DB BAHN vs. Raileurope schedules

Hi,

I'm trying to see what trains are available so I can calculate the number of "rail days" for my SelectPass. However, I've noticed that the Raileurope website, which offers railpasses and reservations, doesn't show as many trains as the DB BAHN website for the same trip.

Why does Raileurope show less trains (or routes with more stops)? I feel like I should trust DB BAHN, since their timetables match those from the Eurail.com site.

Also, where should I go to book my reservations if I have a pass?

Thanks!

Matt

Posted by Lola
Seattle, WA
6014 posts

Trust Bahn.de for the schedules. RailEurope is not complete.

Posted by Matt
San Jose, CA, USA
10 posts

Ok, that's what I figured. Where should I make reservations then?

Posted by Anna
Seattle, WA, United States
723 posts

If any part of the journey is within Germany, go ahead and make them with bahn.de or at the train station. RailEurope's prices are usually inflated. Also, it is only high-speed premium trains that require reservations. If you look up schedules on bahn.de, these trains will be marked with a circled "R".

Posted by Lee
Lakewood, Colorado
12848 posts

The German Rail (DB or Bahn) website has the most complete listing of trains in Europe. They have some sort of tie-in with Hafas, who writes the data base used for all of Europe. They show every train available at ticket counters throughout Europe.

RailEurope is a travel agency that sells point-point tickets through French Rail. They only show trains for which they sell tickets, usually the most expensive trains available.

Trust German Rail.

Posted by Matt
San Jose, CA, USA
10 posts

Ok, will do! What should I do if I can't reserve a seat for my Eurail pass from the German site? I see that Raileurope let's me reserve my train for $12, but the German site won't reserve it, since it goes out of the country. Is there another site or should I call?

Posted by Lola
Seattle, WA
6014 posts

Matt, have you looked at bahn.de and figured out which, if any, of the trains you will use have "reservations required"? You only "need" reservations for those trains (and often there are alternatives in regional trains that don't require reservations).

When you do need a reservation for a particular train, it is in most cases fine to just make it the day before at the train station. Yes, there are limited reserved seats for passholders, an dyes, they do seel out. But particularly if you are traveling alone or with 1 other, and are flexible, it shouldn't be a problem.

Your other options, if you want advance reservations, would be to call RailEurope and ask. Or use Euraid:

http://www.euraide.com/reserve1.php

They charge actual price for the reservations, plus a flat shipping fee ($50 or $60, I've read both). You have to call them too.

Posted by Matt
San Jose, CA, USA
10 posts

Ok, that seems fair. I've allowed a full day for traveling between cities in most cases, so I'm flexible there. I was trying to save and get a SelectPass with a select number of "rail days", and as long as I don't have any cases where I need 2 days for overnight trips (not planning any right now), I should be fine. Worst comes to worst, I can always grab a point to point ticket. I really don't want to pay $150 for the global pass, but maybe that would be best.

As for a specific train that required reservations, the one I was looking at was from Berlin to Krakow. According to Bahn, it's an EC train line and doesn't require a reservation, whereas Raileurope says I do need a reservation. I imagine that's just because they are a booking agent and they're trying to sell you a reservation, right?

Thanks for all the help so far, this has been great!

Posted by Anna
Seattle, WA, United States
723 posts

Matt, for overnight trains, there is a 7PM rule. If you board your train after 7PM (and, I believe, get off the next day), you actually use up one day of your pass, not two.

Posted by Matt
San Jose, CA, USA
10 posts

Thanks Anna, I read up on the 7 p.m. rule. I guess I was more worried that I might not get the night train I wanted, which might mean I'd have to possibly take multiple trains (which could mean 2 days on my pass).

Also, I'd like to reserve couchette on the night train if possible, and I figured I'd do that in advance.

Posted by Paul
Fanwood, NJ, USA
60 posts

Also, it is only high-speed premium trains that require reservations. If you look up schedules on bahn.de, these trains will be marked with a circled "R".

Keep in mind that virtually all of the intra-German ICE (high-speed) trains do not require a reservations. It's only the few Sprinters (between major cities, generally early in the morning) that do require them. Germany is one of the few places where a pass does actually give you the freedom it advertises since you can ride just about any train without a surcharge/reservation. (Some trains on the schedule will be marked a grey "R", indicating that reservations are suggested, but not required.)

Also, unless things have changed, there are no limits on the number of reservations for passholders within Germany. The agent/machine doesn't need to see your ticket as people with point-to-point tickets can also make reservations separately from buying the ticket.

Enjoy your trip.

Posted by Lee
Lakewood, Colorado
12848 posts

For a long trip, like Berlin to Krakow, I think I would want a seat reservation. Ten hours is a long time to stand. (Small chance, major consequences.)

Look at the cost of an extra day of your rail pass vs. the Savings fare for that trip. I found a €39 discount fare 2 months out, with a reservation for €2,50 more. Even if you get a reservation only in Berlin, it will be €4,50. You might not want a rail pass for that day.

Posted by Matt
San Jose, CA, USA
10 posts

Thanks guys for the suggestions. Fortunately, my two longest legs are from Germany (Berlin to Krakow and Munich to Paris), so I will be able to book through the Bahn website, at least if I don't want to use my pass. I think a point-to-point may be the way to go in those cases, since adding an extra day on my pass doesn't seem to be worth it.

If I did want to make pass reservations for these trips, or others outside of Germany, I guess I'd have to either call, use a booking agent or sites suggested here, or just do it at the station when I'm there, is that correct?

Posted by Lee
Lakewood, Colorado
12848 posts

I called German Rail in Germany last week and got an endless list of options, IN GERMAN. I guess if you just stay on the line eventually you would get a non-English speaking person and if you said, "English" they transfer you to someone who speaks English. Depends on how long you want to be on hold on international long distance.