Brussels Midi / Zuid - 18 minute connection

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Going to travel from London St Pancras to Marburg (Germany, near Franfurt) on a Deutsche Bahn - one way - €49 euro ticket. Done this before and went all the way to Dresden. Great value, recommended.

On this occassion, DB offers an 18 minute connection at Brussels Midi / Zuid. Eurostar arrives from London at 10:07, onward DB ICE to Frankfurt departs at 10:25. I know Brussels Midi well. As the Eurostar approaches Midi, I'll walk to front of the train, so I will be near the exit. Reckon I can dash to the Thalys/DB platforms in 5 minutes. Know this drill.

Reckon if the inbound Eurostar into Midi is more than 10 minutes late, I'll miss the onward DB ICE at 10:25. Will Thalys accept this DB ticket so I can travel on the 11:25 Thalys to Cologne ? Or am I stuck waiting in Brussels Midi until 14:25 for the next DB ICE ?

This is scenario is unlikely. Since HS2 opened, I've done the run to Brussels half a dozen times. Always less than 5 mins late.
 
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Oscar

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Bruxelles-Midi/Brussel-Zuid is a Railteam hub and both Thalys and ICE are both involved in the Railteam scheme with its promise of "hop on the next train" (regardless of company or ticket type). I know that Railteam has had a low profile recently but this promise has not specifically been withdrawn.

Why don't you use the Couloir Sud/Zuidgang (escalators from coaches 11 and 16)? If you wait in coach 16 as you arrive you can go down the Couloir Sud/Zuidgang if it is open or if it is closed you can leave the Eurostar terminal via the main exit, being already virtually at the front of the train. That's what I do whenever I am at Midi/Zuid anyway, although I've never had a problem with those connections either. Last time I made a connection from Eurostar there I comfortably made a 13 minute connection to the Beneluxtrein and was on the platform within a couple of minutes of the Eurostar arriving.
 
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lemonic

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I have had to get a Thalys connection instead of an ICE train twice from Koln to Brussels (so other direction).

The first time, the ICE was running around 100 minutes late and I would have missed the Eurostar if I didn't get the Thalys an hour later than the scheduled departure of the ICE. In this case, we tried to get our tickets endorsed for travel on Thalys at the Koln booking office but there were no reservations left (it was during the ash cloud) so we were told that if we got on the train we could be chucked off at Aachen. Regardless we got on the train and luckily we had no problems.

The second time, we arrived 6 hours late off the EuroNight from Warsaw and the first connection was a Thalys, otherwise we'd have to wait another 3 hours for the ICE. We only had a few minutes until the train left so we approached the train managers who were standing on the platform and they tried to get us to have our tickets endorsed at the booking office, but there was not enough time for this. They were very reluctant to let us on, but as we had a Eurostar connection, they agreed.

So my advice to you is this:
1. If you are delayed, try and get your ticket endorsed at Brussels ticket office. If this is not possible, try to approach the train manager(s) before departure, emphasising your connections from Koln and delay from London. They may take some convincing, but if you are firm then you should be fine.
2. If you want to find an unreserved seat on the Thalys, often the seats at the very end of the train in 2nd class (carriage 28) are unreserved.
 
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Thanks for the advice.

At Brussels Midi, good to know that there's a Railteam customer point - in case of delays. That will be my first port of call, if the inbound Eurostar is delayed.
 

Oscar

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I would recommend getting your ticket endorsed on Thalys and then taking it to the DB ReiseZentrum ("travel centre") on Köln Hbf to get another one for your trip to Marburg. I once had a delay on a TGV and was let on a later DB train because I had a tight connection but with the previso that I should go to a ReiseZentrum or ticket office to get it changed next time.
Bear in mind whilst in Germany that while ICE and IC trains have guards and sell Normalpreis ("normal price") tickets on the train (not that you'd probably want to pay this fare), virtually all Interregio-Express, Regional Express, Regional Bahn and S-Bahn trains (i. e. all the local ones) have roving inspectors and attract a substantial fine for not having a ticket before boarding. I would be grateful if someone could tell me if there are any exceptions to this. So don't expect to get on a train at an unmanned local station.
 
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radamfi

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Interregio-Express, Regional Express, Regional Bahn and S-Bahn trains (i. e. all the local ones) use Driver Only Operation, have roving inspectors and attract a substantial fine for not having a ticket before boarding. I would be grateful if someone could tell me if there are any exceptions to this. So don't expect to get on a train at an unmanned local station.
I thought most RE trains had guards. I have certainly had my ticket checked on the RE6 from Düsseldorf to Minden a few weeks ago, but that may have been by an inspector.
 

Oscar

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Am I right in thinking that no tickets are sold on board any Nahverkehr services?
Which trains actually have a guard but no tickets are sold?
I know from experience that RB trains certainly don't usually have any staff on board.

I have had a look for anything official on this but couldn't find anything.
http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schaffner_(Beruf) from German Wikipedia says the following:

Bei Regionalzügen wurden „Schaffner“ durch Zugbegleiter (Zub) und Kundenbetreuer im Nahverkehr (KiN, DB) ersetzt. Verkauften diese früher auch Fahrkarten, so sind heutzutage immer mehr Strecken flächendeckend oder auch Züge mit Fahrscheinautomaten ausgestattet. Das Personal darf reguläre Fahrkarten meist nur beim Versagen der Automaten ausstellen und beschränkt sich neben den sicherheitstechnischen und organisatorischen Aufgaben nur mehr auf die Fahrscheinkontrolle.
On (KiN and DB) regional trains "guards" have been replaced with (literally) "train escorts" or "customer hosts". Although they used to also sell tickets, lines (i.e. stations) or trains are increasingly equipped with ticket machines at all points. Staff are generally only allowed to sell tickets when machines stop working and they concentrate instead on inspecting tickets and safety/technical and organisational work.
 
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WestCoast

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Some (most?) of the private regional operators, that have taken over from DB on selected Regionalbahn (RB) and Regional Express (RE) services, sell tickets onboard. Some examples I can think are Metronom and ALEX, where the guards sell tickets and Eurobahn and NordWestBahn where a ticket machine onboard dispenses tickets.
 
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