Please sign in to post.

No train reservation to Bacharach via Frankfurt, Germany/ Eurail Selectpass?

enter code hereHello- I am trying to get last minute (2 weeks out) train reservations from Paris and am having a difficult time. This is my first time traveling via EurailPass (select pass FR, DE, IT, CH) Any experienced train travelers have any advice out there?

Eurail website shows no reservations available through Frankfurt. If I go through Cologne, I can get a reservation, but then I think I will need to pay for Luxembourg? Rome2Rio shows a trip through Saarbruken to Ingelheim to Bacharach, but Eurail doesn't show those trains.
These forums have been a huge help. Although I am spending lots of time on my own researching, when I get stuck it is such a help to ask more experienced travelers. Thank you!

Posted by
8889 posts

There is no such place as "Frankfort". You probably mean Frankfurt-am-Main. Mis-spelt placenames are a common cause of problems with travel booking sites.

You do not need to book Bacharach to Frankfurt, so you only need to look up and book "Frankfurt(Main)Hbf" to Paris.
Two weeks out is not last minute. Last minute is turning up at the station to buy a ticket for the next train.

If you travel via Cologne (Köln), the route is via Belgium. not Luxembourg. Even if you specify "via Frankfurt(Main)Hbf", you will still sometimes be routed via Cologne, as there are a limited number of trains from Frankfurt to Paris, and at some times of the day via Cologne can be faster. You need to check the route of your train (list the intermediate stops) before booking.

Posted by
33 posts

Thank you. I was on the Bahn website but thought I could not do reservations only?

Posted by
33 posts

Thank you for correcting me, Chris. In my hurry I misspelled Frankfurt in my posting (Frankford is a word that I have been spelling my entire life as it is an area in the US)

On the train website I did spell it correctly, however, as I had the correct connection from Paris. There were just no reservations available.

I am glad to hear that I am really not "last minute". It seemed that way from the many trains that had no reservations available. Your advice on the train connections will be helpful, thank you.

Posted by
16781 posts

Better idea if you need to buy tickets. Buy tickets to Saarbrucken at 49 euro each Europa Special and then travel from there to Bacharach with your rail pass.

Posted by
16883 posts

Two weeks out can definitely be cutting it close for seat reservations on any fast train to Paris, since they are limited for pass holders and do sell out.

DB is the best source for train schedules but they do not sell separate seat reservations online for international tickets. The correct sources for these pass holder reservations are Rail Europe or www.euraide.de (contact by email, not online ordering). Those two sources have access to different sets of seats, since one gets them from the French side and one from the German side. The reservations are also sold at train stations in Germany, but not if they're sold out. If you're not in the USA, then Rail Europe has other web sites for other countries.

For the date of July 7, for instance, Rail Europe does have seat reservations available on both the 8:57 and the 13:00 direct trains from Frankfurt to Paris. Price is $16 per person in 2nd class or $37 per person in 1st class, which includes a meal service. If you have a 1st-class pass, you can reserve in either class. Do this ASAP to secure reservations.

Thalys seat reservations cost more, especially when you don't have Belgium on your pass.

Luckily, you don't need to buy tickets and can use the pass that I believe you already have.

Posted by
18302 posts

I think you mean RailEurope, not Eurail. Eurail sells rail passes, not reservations. In general, RailEurope is not the least expensive way to get reservations/tickets. A better way is to go directly to the national rail sites (Bahn, SNCF).

That non-reservable connection through Frankfurt uses a TGV to Frankfurt. French Rail requires a "reservation" for passholder on the TGV. This is a surcharge for what they call a premium train. It also comes with a seat reservation, as do all TGV tickets. French Rail limits the number of passholder reservations to less than the capacity (one of the many disadvantages of a rail pass). In this case there are no passholder reservations available (at least to RailEurope) for that date, but you can still purchase full fare ticket (with reservations).

[Administrator's edit: Lee, Rail Europe does have passholder reservations available for a date two weeks from now, in both directions, on the direct Paris-Frankfurt trains.]

RailEurope (which is partially owned by French Rail) only shows connections from Paris to Frankfurt by French TGV, but if you go to the Bahn schedule website, you will find that there are also connections using German Rail ICEs. These trains also have mandatory reservations, but they are not limited for passholders. You cannot buy the reservations online, but I think you can by calling German Rail(49 1806 10 11 11 or 49 1806 99 66 33).

[Edit: Lee, I'd be surprised if "no limitations" applies to these ICE trains to/from Paris, but I'll look further. Laura]

You could also take a chance and buy them at the station in Paris when you get there. [Edit: Note that these are not sold at French train stations within three days of departure.]

"There is no such place as "Frankfort"." Not in Europe, Chris, but Frankfort is the capital of the US state of Kentucky.

Posted by
33 posts

Wow- I thought that purchasing a rail pass simplified things. I guess I was wrong about that. Using all the information that was given to me by the helpful posters, it appears that I can book a reservation to Saarbruken (use my pass) and then travel to Bacharach from there(again using my pass). This seems to be a viable option. If this does not work, then I will call the German rails as suggested. Thank you all for your assistance.

Posted by
16781 posts

The Saarbruecken train is the same ICE as continues on to Frankfurt, so there are still pass restrictions. Try contacting DB to see if you can a reservation.

Posted by
16883 posts

How did you do it? Did you call DB, and if so, at what price? Or book through Rail Europe for the afore-mentioned $16 or 37?

Posted by
33 posts

Laura-
I went back on Rail Europe (that is what meant when I said Eurail earlier) ready to go with an alternate route and put in Frankfurt one last time. There was a TGV train to Frankfurt with available reservations that did not show up earlier (I tried multiple times throughout the day and kept getting the same message that there were no reservations available- only tickets). The reservation cost $16. Thanks so much for clarifying the earlier posting.
Should I be getting off at Saarbruken and continuing on to Bacharach from there?

Posted by
16883 posts

Glad to hear it. One earlier issue with Rail Europe's shopping cart could have been if you requested the whole route, including a part that did not require reservations. In general, that site works better when you break down the request into the required pieces.

DB schedule results say that just the single connection at Frankfurt is the fastest and most convenient connection point (they are the experts on that). You have 10 minutes to make the connection, so try to be at the door ahead of the rest of the crowd. If you're trying for the 13:08 departure to Bacharach and miss that one, the next train is at 13:47, but with an extra connection at Mainz.

Posted by
33 posts

Thanks again, Laura. I think I learned a few things today. Even though I read up on the passes and reservations in ETTBD, once you go out to the individual sites, things get confusing. Thanks for the clarity. I will be sure to only search for one connection at a time as I look for other connections throughout Europe.

Posted by
11288 posts

"Wow- I thought that purchasing a rail pass simplified things. I guess I was wrong about that."

Once upon a time, a rail pass made things very simple. Of course, milk used to come in glass bottles, televisions used to have picture tubes, and traveler's checks worked well for getting money abroad.

Nowadays, rail passes can work for some, but the game has changed substantially. The need for reservations on more routes, the fact that French rail limits the number of passholder reservations, and the availability of cheap tickets bought in advance online have all made rail passes a much less "automatic" choice than they used to be.

Before you buy your next rail pass, read this excellent analysis of the situation, from the rail guru The Man In Seat 61: http://tinyurl.com/bkw4u6c

Posted by
12886 posts

Hi,

Pass restrictions do not apply to ICE trains between Paris and Frankfurt, only to TGV trains. but you still need to get a reservation for that ICE route if you have a Pass, that's mandatory. If your Pass is 1st class, you can ride in either class.