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trains in germany and belgium

I will be leaving for Europe at the end of next week. I will by traveling with my 13 year old son. We fly into Brussels.

As soon as we land, we will catch a train first to Koln (stopping briefly) and then ending the day in Bacharach. Most of our trip will be spent in Germany, using the train.

I have decided not to buy a railpass, because point to point train travel (as I understand it) in Germany allows my son to ride for free when he travels with me. (We won't be separated at all.)

Several questions: 1) I have been reading on this graffiti wall about how booked trains can be. And the need for making reservations. How do I make reservations, and when? Getting to Koln from Brussels might be one of our most populated train rides, but I don't want to make a reservation from here in case the plane is delayed in landing or something.

2) What happens if you miss your train when you have purchased (earlier) the point to point destination ticket? I am assuming you will have to specify the time you will train.

3) Getting from Brussels to Koln will entail 2 countries train service. Will I be given the Germany discount for my child when purchasing the ticket in Brussels to get to Koln?

4) Similar question: We will end the trip by taking an overnight train from Munich to Brussels. How do I make that reservation? (We will be making that trip on the night of August 5.) Will my child's discount (free with parent) 'count' for the overnight ride? And, to what degree, since we will be crossing through Germany and ending up in Brussels.

Sorry for the lengthy question! Thanks for any help!

Posted by
2779 posts

Dehryl,children under the age of 15 travel for free if accompanied by an adult. You must tell upon reservation so that the free child can be printed on your ticket (you can also do it yourself online).You can make a seat reservation as late as 10 minutes prior to the departure of your train at one of the red self-service kiosks that you'll find anywhere at German train stations (on platforms, nearby the entrances etc.). Of course you could also make it at the ticket counters but usually that includes waiting in a line.There are two different kind of train tickets in Germany: Regular tickets are good for the route specified on the day(s) specified on the ticket. It doesn't matter what time you travel. Special discounted tickets are only good on the very train specified on the ticket. If you miss that train you can dump the ticket as well.There is a special Kid and Co fare on which includes up to two adults and one child unter the age of 14. The total fare...

Posted by
2779 posts

... for the group from Bruxelles Midi to Köln Hbf is €20.50 in 2nd class one way. Check with Thalys directly. Thayls is not operated by DB German Rail and therefore isn't subject to their regulations.With regards to the overnight train: Your child's discount is for the basic fare, i.e. the transportation itself but not for any seats or sleepers. Please check with