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Old December 13th, 2011, 12:33 PM   #361
woutero
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Last weekend the 2012 train schedule started operation. Biggest changes are in the Randstad, where the Fyra trains, running on the High Speed Line, have become an integrated part of the operation.

NS took out the regular intercity services between Amsterdam and Rotterdam via Schiphol and replaced them with intercity services via Haarlem.
This does mean that travelers between Rotterdam and Schiphol/Amsterdam now have a strong stimulus to take the Fyra High Speed Trains.
A welcome new connection is the one between Lelystad-Almere-Amsterdam South-Schiphol-Leiden-The Hague.

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Old December 13th, 2011, 01:15 PM   #362
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It is been reported that Eurostar is now selling round-trip ticket London-Amsterdam-London with a combination of Eurostar to Bruxelles Midi + Thalys via HSL to Amsterdam for only £ 79. Apparently, it is a new discounted fare, not only a temporary sales action.

If so, they will really put a challenge to low-cost airlines in the route (the crappy Benelux trains were detrimental to such competition before, but now the Bruxelles-Ams. part is also offered in modern Thalys trains).
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Old December 13th, 2011, 01:16 PM   #363
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FYRA on HSL with locs and speed @ 160 km/h?
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Old December 13th, 2011, 01:30 PM   #364
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suburbanist
It is been reported that Eurostar is not selling round-trip ticket London-Amsterdam-London with a combination of Eurostar to Bruxelles Midi + Thalys via HSL to Amsterdam for only £ 79. Apparently, it is a new discounted fare, not only a temporary sales action.
Correct, Eurostar has teamed up with Thalys. You can book an integrated Eurostar+Thalys ticket right from Eurostar's website.

I think this is a smart competitive move, and that we will be seeing more deals like this in the future.
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Old December 13th, 2011, 01:54 PM   #365
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Correct, Eurostar has teamed up with Thalys. You can book an integrated Eurostar+Thalys ticket right from Eurostar's website.

I think this is a smart competitive move, and that we will be seeing more deals like this in the future.
It is. You could previously buy a "any Dutch station" + Eurostar ticket, but that is not really attractive because it means no reserved seats from/to Bruxelles to/from Netherlands. Now, for a price cheaper than that, you can travel in good high speed trains all the way.
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Old December 13th, 2011, 02:27 PM   #366
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That's good news! I just looked into tickets, and the cheap fares are easy to book (so not just some price you can never get).

Travel time however is still an issue. Mainly due to the 45 min layover in Brussels. If there would be a direct train, that would become pretty competitive.
Now:
A'dam Central - London Paddington: 4h40
Schiphol - London: 4h24
Rotterdam - London: 3h59
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Old December 13th, 2011, 02:53 PM   #367
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Travel time however is still an issue. Mainly due to the 45 min layover in Brussels. If there would be a direct train, that would become pretty competitive.
They need that layover to allow the 30-min mandatory advance check-in! If trains were direct, there would still be a similar 30-min advance check-in mandate in Amsterdam Centraal.
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Old December 13th, 2011, 03:55 PM   #368
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Because of bloody UK staying outside of Schengen Area ...
Fog, weather condition is this part of Europe is good enough for Thalys/Eurostar to win competition vs airlines
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Old December 13th, 2011, 04:39 PM   #369
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Quote:
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They need that layover to allow the 30-min mandatory advance check-in! If trains were direct, there would still be a similar 30-min advance check-in mandate in Amsterdam Centraal.
And if they were to get rid of the check in they could give everyone a 30min faster trip without having to invest any money. Pity Eurostar isn't run by greedy capitalists...

Anyway, the previous "any Dutch station" eurostar ticket had the advantage of allowing you to take the Benelux train, which offers more legroom than Thalys does.
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Old December 13th, 2011, 05:19 PM   #370
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Look at it in a different way: by having people take Thalys first, they'll be used to the legroom by the time they get to the Eurostar.
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Old December 13th, 2011, 06:56 PM   #371
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And if they were to get rid of the check in they could give everyone a 30min faster trip without having to invest any money. Pity Eurostar isn't run by greedy capitalists...
It is not a matter of Eurostar, but an issue to be dealt by and with UK Home Office.

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Anyway, the previous "any Dutch station" eurostar ticket had the advantage of allowing you to take the Benelux train, which offers more legroom than Thalys does.
More legroom? I doubt it, for similar arranged seats.

Also, Thalys provide a 1h15 FASTER ride between Bruxelles and Amsterdam to 1h31 travel time. THAT is an improvement. I'm sure, though, K_ will complain about some missed connection to Staroven or Arles on Sunday mornings.
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Old December 13th, 2011, 10:44 PM   #372
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Oh please, I'm not going to explain to you that even with similar arranged seats there can be differences in legroom based on the distance between the seats. And from 1st hand experience on both trains I can say, affirming K__ claim that the Benelux train has more legroom then the Thalys.

Claims like this is the reason why nobody takes you serious anymore, even when you have a point.
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Old December 13th, 2011, 11:13 PM   #373
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Oh please, I'm not going to explain to you that even with similar arranged seats there can be differences in legroom based on the distance between the seats.
That is quite obvious, it is just that I don't think Thalys seat pitches (for similarly arranged seats) are shorter than those of Benelux cars. Does anyone have such tech specs for both trains? Then, the doubt can be easily solved.
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Old December 14th, 2011, 01:58 AM   #374
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Uhm, buy a ticket for a Thalys train to Antwerp, and go back with the Benelux, and see for yourself?
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Old December 14th, 2011, 02:50 AM   #375
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Uhm, buy a ticket for a Thalys train to Antwerp, and go back with the Benelux, and see for yourself?
You want him to leave his basement?
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Old December 14th, 2011, 02:51 AM   #376
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Uhm, buy a ticket for a Thalys train to Antwerp, and go back with the Benelux, and see for yourself?
I believe more in technical specs than personal empirical perceptions.
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Old December 14th, 2011, 04:10 AM   #377
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suburbanist

I believe more in technical specs than personal empirical perceptions.
Then take a ruler with you? I highly doubt that information regarding the distance between seats can be found online.
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Old December 14th, 2011, 07:39 AM   #378
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That is quite obvious, it is just that I don't think Thalys seat pitches (for similarly arranged seats) are shorter than those of Benelux cars. Does anyone have such tech specs for both trains? Then, the doubt can be easily solved.
I'l get my tape measure out the next time.
However, I do know that legroom in first class on the Thalys, before the last renovation, was similar to that in second class in ICR cars (as used on the Benelux...) The big nuisance in many TGV sets is the fold a way foot rest, that even when it does stay up still eats up leg space. I would basically need to take a notch out of my shins if I wanted to be able to stretch my legs. No, the ICE seats are far better.
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Old December 14th, 2011, 10:09 AM   #379
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Is the legroom issue really that important? I think not.

I have been on both trains, and did not notice that there was a difference. They were adequate in both cases. Even if there was a difference, I would rather have an few cm less legroom than 1h longer on a train anyway. And if you want to talk about leg room, look at the real competition: the airplane. That's where legroom is actually an issue.
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Old December 14th, 2011, 11:29 AM   #380
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Is the legroom issue really that important? I think not.

I have been on both trains, and did not notice that there was a difference. They were adequate in both cases. Even if there was a difference, I would rather have an few cm less legroom than 1h longer on a train anyway. And if you want to talk about leg room, look at the real competition: the airplane. That's where legroom is actually an issue.
Agreed.

I think this is like a minor issue, like people whining about "bad" Thalys design because it has some seats without a direct unimpeded window view.
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