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Old 7th January 2014, 20:55   #1
joke2711
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Default Chester to Torun

Hi, fairly new to this site and never attempted international train travel before. If someone could assist in helping me identify whether and how you can travel from Chester to Torun in Poland. Arrival date in Torun would be the morning of 11th October 2014 and departure would be on 12th October (anytime). It would be good to get an understanding of route, timings and potential cost.

Any help would be more that appreciated and thank you in advance for those who reply.

Kind Regards

Jon
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Old 7th January 2014, 21:51   #2
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If you go to the German Railways site, there is an excellent journey planner ( https://www.bahn.com/i/view/GBR/en/index.shtml) - though it won't show you fares unless the journey ends or starts in German. Looks like there are a few places a few places in Poland called Torun. I'm not able to say if they are the same place, but it looks like you can travel to Torun Glowny from Chester in about 24 hours.

Cheers
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Old 7th January 2014, 22:25   #3
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Standard advice: spend time reading http://www.seat61.com/Poland.htm#.Usxv__uP-Ng

To get to Torun for noon on Saturday 11 Oct, and return Sunday at 16.30, you can use the overnight sleeper Amsterdam-Cologne-Warsaw as far as Poznan and then use a Polish "express" train (you return via Kutno which is further East). You could leave Chester as late as 11.35 Friday to make the connections and be back around 15:30 Monday: Chester-Cologne via London and Brussels is a simple journey. You could, if you prefer, start Chester earlier and overnight in Berlin.

If that arrival is too late, you would need to spend Friday night in Poznan (a good choice if you don't speak Polish) which means leaving Chester on the Thursday (London-Poznan is just possible in a day, but if I could afford the time I'd spend Thursday night in Brussels or Liege rather than spend all day on the train.

As far as tickets are concerned, you book with DB (www.bahn.com, or via their UK call centre)
- a London Special for London-Brussels-Cologne
- a EuroSpecial Poland for Cologne-Poznan-Torun (with the appropriate sleeper upgrade if travelling overnight - you have to specify "regional train only" for the last section, but don't worry, this is just to show the fare, the ticket is OK on "expresses")
Chester-London International is a special connecting ticket from Eurostar Telesales
Finally, you need a compulsory Seat Reservation for the TLK express from Poznan to Torun, which you can get at Poznan station on the day for a few Zloty (write your request down in case staff don't speak English).
I've not used a TLK since reservations became compulsory, someone else on here may have more info.

Booking 3 months in advance you should be able to do the journey for a bit over Ł100 each way plus sleeper berth or hotel costs.

If you are travelling alone, you might find going via the night Harwich-Koek van Holland ferry cost-effective, as their single cabins are quite economical, but you'd still need the hotel in Poznan. I'll give details if you want.

Last edited by 30907; 7th January 2014 at 22:29.
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Old 7th January 2014, 23:35   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 30907 View Post

- a EuroSpecial Poland for Cologne-Poznan-Torun (with the appropriate sleeper upgrade if travelling overnight - you have to specify "regional train only" for the last section, but don't worry, this is just to show the fare, the ticket is OK on "expresses")
I've read on Drehscheibe Foren that ES Polen is can be booked for journeys involving connections on domestic Polish trains at German ticket offices. In the case of Germany - Poznań - Toruń this is possible online for connections involving regional trains between Poznań and Toruń. However, in other cases (e.g. Germany - Warszawa - Kraków) Sparpreise are not available, whatever type of train is used for the domestic Polish leg. In fact, Normalpreise are only available for this journey if fast trains (Express InterCity or Tanie Linie Kolejowe) are used for the domestic Polish leg. Do you know why?

Eurostar + Thalys booked at www.b-europe.com (from 49 €) can be cheaper than a London-Spezial from London to Köln. For a daytime journey, London-Spezial tickets are available for London - Frankfurt(Oder) and this could be better value of the cheapest tier are available (from 59 €). If the fare to Köln is higher than 59 €, fares to other destinations are significantly higher (e.g. London - Köln 69 € / London - Berlin 109 € with first ICE connection, 89 € on other ICE/IC service), whereas when London <> Köln is available for 59 €, this fare seems to be available to/from any German station. This may be cheaper than splitting tickets at Köln. So the cheapest options may be Eurostar + Thalys to Köln from 49 € and a Polen-Spezial from Körun to Toruń with a couchette for 59 € (c. 49 € with BahnCard 25 - German Railcard) plus a TLK supplement each way or a London-Spezial to Frankfurt(Oder) from 59 € (54 € with BahnCard 25) and a Polen-Spezial from Frankfurt(Oder) to Toruń from 29 € (c. 22 € with BahnCard 25) or possibly a Polish ticket from the border (all prices one-way). DB often offer a BahnCard for 4 months for about 25 € in varying guises (normal price for a year 41 €) which would be worth considering if you make another trip to or via Germany.
It is also possible to travel from London to Toruń on the Friday (arriving very early on Saturday morning), requiring an overnight stay if travelling from Chester. You can travel from Chester to Poznań in a day, but due to the arrival in the earlier hours of Saturday morning it may be better to travel to London on Thursday evening, stay overnight in London and travel to Poznań on Friday, ready to visit Toruń on Saturday.

Last edited by Oscar; 8th January 2014 at 00:20.
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Old 7th January 2014, 23:57   #5
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Going to the speedway GP perhaps?

Torun is a nice place, worth a half day to look around. Poznan is also pleasant, may be worth staying in Poznan on the Friday and just nip up to Torun on the Saturday, if you can afford the time.
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Old 8th January 2014, 00:09   #6
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Within Poland, I find this is the best source of information (distances, fares etc as well as times):
http://rozklad.sitkol.pl/bin/query.exe/en
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Old 8th January 2014, 00:15   #7
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Originally Posted by LNW-GW Joint View Post
Within Poland, I find this is the best source of information (distances, fares etc as well as times):
http://rozklad.sitkol.pl/bin/query.exe/en
Yes, it's powered by the excellent HAFAS system used by DB, SBB and ÖBB - perhaps something TOC websites and Transport Direct could learn from.
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Old 8th January 2014, 10:26   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 30907 View Post
Standard advice: spend time reading http://www.seat61.com/Poland.htm#.Usxv__uP-Ng

To get to Torun for noon on Saturday 11 Oct, and return Sunday at 16.30, you can use the overnight sleeper Amsterdam-Cologne-Warsaw as far as Poznan and then use a Polish "express" train (you return via Kutno which is further East). You could leave Chester as late as 11.35 Friday to make the connections and be back around 15:30 Monday: Chester-Cologne via London and Brussels is a simple journey. You could, if you prefer, start Chester earlier and overnight in Berlin.

If that arrival is too late, you would need to spend Friday night in Poznan (a good choice if you don't speak Polish) which means leaving Chester on the Thursday (London-Poznan is just possible in a day, but if I could afford the time I'd spend Thursday night in Brussels or Liege rather than spend all day on the train.

As far as tickets are concerned, you book with DB (www.bahn.com, or via their UK call centre)
- a London Special for London-Brussels-Cologne
- a EuroSpecial Poland for Cologne-Poznan-Torun (with the appropriate sleeper upgrade if travelling overnight - you have to specify "regional train only" for the last section, but don't worry, this is just to show the fare, the ticket is OK on "expresses")
Chester-London International is a special connecting ticket from Eurostar Telesales
Finally, you need a compulsory Seat Reservation for the TLK express from Poznan to Torun, which you can get at Poznan station on the day for a few Zloty (write your request down in case staff don't speak English).
I've not used a TLK since reservations became compulsory, someone else on here may have more info.

Booking 3 months in advance you should be able to do the journey for a bit over Ł100 each way plus sleeper berth or hotel costs.

If you are travelling alone, you might find going via the night Harwich-Koek van Holland ferry cost-effective, as their single cabins are quite economical, but you'd still need the hotel in Poznan. I'll give details if you want.
Thank you this - the information is very useful.

I won't be travelling alone but with my father who will be approaching his 80th Birthday and he see this as probably his last great adventure and to answer another poster, yes the Speedway Grand Prix in Torun is the reason for the journey.

Cost isn't the deciding factor to do this - but ticking some boxes are.
I reckon we will do the Chester - London - Brussels - Cologne - Poznan - Torun route and book a 2 berth sleeper cabin both ways. Then we will only need the 1 night in Torun and I will only have to take two days off work!

So I am correct to assume that no tickets can be purchased until 3 months before travel??
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Old 8th January 2014, 10:55   #9
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Ticket office staff in Poznan speak english, also TLK compulsory reservation can be purchased on train, seek out guard on boarding. Similarily EC/EIC/IC compulsory reservations can be purchased on train but just wait for the guard to come around checking tickets
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Old 8th January 2014, 16:41   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joke2711 View Post
Cost isn't the deciding factor to do this - but ticking some boxes are. I reckon we will do the Chester - London - Brussels - Cologne - Poznan - Torun route and book a 2 berth sleeper cabin both ways. Then we will only need the 1 night in Torun and I will only have to take two days off work!

So I am correct to assume that no tickets can be purchased until 3 months before travel??
In this case you should split at Cologne (see Oscar's comment about Thalys fares, though), and get a Deluxe double on the sleeper (loo and shower) which gives you access to the Lounge and its freebies at Koeln Hbf till closing time. Bookings open 3 months in advance, but it is not unknown for this to be postponed with the sleeper if there's engineering works or similar!

On the way back, bookings from Poland only open about 2 months in advance. In this case, exceptionally, book Cologne to London 3 months ahead, then wait (im)patiently.

If the sleeper westbound is very late (it happens!) it has been known to avoid Koeln altogether and decant you at Duisburg. If that happens you'll be able to use an IC or ICE to get you to Koeln, and if you miss your Brussels connection they will allow you to use later trains all the way to Chester.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oscar View Post
I've read on Drehscheibe Foren that ES Polen is can be booked for journeys involving connections on domestic Polish trains at German ticket offices. In the case of Germany - Poznań - Toruń this is possible online for connections involving regional trains between Poznań and Toruń. However, in other cases (e.g. Germany - Warszawa - Kraków) Sparpreise are not available, whatever type of train is used for the domestic Polish leg. In fact, Normalpreise are only available for this journey if fast trains (Express InterCity or Tanie Linie Kolejowe) are used for the domestic Polish leg. Do you know why?
@ Oscar: As far as I know
(1) in general, booking offices have a wider choice of destination for ES tickets than online.
(2) the system can't (currently - it has changed, and changed back) book two compulsory-reservation trains, and now that all TLKs in Poland are reservable, you have to work around this.
I did actually manage Kaldenkirchen-Krakow via Warsaw on a ES a couple of years back, when TLKs weren't reservable, but I think that has changed, as you say

Last edited by 30907; 8th January 2014 at 16:41. Reason: Double post prevention system
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Old 8th January 2014, 16:49   #11
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aren't TLKs only reservable with a seat in first class, whereas 2nd class is just a supplement?
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Old 8th January 2014, 17:47   #12
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aren't TLKs only reservable with a seat in first class, whereas 2nd class is just a supplement?
They used to be but the Polish and German sites both confirm that they are fully reservable - how this works on a Friday or Sunday I haven't the foggiest!
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Old 9th January 2014, 14:28   #13
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In fact, Normalpreise are only available for this journey if fast trains (Express InterCity or Tanie Linie Kolejowe) are used for the domestic Polish leg. Do you know why?
Hafas isn't able to book two compulsory reservations within one ticket. Regular fares are splitable outside Germany without inducing additional costs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oscar View Post
DB often offer a BahnCard for 4 months for about 25 € in varying guises (normal price for a year 41 €) which would be worth considering if you make another trip to or via Germany.
Currently it's called Bahncard Gold and also available for 1st class.
Goodie: on days following a German gold medal during the Sotchi olypic games allow free, nationwide travel.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oscar View Post
However, in other cases (e.g. Germany - Warszawa - Kraków)
That's not a direct route.

Quote:
Originally Posted by joke2711 View Post
So I am correct to assume that no tickets can be purchased until 3 months before travel??
92 days to be specific.
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Old 9th January 2014, 17:45   #14
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That's not a direct route.
May not be a through train but Berlin-Warsaw-Krakow is a perfectly reasonable route (and has been bookable as ES Poland in the past), faster than the direct EC Wawel when it ran.
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Old 10th January 2014, 15:01   #15
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Originally Posted by 30907 View Post
May not be a through train but Berlin-Warsaw-Krakow is a perfectly reasonable route (and has been bookable as ES Poland in the past), faster than the direct EC Wawel when it ran.
Don't ask guys in DB's upper management about reasonable decisions.
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