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Old December 8th, 2013, 05:54 PM   #2181
Sunfuns
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Quote:
Originally Posted by K_ View Post
That is not only the case in Switzerland. It's also like that in Belgium, The Netherlands and Austria. In Germany if you have a tarif level A ticket you are also very free in you choice of routes.
In fact, train specific tickets, that you can't just take to another are really the exception, not the norm. They are becoming more common in long distance travel, that is true.
Isn't there a surcharge for using Thalys trains in Belgium and the Netherlands? Maybe in Austria the same as here. In Germany definitely not - ICE ticket from Basel to Freiburg is considerably more expensive than on the local train.
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Old December 8th, 2013, 05:57 PM   #2182
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You can't use domestic tickets on Thalys to travel in the Netherlands between Amsterdam, Schiphol and Breda. NS Hi-speed website will sell you Thalys tickets between domestic relations (Thalys website won't). It costs 21 Euro to travel between Amsterdam and Rotterdam with Thalys.

You also have to pay a small supplement, 2 Euro I think, to use ICE between Amsterdam, Utrecht and Anrhem.
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Old December 8th, 2013, 06:06 PM   #2183
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That supplement for using ICE trains for Dutch domestic trips is caused maybe for benefiting international passengers on those trains? Not sure if the trains are that full for needing to do that...
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Old December 8th, 2013, 06:10 PM   #2184
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That supplement for using ICE trains for Dutch domestic trips is caused maybe for benefiting international passengers on those trains? Not sure if the trains are that full for needing to do that...
The supplement is probably there to deter most people from using the ICEs as domestic trains, which would make them too busy.
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Old December 8th, 2013, 07:07 PM   #2185
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What do you mean by doubling trains? Attaching a second EMU or running a phantom train near its schedule?
All EC trains on the Gotthard route run a few minutes after an IC train north of Lugano. Also some EC trains on the Simplon route are preceded by extra trains north/west of Domodossola or Brig, but usually on weekends only. These extra trains usually are numbered after the regular EC train (EC 12 ==> EC 10012, EC 37 ==> EC 30037 and so on).

Starting from June 2014 EC trains on the Gotthard route will receive a new timetable, with the extra IC trains (10000 series) taking their slots (that is, two minutes later than today). This means that between Zürich and Lugano there will be a train every 30-30-60 minutes (roughly).
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Old December 8th, 2013, 07:37 PM   #2186
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Do they use the former Cisalpino trainsets on these double services?
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Old December 8th, 2013, 07:56 PM   #2187
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Quote:
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Do they use the former Cisalpino trainsets on these double services?
No, they use ICN sets.
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Old December 8th, 2013, 08:18 PM   #2188
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Obviously not, they run exactly because there are so few ETR 470 in working order that EC train are often delayed or replaced with conventional rolling stock. In this way passenger to/from Lugano can travel on time (those train would run on peak days even if the Cisalpino trains were enough and in perfect state, as a 9-car ETR 470 is too small sometimes).

Note that usually all the 4 ETR 470 sets belonging to SBB are in working order and used, while on most days only one of the 5 sets belonging to Trenitalia is in working order. The others usually are broken down or in workshops. As far I know the record is held by unit 470.004, which was laid abandoned in a depot in Italy for nearly two years (however, some of this time was later used to repair it). Parts of sets 6 and 7 one day might break this record, thought (other coaches of the two trains were coupled together and put in service).
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Old December 9th, 2013, 09:50 AM   #2189
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunfuns View Post
Isn't there a surcharge for using Thalys trains in Belgium... ?
Indeed. Thalys trains could theoretically be used for domestic journeys
between Brussels, Antwerp, and Liege. As far as I know, nobody does it,
because
1) there are much more frequent domestic trains for the same journey, with
almost the same journey times ;
2) those domestic trains are far more confortable than the cramped Thalys
sets.
There is indeed a surcharge, probably put in place to ensure domestic
travellers do not use seats better left for international traffic, but as far as I
know, nobody ever complained about that.

All other trains can be used with the same tickets.

In ancient times, international trains to Switzerland and Germany were marked in the
timetable as reserved for international travel. You would be subject to pay a fine
if not complying, although I doubt that it was strictly enforced. There were also some
night trains with only sleeping and couchette cars, that were de facto non accessible
to normal ticket holders. But all that vanished two decades ago...

Last edited by MarcVD; December 9th, 2013 at 09:56 AM.
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Old December 9th, 2013, 07:37 PM   #2190
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You can also use Thalys for domestic travel between Amsterdam, Schiphol and Rotterdam if you like, but it comes with a downside. Reservation is compulsory and a ticket starts at something like € 21.
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Old December 10th, 2013, 06:29 PM   #2191
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Barcelona-Sants station.

Five days left.

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Old December 12th, 2013, 01:25 AM   #2192
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Barcelona-Sants station.

Three days left.

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Old December 12th, 2013, 07:36 PM   #2193
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Eurostar is increasing its booking window for discounted tickets from 120 to 180 days.

This is a sensible move for a railway that has serious competition going on with airlines. Air fares can often be booked in far more advance than 120 days, which puts Eurostar at a disadvantage.
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Old December 13th, 2013, 04:39 PM   #2194
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Actually, nearly all customers don't view the possibility to book trip very-very early as some benefit on its own... They just don't care.
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Old December 13th, 2013, 04:43 PM   #2195
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Renfe 100F trainset in Toulouse-Matabiau (5th Dec)

From @Renfe

[/QUOTE]
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Old December 13th, 2013, 04:47 PM   #2196
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Actually, nearly all customers don't view the possibility to book trip very-very early as some benefit on its own... They just don't care.
Of course, but the sub-market that cares (price-conscious costumers that plan trips far in advance to take advantage of cheap transportation and maybe hotel deals) is greatly benefited with this increased parity between Eurostar and airlines.
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Old December 13th, 2013, 06:26 PM   #2197
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Quote:
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Of course, but the sub-market that cares (price-conscious costumers that plan trips far in advance to take advantage of cheap transportation and maybe hotel deals) is greatly benefited with this increased parity between Eurostar and airlines.
But do we really want this "sub-market" to choose for train travel? Aiming for this market by the airlines has made air travel a very unpleasant experience lately. I don't want the same to happen with train travel...
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Old December 13th, 2013, 06:32 PM   #2198
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But do we really want this "sub-market" to choose for train travel? Aiming for this market by the airlines has made air travel a very unpleasant experience lately. I don't want the same to happen with train travel...
Well, there are some differences on how factors determining costs of train and air travel add up. The marginal cost of transporting more passengers is smaller on trains than planes, for a starter. I don't think Eurostar would cramp 5-seat abreast on its trains.

What we could expect, and should welcome indeed, are more complex fare and ticketing systems with more rules and more tailored pricing.
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Old December 13th, 2013, 07:01 PM   #2199
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Don't know if this picture (which was taken at Paris-Est Station, during the AVE's tests on French HSLs I guess (?)) has already been posted here.. anyway :

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Old December 13th, 2013, 07:12 PM   #2200
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I love that picture, nice trains with a well designed urban background. Just an Italian high speed train on the free track would be necessary to show the top of the European railway technology.

Anyway, I would prefer to see a Talgo high speed trainset instead of the Renfe 100F, which are not that different than a TGV Atlantique, I mean, more diversity.

However, in the short-term we won't see Renfe 100F trainsets getting to Paris, as the TGV 2N2 will be the ones used for the Barcelona-Paris services.
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