Eurail/Other Transportation Advice

Travel Forums Europe Eurail/Other Transportation Advice

Last Post This thread is marked as being about Transportation
1. Posted by FrozenDark (Budding Member 2 posts) 5w Star this if you like it!

I am trying to determine if the Eurail Global Pass will grant me access to the transportation needed for our trip. Public transportation (train) and walking are the only ways we will be able to travel; we are not renting a car or making additional flights within Europe.

Our itinerary (so far) is as follows:

Tuesday, May 21 -- Land in Frankfurt (early am) and get to Sankt Goar.

Tuesday, May 21 - Friday, May 24 -- Sankt Goar (wanting to have rail access to possibly hit a/few other cities, using Sankt Goar as home base)

Friday, May 24 -- Sankt Goar to Baden-Baden (Stay in Baden-Baden one night)

Saturday, May 25 -- Baden-Baden to Cinque Terre during the day so as to see the countryside as we pass. (Possibly breaking for lunch and miniventuring in Milan for a few hrs only. If the train schedules do not allow time, would prefer to go straight from Baden-Baden to Cinque Terre)

Saturday, May 25 - Tuesday, May 28 OR Wednesday, May 29 -- Cinque Terre

Wednesday, May 29 -- Cinque Terre to Rome

Wednesday, May 29- Sunday, June 1 -- Rome (may need train for inner-city and/or intercity travel)

Sunday, June 1 -- Depart from Rome back to US

I'm not totally confident the Eurail Global Pass will cover the trains/stations I need. I'm also not confident I need to purchase a Eurail Global Pass for what I need. I have been struggling with the DB website to try to understand and compare train types and arrival/departure stations and times. I haven't even been able to determine which Sankt Goar location I should be choosing... It wants me to choose from 12 lines of content (each of which is only one of two options, and all duplicates of one or the other are word for word identical), then within those, it wants me to narrow down to very long list within (some identical repeats again), which I think are streets, but none of which are where I need to be. I JUST need to get to the station in this city and can walk to where I am staying...

I can't tell if the Eurail Global Pass will cover the RE trains in addition to ICE?
I am not the type of traveler to be able to pinpoint dates and times between places for point-to-point ticket buying to be an option for me.

Am I better off getting some sort of multi-pass for JUST Germany and Italy respectively, and then purchasing a separate (point-to-point) ticket for the day I am needing to get from Germany to Italy?

Help! I do NOT understand the different types of trains or passes.I have been reading many things (very helpful is https://www.seat61.com/Europe-train-travel.htm) but still VERY confused and trying to make the most frugal purchase that still meets my needs.

ANY feedback is much much appreciated! Thanks in advance.

2. Posted by leics2 (Respected Member 646 posts) 5w 4 Star this if you like it!

> I can't tell if the Eurail Global Pass will cover the RE trains in addition to ICE?

Yes, of course.

>Rome (may need train for inner-city and/or intercity travel)

No Eurail pass is valid on metro networks (which is the 'inner-city' option in Rome)

>I am not the type of traveler to be able to pinpoint dates and times between places for point-to-point ticket buying to be an option for me.

First of all, a Eurail pass does not guarantee you a seat on any train . For trains which require seat reservations (the high-speed ones in both countries) you'll pay an extra fee if you make the reservation through Eurail:

https://www.eurail.com/en/plan-your-trip/about-reservations

You don't need to be the sort of traveller you think you should be. All you need to do is go to the station the day, or a couple of days, before you want to move on and buy your ticket then. Even reservation-only trains rarely get so full that one cannot get a seat on any train going from A to B on the day. Both Germany and Italy have frequent train services so the chances of you being unable to move on when you want to do so are tiny. The main disadvantage of buying on or near your departure date is that high-speed trains often have online advance discount fares so you'll miss out on those.

> Baden-Baden to Cinque Terre during the day

You do know that's a minimum 10-hour journey involving at least one change of train?

Imo you'd be better to break that segment of your trip with an overnight in Milan, which is anyway not really a city which suits your idea of 'miniventuring' imo, because you'll arrive at Milan Centrale station and that is a good way out of the historical centre (it's almost 2 miles from the Duomo).

>Am I better off getting some sort of multi-pass for JUST Germany and Italy respectively, and then purchasing a separate (point-to-point) ticket for the day I am needing to get from Germany to Italy?

The only way to find out is to check the costs and then set the two country passes against the cost of the global pass.

>I have been struggling with the DB website

1. If you want to know the name of the main railway station anywhere just use googlemaps. Zoom in and then click the station to get the name.

2. If you search for 'St Goar' on https://www.bahn.com/en/view/index.shtml you'll only get one option and that's the one you need. >It wants me to choose from 12 lines of content It's just an oddness of the site that if you search for 'Sankt Goar' you'll get loads of options because the DB site sometimes lists local public transport (in Germany) as well.

3 DB is an excellent website which gives times and details for almost all European trains, apart from a few private and commuter lines, but it usually only gives fares for and within Germany. For other countries you need to look at the official railway website for that country. All have English pages.

Italy: https://www.trenitalia.com/en.html
Trenitalia run high-speed trains as does Italo, another company. Fares, routes and stations served are much the same for both. https://www.italotreno.it/en

It's worth using those sites to investigate the cost of buying point-to-point tickets online in advance and/or as you go and then set that probable total against the cost of pass or passes. It's been many years since Eurail was automatically the cheapest option for rail travel and you'll almost certainly see a substantial difference. Whether you're happy to pay extra for the convenience of a pass is of course up to you.

[ Edit: Edited on 11-Mar-2019, at 13:55 by leics2 ]

3. Posted by Beausoleil (Travel Guru 1050 posts) 5w Star this if you like it!

Try looking at The Man in Seat 61 web site. This fellow gives you all kinds of information about trains in Europe. He tells you all about them, how to use them, quirks of different country lines, how to buy tickets, what tickets are best for what trips. It's very comprehensive and for a first-time train user, it is a life saver. He also gives all sorts of links to the different train web sites in each country. Click here for The Man in Seat 61 web site

Another web site I find useful is the old CapitaineTrain web site which is now called TrainLine. You can buy tickets for any of the trains right on the site. There is no charge of any kind and they list all the trains. The most useful thing is it is in English so you don't have to worry about translating correctly or if the train site has translated into English correctly. It also lists rail strikes and tells you what to do if one occurs when you're traveling. Click here for the TrainLine web site

4. Posted by FrozenDark (Budding Member 2 posts) 5w Star this if you like it!

Thanks all for the help so far.

TrainLine (link provided by Beausoleil) is really helping me compare pricing of point to point ticket purchasing against the price for a Global Eurail pass. Thanks for that! And I have been visiting The Man in Seat 61 site—he has loads of useful info, but it is a bit much to digest because it is kind of overwhelming.

Leics2, I had been using GoogleMaps to determine station names, but I had not considered "St. Goar" when searching the stations in DB. Thanks for that tip. "Sankt Goar" was giving me all kinds of results—thanks for clarifying that sometimes local public transport is listed; that explains why all the options it listed were street names. DB is so much more manageable now!

5. Posted by leics2 (Respected Member 646 posts) 5w Star this if you like it!

Pleased I could help. :-)

6. Posted by Beausoleil (Travel Guru 1050 posts) 5w Star this if you like it!

You're right. There is almost too much information on The Man in Seat 61, but if you do it a little at a time and don't try to read everything at once, it becomes more manageable. Using the search function to narrow the information stream also helps. I like it for the photos of what you'll see and the information about what to expect and what is different from country to country. We weren't train riders when we first went to Europe. There just isn't the network in the USA. There used to be and my grandparents always talked about trains. One of my grandfathers worked on the railroad and when I was tiny, I road with them often. They did all the ticket buying though; I just went where I was told like any normal three-year-old.

If you're used to trains, you may not need any of that information but he does give you links to all the transportation web sites and that is almost worth the effort of slogging through it.

Good luck and have fun.