I am getting stressed out about these parts of my rail travel. I would appreciate any help by more experienced European train travelers. I need to travel by train from Cochem on the Mosel to Staufen in the Black Forest. Then from Staufen to Interlaken. Next From Interlaken to Lucerne. Then from Lucerne to Rothenburg ob du Tauber and finally from Rothenburg to Frankfurt Main Haupbahnhof.
Help for what? What is the question? Go to bahn.de for scheduling and ticketing info. It is the best site to use for that information.
No reason to be stressed. Generally European trains are extremely punctual, and especially in Switzerland. They are much more friendly and easier to use that the train system in U.S. As previous reply indicated just go to the German rail site and for Switzerland just go to www.sbb.ch. They are super friendly web sites and you can plan your trip using their schedules. If you want any specific questions answered you may e-mail me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Frank - the help I am needing is in navigating the websites. I am able to find and understand the schedules, but need help with the transfer points and knowing what track I will be arriving on and what platform I will be leaving from. And I want to be able to follow along my journey through the cities, so I will know when my stop is coming up. I know I'm making this harder than it really is, but I like to have all the information in advance. Some of the train stations I will be using do not have an attendant - just a machine to buy tickets.
Do what Frank says, and be sure to spell in European. In German Lucerne is Luzern. Frankfurt Main is Frankfurt am Main. Rothenburg ob du Tauber is Rothenburg ob der Tauber. Expect to have to make connections, several on many of your legs.
When you use the Bahn website click on the various buttons. There is one that looks sort of like >. Click it and you will have details, as much as the Bahn knows about connections, and then click show intermediate stops and you'll get the calling pattern. Click the number of the train and you can see where it originated and where it is going - useful when trying to find a train on a departure board. You can even get a map of the route. Happy playing with the Bahn...
Nigel - That is EXACTLY the information I needed to navigate the website successfully. That little ">" was the key to it all. Now I think I have all the information I needed. I am smiling now. :)
You need to easy back some. While a ticket may indicate a particular departure platform, they are always subject to change and should always to check just like gates for airplanes. In fact, that is about the last thing I worry about. I get off the train, find the platform board, and see where my next train is - almost like you would do it with an airplane in the US. The key is to know your train number.
One more thing, Joy: you may encounter a station where you're the only one getting off from your car; the door will not open automatically and there's no door handle of any kind. Look on the walls to your left and right for buttons to push to open the door. This happened to me with only seconds to spare before the train took off again. I pushed every single button and it worked.
On older regional trains in Germany, there is a big red "handle" that has to be pushed through almost 180 degrees to open the door. When the train comes to a halt, you'll hear a distinct click as the pall engages the handle. If you push the handle before the train comes to a stop (and you hear that click) the handle swings freely and the door won't open. You have to take it back to the initial positions to engage the pall before you can open the door.
Thank you, Anna, for reminding me about the button to open the doors. And thank you, Lee, for letting me know about the handle to open the door on the older regional trains, because I believe I will be on them at least some of the time. Frank, how do I know the train number? Thanks to all for your help.
The train number should be shown on the Bahn website (also on Trenitalia).
It is on your ticket. Just like an airplane tickets. In many ways not a lot different that switching airlines. Obviously you don't have gates and long concourses. If any doubts, ask the people around you. If they don't speak English, show your ticket with a questioning look. They will help you. We also ask even when we think we are correct, to xxx? You get a friendly nod.