nshispeed.nl but I can't find seem to find the via Brussels and Luxembourg route on the search results???

Posted by
18929 posts

If you notice, any fares that are shown on the Bahn website can be booked online through their website. There was a time when the Bahn showed all fares, even those within Verkehrverbünde (metro districts), eg Frankfurt Hbf to the airport, for which they didn't sell tickets. They stopped that quite a few years ago. Now, if they don't sell a ticket, they don't show it's price. You can still buy tickets that they don't sell online at a ticket counter, by calling German Rail, or by ordering them online, but they print them in Germany and mail them to you. I'm sure this has something to do with other countries not wanting them to have Carte Blanche access to that countries ordering system. However, there does seem to be something between German and Swiss Rail as German Rail might sell tickets online for a connection that starts in Germany but has legs entirely in Switzerland (e.g., Munich to Interlaken Ost). I think Swiss Rail can do the same in Germany.

Posted by
17 posts

A quick update. The trains are back on-schedule but I was wondering if there is any workaround to get cheaper tickets? 90 EUR seems excessive for such an advance booking!

Posted by
3049 posts

There probably isn't a good workaround. I mean, I'm sure there's some way you could cobble together a trip on local trains, but the price is still over 60 euro, and the time is anywhere from 14-16 hours with tons of changes. if you are going to be making a lot of long, expensive train trips like this it might be worth doing the math to see if a rail pass might save you money. a bahncard 25 certainly would.

Posted by
18929 posts

That €90 isn't really an "advance" purchase. It's the same fare you would pay at any German Rail counter the day of travel. A ticket in Amsterdam might be slightly different due to a different rail company, but should be similar. There should be a Europa-Spezial fare for that connection. Those fare start at €39, but for Apr 27, the last saturday for which the savings fares are shown, all I see is €49-€59. The savings fares are now shown only until the end of April, buy I have a feeling this is just a glitch in the system caused by the rerouting of the train, and will be fixed in the future. I'd wait and see how the fares change as they unscramble the booking website. If you really have to have to have a ticket sooner, you can get a Sparpreis ticket from Oberhausen (9:27) to Trier (12:26) for €29. Then buy a Standard Fare ticket for the 7:04 ICE from Amsterdam to Oberhausen (8:58) for €44,50. That would save a little vs €90.

Posted by
17 posts

Thanks for your advice Lee and Sarah. I will wait for the glitches to be resolved in the system. Hopefully, they do pan out nicely and the EuropaSpezial fares would be available. Also, the reroute via Oberhausen is very smart. At least we have something to fall back onto, should the glitches remain, knock on wood.