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Old October 18th, 2013, 04:02 AM   #2001
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reivajar View Post
And any operator can use the Dutch and Belgian tracks? Their railway market is free already for passenger services?
No. I'm not sure of the exact situation with the High Speed Line (I think NS Hispeed won exclusive use with the exception of Thalys?) but all other lines are operated by government concessions. NS has been directly awarded the concession for the main rail network for another ten years or so (?) but an increasing number of rural branch lines are being lumped in with the regional transport concessions for local buses and such.
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Old October 18th, 2013, 09:17 AM   #2002
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To be more precise :

The Fyra service, as initially planned, completely left out the city of The
Hague. This city responded by wanting to put in place its own service to
Brussels. They opened a tender for this and Arriva was selected as the best
bidder. But it will not be a true high speed service, as there are many
intermediate stops enroute foreseen. See the details on the page (in dutch)
http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lage_Landen_Lijn - although the last
info I got said they could use the high speed line between Rotterdam and
Antwerp, thus no stop anymore in Dordrecht.

But in any case, the only real high speed service between A'dam and Brussels
remains Thalys. Future will tell whether Eurostar dreams will become reality.
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Old October 18th, 2013, 06:25 PM   #2003
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Thalys is a scheme the Dutch railway company is not involved in.
Wrong.

HSA is responsible for Thalys in The Netherlands. This is one reason that passengers with Fyra tickets could take Thalys went the Fyra got cancelled.
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Old October 19th, 2013, 02:22 AM   #2004
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It's responsible for them running on Dutch tracks, but NS has no shares in Thalys whatsoever.
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Old October 19th, 2013, 12:45 PM   #2005
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It's responsible for them running on Dutch tracks, but NS has no shares in Thalys whatsoever.
But Thalys itself is only a marketing organization. Thalys does not own any trains, does not employ any drivers, does not operate any trains. ( this will change in the future) When you buy a Thalys ticket from Amsterdam to Brussel your transportation contract is with HSA, and NMBS, just as it was with Fyra tickets.
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Old October 20th, 2013, 11:01 PM   #2006
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Rumours are also circulating that the German national railway company are going to set up a high speed connection between Amsterdam and Brussels. Something the Dutch and Belgians have been unable to do after numerous attempts...
Arriva proposes new Amsterdam – Brussels high-speed services

"Arriva Netherlands director Mr Anne Hettinga stated that his company has submitted an alternative plan for the operation of high-speed services from Amsterdam to Brussels via the HSL South high-speed line. These would be run in close cooperation with parent company German Rail (DB), and could be extended to serve destinations further afield. The service could be launched in December 2016 following the delivery of new high-speed trains"

The timing of this new service appears to fit with the expected commencement of DB cross-channel services between London and Amsterdam via Brussels and Rotterdam.

Chris
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Old October 20th, 2013, 11:49 PM   #2007
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we see here the Europe of next future...with a HS services from several companies crossing countries...
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Old October 20th, 2013, 11:52 PM   #2008
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we see here the Europe of next future...with a HS services from several companies crossing countries...
Well, actually Arriva is simply DB. By now, it does make a big difference: the big nationa railway companies offering international services...
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Old October 21st, 2013, 01:50 AM   #2009
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Excuse my ignorance, but I've noticed something that's been vexing me: I understand that several companies operate on similar tracks, through various countries (i.e. Thalys, EuroStar, DB beginning service into London, etc), but what is the best website to go to for fares and schedules?

Deutsche Bahn is okay, but they have a problem giving fares or schedules more than 45 or so days in advance. I know for regular services (e.g. non-express), that's not unusual as many people simply purchase at the ticket counter, but I will be using high speed services for much of my trip (Paris-Brussels-Amsterdam-Berlin). Anyways, I just want to be sure I can gauge what the best rates are without going through 3 or 4 different sites (which I'm doing now). I don't have a problem with it, but wanted to know if there was a better way to do it.

I hope it's not too off topic, I figure it's a question worth asking giving it is relevant for a Pan-European system, no?
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Old October 21st, 2013, 06:31 AM   #2010
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Quote:
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Excuse my ignorance, but I've noticed something that's been vexing me: I understand that several companies operate on similar tracks, through various countries (i.e. Thalys, EuroStar, DB beginning service into London, etc), but what is the best website to go to for fares and schedules?
www.bahn.com has the easiest English interface to search schedules (except for certain minor operators like TreNord, NTV-Italo Treno, Westbahn).

As for prices, you should always check the website of each rail company you intended on travelling.

Quote:
Deutsche Bahn is okay, but they have a problem giving fares or schedules more than 45 or so days in advance. I know for regular services (e.g. non-express), that's not unusual as many people simply purchase at the ticket counter, but I will be using high speed services for much of my trip (Paris-Brussels-Amsterdam-Berlin). Anyways, I just want to be sure I can gauge what the best rates are without going through 3 or 4 different sites (which I'm doing now). I don't have a problem with it, but wanted to know if there was a better way to do it.
There is no single engine for prices.

Bahn will not give prices for trains that don't start or end in Germany with few exceptions.

Some countries/rail operators open their schedule religiously 60, 90, 92 or 120 days before departure. Some are more erratic, especially around bi-annual schedule change day (2nd sunday of June and December).
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Old October 21st, 2013, 09:41 AM   #2011
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There is no official engine for rail tickets as exists for flights, unfortunately. The EU attempted to build such a product (they even made a budget available for it) but nothing came out of it. There are some brave souls who have attempted to build such a thing, but they're depend on partnerships with the individual operators and not all of them are willing to cooperate.

Try one of these:
- www.waymate.de
- www.capitainetrain.com
- www.loco2.com
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Old October 21st, 2013, 04:12 PM   #2012
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Thank you so much. I was close to pulling my hair out!
I especially like that the www.loco2.com site tells you specifically how far in advance you can purchase tickets.
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Old October 21st, 2013, 06:02 PM   #2013
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Quote:
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There is no official engine for rail tickets as exists for flights, unfortunately. The EU attempted to build such a product (they even made a budget available for it) but nothing came out of it. There are some brave souls who have attempted to build such a thing, but they're depend on partnerships with the individual operators and not all of them are willing to cooperate.

Try one of these:
- www.waymate.de
- www.capitainetrain.com
- www.loco2.com
I think the EU tried again recently:
link
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Old October 21st, 2013, 07:22 PM   #2014
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Those sites are a start but they don't allow you to take the multitude of bonus cards etc into consideration. Its almost short of a scandal that European railway companies to have not come up with a single online ordering infrastructure to this very day. It is costing them a lot of potential customers because booking international tickets is often a pain in the a** and totally intransparent.

I know its a complex issue but the same railways were capable of creating a unified system for all possible train connections. So finding rail connections from where ever to where ever is no problem. And if you call for example the ÖBB service hotline you can even book from where ever to wherever. So if they can do it, one should think with some major effort it should be doable to create the IT infrastructure that any customer could do online.
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Old October 22nd, 2013, 12:32 AM   #2015
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Yep, I think reason why trains like Paris - Rome are cancelled is because you can't book tickets normally like for airplanes. For e.g. I'd like to ride a train from Warsaw to Lisbon but it is impossible to book tickets. Besides it is surprising that there are no night trains for Paris _ Madrid or London - Berlin. They even don't have to be high speed, for me it is cool to board train on 21.00 or 22.00 and arrive on 8.00 to destination. With good organization it means no delays, more luggage, no cancellation due to bad weather, no luggage lost, better safety, more socialization, restaurant car with beer, cool views from the window during day etc. I hate flying even I did it more than 20 times. But if I go to EU I have no choice but to fly.

Some cities like London and Paris have excellent connection and cheap fare but mostly you have to change 2 or even 3 trains just to move between neighborhood countries.
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Old October 22nd, 2013, 12:45 AM   #2016
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Yep, I think reason why trains like Paris - Rome are cancelled is because you can't book tickets normally like for airplanes. For e.g. I'd like to ride a train from Warsaw to Lisbon but it is impossible to book tickets. Besides it is surprising that there are no night trains for Paris _ Madrid or London - Berlin. They even don't have to be high speed, for me it is cool to board train on 21.00 or 22.00 and arrive on 8.00 to destination. With good organization it means no delays, more luggage, no cancellation due to bad weather, no luggage lost, better safety, more socialization, restaurant car with beer, cool views from the window during day etc. I hate flying even I did it more than 20 times. But if I go to EU I have no choice but to fly.

Some cities like London and Paris have excellent connection and cheap fare but mostly you have to change 2 or even 3 trains just to move between neighborhood countries.
I am not sure if I understand well your message, but currently there are direct night trains (Talgo Trenhotel type) between Madrid and Paris and between Barcelona and Paris, and as far I know they have a relatively goog occupancy rates. They are managed by a joint venture shared by Renfe and SNCF named Elipsos. As well, Elipsos offered some time ago night trains (as well Talgo Trenhotel type) from Barcelona to Zurich and Milan (and to the French Alps in winter season). Elipsos is going to be as well responsible for the new international high speed direct services between Spain and France with several TGV Euroduplex and AVE class 100 trainsets.

Elipsos services are regularly scheduled on SNCF and Renfe websites, and I think as well on the DB website, apart of the particular Elipsos website.

However, I have to admit that the existing night services are not well advertised on media, and there are lots of people who don't know you can take a direct train between Paris and Madrid and Barcelona.
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Old October 22nd, 2013, 01:12 AM   #2017
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Night trains are a niche market.
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Old October 22nd, 2013, 02:06 AM   #2018
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Night trains are a niche market.
And you are a broken record
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Old October 22nd, 2013, 12:14 PM   #2019
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Night trains are a niche market.
I'm really intrested to meet you 15-20 years from now
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Old October 22nd, 2013, 12:35 PM   #2020
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The information system has been a weakness, and has been in the 20 years person transport has been opened up (which I applaud, but the benefit won't be reaped until we have information systems that can handle it). In country after country it has been harder to find out how to get from where you are to where you want to be, and then slowly, slowly it gets better. Yes, the airlines do that best, so that is a major reason I primarily fly (that the ground transport much of the time is slower and more expensive matters as well).

Bahn.de is best if you have decided to go by train, but not so useful if you are more concerned about getting there. If you e.g. travel in Sweden there is one integrated service for plains, trains, busses, local transport, but you won't get the prices or if there are available tickets. More open-ended questions like "what are the cheapest options for getting from here to there in this time interval" have no simple answer, but is at least feasible with air transport.
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