FIP in Germany

Discussion in 'International Transport' started by TheEdge, 5 Jan 2017.

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  1. TheEdge

    TheEdge Established Member

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    I've never used FIP facilities but am planning my first trip to Germany.

    I'll be buying a FIP Eurostar fare to Aachen (inc. ICE) to get me to Germany (assuming that can be purchased with FIP). Once in Germany I'm going to use the free travel coupons for DBAG to do my travel in Germany.

    A few questions for those who know.

    1.Reservations, would I need to pre-plan if and when I want to use certain services, most specifically ICE? Are there any others?

    2. Sadly DB discontinued their City Night Line sleeper services but several of the routes have been taken over by OBB as Nightjet, including some services wholly within Germany (Hamburg - Berlin/Munich) for example. If I wanted to use those wholly inside Germany would that be covered by a DB coupon or will I need an OBB coupon too?

    3. Franchised services in Germany. Are the coupons valid? If not do they even offer FIP discount?

    Looked on Seat 61 but these are a bit more detailed than their staff travel page.

    Thanks :)
     
  2. Jordy

    Jordy Established Member

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    You don't need any reservations (unless you want one to get a seat) for DB trains - with the exception of the few "ICE Sprinter" services as far as I know.

    FIP coupons are only valid on DB services and I don't believe any of the private operators offer discount - although I'm not 100%
     
  3. Suraggu

    Suraggu Member

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    I thought the FIP fare was as far as Brussels and a FIP ticket required to Aachen?

    Answers.
    1) ICE is mandatory reservation. Last time I was in Germany a reservation was advised for EC/IC but could be different since 09.

    2) OBB operate the NightJet now with DB providing advertisement and ticketing.I would take both DB and OBB coupons and get reservations although RST site has info about sleeper supplements, if you are unsure but NightJet has some insanely cheap fares ie €29 single Innsbruck to Koln in a 2nd class compo. To upgrade to a 6 berth couchette was an additional €20.

    3) Franchised services as in National Express, Abellio etc? No coupons or FIP discount allowed. Only services operated by DB.
     
  4. TheEdge

    TheEdge Established Member

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    I'm not entirely sure about the Aachen ticket. If not will I also need an SNCB coupon to get me from Brussels to Aachen on the ICE service or will the DB coupon cover it?
     
  5. 306024

    306024 Established Member

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    Based on my experience:

    Study the RDG (was ATOC) staff travel site. Under 'where can I go' you will find a list of DB trains that are restricted to FIP. It looks a big list but they are only on some days, and sometimes only on part of the route. The one I always have to watch is Hamburg - Copenhagen via the Rodby ferry.

    Outside of that I don't usually bother with reservations on ICE/EC/IC trains unless I know a train to be busy. Never had to stand yet, but I'm fortunate to get 1st class FIP. Suraggu advises ICE is mandatory reservation, well that's news to me, I'd wager that is not correct.

    The coupon is relevant to the country you are in. If you don't leave Germany you won't need any coupons for adjacent countries. If you can't get a priv Eurostar to any Belgian station you will need the Belgian coupon too to travel via Aachen.

    Beware the private operators where FIP isn't valid. I haven't found a definitive list of those.

    Finally Aachen Sud is the border station between Belgium and Germany.

    Hope that helps.
     
    Last edited: 5 Jan 2017
  6. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    No, it isn't, except for 2 (I think) specific peak-time "ICE Sprinter" train pairs.

    DB's reservation policy is near identical to ours with the exception that they charge for them (even on "Advances" i.e. Sparpreis tickets) and we don't.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    I'm not quite sure what the OeBB Nightjet counts as - is it technically a private operator? It is I believe open access.
     
    Last edited: 5 Jan 2017
  7. TheEscapist_

    TheEscapist_ Member

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    I used my fip coupon for DB in May last year and it was great never had a problem. Just check the list on the rstl site for ice trains you cannot use it on. I used a few of ic & ice trains without a reservation and never had a problem. But on the db Bahn site you can select exact seats on ice trains. I used this to get a seat behind the cab on an ice 3.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  8. TheEdge

    TheEdge Established Member

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    Thanks for all the replies, really helpful.

    Would it be worth emailing RDG for clarification on what I would need to use Nightjet services in Germany?
     
  9. Suraggu

    Suraggu Member

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    If you want but after reading open access I wonder if coupons are valid, plus NightJet fares are dirt cheap.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    I must of had a grumpy Bert then a few years back. He fleeced me of reservation money on my first trip onboard a few years ago onboard an ICE.
     
  10. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    Are you sure that wasn't the price difference to ICE if you held a normal ticket (or e.g. InterRail)? It isn't reservations only, but it does have its own fare system which is more expensive than other trains - it's market priced like UK services rather than kilometric as the "base" regional fare is, and has long been like that.
     
  11. Jordy

    Jordy Established Member

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    InterRail is perfectly valid on ICE too, and there's no supplements and the like, in vast contrast to certain other countries!
     
  12. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    There used to be supplements for InterRail on IC/EC and ICE until about 10-15 years ago.

    (Yes, my views on SNCF's general dislike and mickey-take on InterRail are well known :) )
     
  13. gordonthemoron

    gordonthemoron Established Member

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    also beware of private operators that are owned by DB, e.g. UBB (Usedom Baeder Bahn), the fip probably isn't valid on those either
     
  14. davetheguard

    davetheguard Member

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    Unless something has changed since I did the trip in June 2015, as 306024 says, buy a FIP Eurostar ticket to Brussels and apply for a SNCB coupon too - it will be valid on the ICE while on Belgian tracks. No supplement is payable, nor is a reservation compulsory (but you might want to consider one for peace of mind's sake to guarantee a seat the whole way).
     
  15. davetheguard

    davetheguard Member

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    In my experience, FIP is definitely not officially valid on UBB trains either on Usedom island itself or on the through trains which operate to/from Stralsund on the mainland. Surprising when you see the DB logo on the front of the trains.

    Having said that, we inadvertently boarded a UBB train at Greifsdorf with the return half of Deutsche Bahn FIP tickets from Stralsund (having expected a DB train) and the Guard decided to deliberately not stamp the tickets, and to look the other way. I've no way of knowing if this was typical or not.
     

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  16. TheEdge

    TheEdge Established Member

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    Is it safe to assume if the stock is in DB red or ICE red and white its a DB service, anything else is a franchise or open access?
     
  17. 306024

    306024 Established Member

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    Difficult to say. For example I travelled from Nuremberg to Dresden with my German FIP coupon last year, changing at Hof. Nothing to alert me in the train number (sometimes that's a clue) that the train from Hof to Dresden would turn out to be a yellow / green EMU. So I assumed my FIP coupon wasn't valid.

    With just a 4 minute connection there wasn't time to make enquiries, so off we went with me rehearsing my best German for when the conductor came round. Sure enough I showed my coupon and asked if it was OK. "Ja Danke", so no problem.

    To this day I don't know whether my coupon was actually valid, it may have just been a friendly railwaywoman doing a fellow railwayman a favour.
     
    Last edited: 6 Jan 2017
  18. Suraggu

    Suraggu Member

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    I was using my DB Coupon between Koln and Frankfurt. I read that I didn't need a reservation but got chinged a few € with him stating in perfect English I needed a reservation. I didn't argue after a while. So I had a source taste afterwards hence I've avoided ICE since.
     
  19. 306024

    306024 Established Member

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    That was all back in the day. It was a pleasant surprise when DB abolished the inter-city FIP supplement. Only for the Austrians to now take up the cause.
     
  20. 30907

    30907 Established Member

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    There is virtually no open access in Germany. Apart from NJ, it's HKX and Locomore which between them run about 10 train pairs a week.

    In general franchised services are part of the public "offer" just as in the UK, so Laender-Tickets, Schoenes Wochenende and ordinary tickets are valid (except on lines which are NOT part of the national network - and Usedom which is an oddity). I have no expertise about FIP coupons, sorry, as franchising didn't exist when I last used one - so that may not help.
     
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