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Which trains need reservations?

I have read through this forum with great interest and thank any of you..in advance... who may reply to my query. I'm sorry if this question has been raised before, but I am totally confused !!!

We are travelling to Europe in October & November and have bought the following rail passes on the suggestion of our travel agent and RailSaver.com:

Eurail 4 Country 1st Class Select Saver Pass (for Austria, Denmark, Germany & Italy
Czech 3 Day 1st Class Flexi Pass
Some Point to Point tickets.

Please would someone tell me if I need to make reservations for the following trains, and if so, should I buy them in advance, or wait until I get to each destination to get the seat reservations for my onward journey?

Rome to Florence?
Florence to Levanto (in Cinque Terre)?
Levanto to Verona?
Verona to Venice?
Venice to Salzburg?
Salzburg to Budapest?
Budapest to Krakow?
Krakow to Warsaw?
Warsaw to Prague?
Prague to Copenhagen?
Copenhagen to Frederikshavn?

Thanks for your help.

Sam

Posted by
4555 posts

Sam...I would suggest you check with your travel agent and/or railsaver.com for those journeys. It really depends on when you're travelling, and which trains you decide to take. If they knew enough to recommend you purchase passes, they should know which ones will need reservations, and how to obtain them in Australia.

Posted by
12040 posts

For Krakow to Warsaw, you don't need a reservation, especially at that time of year. You can buy the tickets that day. Warsaw to Prague shouldn't be necessary either, unless you plan to take a night train .

Posted by
2084 posts

The German Rail at www.bahn.de is a helpful planning site (top right has drop-down for English) with notations on required or suggested reservations. Clicking on the train you might want will give you all the stops and changes as well as actual train numbers.

Herman at Euraide.com is very helpful with purchasing reservations with a transaction fee of $50 or so.

Posted by
18527 posts

Click on the "Railpasses" tab at the top of this page, then on "using your railpass". There's a link to a pdf file showing all the "reservation" fees that are required to use your railpass (there are a lot of them). To use a Eurostar train in Italy will cost you about $15-20 for a reservation for each train. On some lines, like Rome to Florence, ES* is about the only choice. You can buy the reservation at the station before you go.

Posted by
4555 posts

I must mention again that reservations allowed to Eurail passholders are limited...you may find a situation where others will walk up to the ticket window and be allowed to board and you will not. If you are coming all the way from Australia, at least make sure your schedule is flexible enough to allow for taking trains after the ones you might have selected. Weekends will be especially busy. Checking the Warsaw-Prague run on bahn.de, I see that reservations ARE required on virtually every train. With your point to point tickets, reservations are usually already included.

Posted by
9 posts

Just wanted to thank you all for being so helpful. I will try the different websites you have provided and see what details they give regarding whether or not reservations need to be made. This is all a new "ball game" for me as over here a ticket automatically gives you a seat. Thanks again for your help. I appreciate it.

Posted by
31622 posts

Sam, I wanted to confirm whether you have already bought your Railpasses? As I recall, these have to be validated within SIX-months. If you're travelling in October and November, I'm wondering whether you purchased these too early. Hopefully Norm or Kent can clarify this?

Regarding your original question, you might want to check the bahn.de site to determine which routes will require reservations (the routes needing reservations will have a small red "R" shown). I doubt they'll have schedules posted that far ahead, but if you enter a "pseudo date", it should provide some idea. Note that some trains don't operate every day.

My usual practise is to purchase reservations for the outgoing journey as soon as I arrive in a city (I'm at the station anyway). Unless there's a holiday or something, I doubt you'll have much trouble getting reservations at that time of year.

Cheers!

Posted by
4555 posts

Ken, you're absolutely right! Railpasses are supposed to be validated (the first use of the pass) within six months of purchase. If Sam purchased the passes thru Railsaver.com, then it likely would have been purchased thru Railconnection.com, since railsaver doesn't actually sell passes. Railconnection states, "The rail pass will be validated twice. The first stamp is printed automatically by our office and will appear on the top right hand corner of the pass. The pass must begin use within 6 months of this validation."

Posted by
11996 posts

If you have purchased first class, get reservations. You don't need to make them now. In the fall, calling the day before is probably plenty but as a rule call when you are sure of the train you want to board. Sometimes there is a charge for reservations. I travel second class without reservations so others can tell you more.

Posted by
9 posts

Thanks for all your input. It has been most informative and helpful.

I should have said in my initial post that although I have purchased the rail passes, they have not actually been issued to me yet. I believe they will be issued to me just prior to my departure from Australia when I collect all my tickets (e.g. airline tickets etc.). So re your concerns about validating the rail passes within 6 months, that won't be an issue.

Hope this clarifies the situation a little more.

Thanks again for all your help.

Sam
Australia