Inter rail validity on Eurostar

Discussion in 'International Transport' started by Polarbear, 10 Jan 2017.

  1. Polarbear

    Polarbear Established Member

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    I've just come across this article on Seat 61.com which makes for very pleasant reading; :D

    http://www.seat61.com/news.htm

    Excellent news for me as I shelled out several hundred quid on E* returns last year, as well as a cheeky flight to Zurich! As long as the promised availability is maintained, this can only be a good thing.
     
  2. Greenback

    Greenback Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    That's a bit better!
     
  3. Techniquest

    Techniquest Veteran Member

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    Shame such a fare doesn't exist from elsewhere in the UK!

    It is, however, extremely welcome news!
     
  4. shredder1

    shredder1 Member

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    Fantastic news many thanks for posting
     
  5. k-c-p

    k-c-p Member

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  6. Capybara

    Capybara Member

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    Yes, this is potentially very good but I'd like to see a few more details. I currently do this a couple of times a year with travelling dates usually constrained by when I can get decent Eurostar fares. Anything that can give me a bit more flexibility with dates and booking nearer the time of travel will be much welcomed.
     
  7. Merseysider

    Merseysider Established Member Fares Advisor

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    I can only imagine this is a response to the price dumping of certain cross-channel airlines. Excellent news, might give it a go myself sometime
     
  8. Capybara

    Capybara Member

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    I thought I'd report on my experience with this. I decided to try it on a trip to Europe a few weeks ago. Firstly, you can't book it online via the Eurostar site though they hint that this will become available. Seat 61 gives a couple of online options but with it being new I decided to do it via Eurostar.

    After 5 minutes on the 'phone I got fed up with being bombarded with Eurostar adverts and no indication of when I would get to speak to someone. Fortunately I'm in London so a trip to St Pancras was no problem. The booking person had to ask someone else but other than that the booking was quick and easy and I was able to select my seats. I wasn't charged a transaction fee - the Eurostar site says it's £10 - and I asked about this but was assured there wasn't one. Perhaps I got lucky. I asked about availability and was told that there's usually a decent quota but try and travel at less popular times - I was going midweek to midweek.

    On the day, the ticket operated the barrier with no problem. The reservations are exchangeable but not refundable. They indicate that it's £10 to exchange. I'm paranoid about missing my connection on the return journey so have had waits of up to four hours at Brussels in the past. So, presumably I could factor this in and, if I arrive in Brussels so far in advance of my booking, change it for an earlier one, if available. Or I suppose that the worst that could happen is that if you miss your connection you can simply book on the first available train for the full booking fee (£26.50).

    The big advantage is that you don't have to book ages in advance to get a decent fare. A disadvantage is that you need to have your Interrail ticket first so I booked it with a validity period such that I could travel a day or two earlier than I actually wanted to travel in case of non-availability on my chosen day. Also you don't get Eurostar points.

    But it all worked fine and I'll probably do it this way next time. And I'd be interested i the experiences of others.
     
    Last edited: 17 Jun 2017
  9. Polarbear

    Polarbear Established Member

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    I last used one of these passes in April from Lille to London & had no problems at all. To gain access to the train, I only needed to show my seat reservation.

    E* do seem to be a bit slow at selling the inter rail passes on their website. Personally, I use Voyages SNCF as that'll readily sell the pass on line as a print at home ticket.
     
  10. Ayman Ilham

    Ayman Ilham Member

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    As for booking Eurostar reservations whenever I do Interrail Global, would I be able to find available seats on any trains on the day of travel if I arrive in London at 10-11 am? Otherwise how far in advance should I book for reasonable availability? And would I be able to book Interrail reservations for the Eurostar (and possibly the TGV if I end up in France) from my local station Manchester Piccadilly?
     
  11. 30907

    30907 Established Member

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    Unfortunately there are no UK stations (other than St Pancras) capable of booking what we used to call continental travel - that has been so for some years.

    I wouldn't risk booking on the day travelling in anything like high season, unless you are happy to be extremely flexible.
     
  12. Polarbear

    Polarbear Established Member

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    I agree with 30907. Book in advance through the Voyages SNCf website (both E* & TGV's). In theory, there should be availability on the day but you could end up sitting around at stations for a while.
     
  13. Ayman Ilham

    Ayman Ilham Member

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    I guess I could use that website to book the outbound journey probably a week or so in advance and then book the inbound Eurostar (and TGV Lyon to Paris) journey from a station while in Europe like Frankfurt or Zurich - I should be able to do the rest of the travelling without reservations cos I'd mostly stick to countries like Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Austria and Switzerland where most trains don't need reservations!
     
  14. Polarbear

    Polarbear Established Member

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    If you have time, you can get around the need for a TGV reservation between Lyon & Paris. There is a 2 hourly TER service that operates between the two via the old PLM route & Dijon. It's loco hauled too, which is always a bonus.

    As you say, you won't need reservations for the countries you've identified, (unless you use certain international services or say Thalys in Belgium/The Netherlands). If you have a smart phone with wi-fi access, you could I suppose book the E* reservation whilst you're out there.

    Enjoy!
     
  15. Ayman Ilham

    Ayman Ilham Member

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    If I do decide to fit France into the trip, I would be using a TER from Geneva to Lyon and I wanna ride the TGV between Lyon and Paris (it's faster and also, for the sake of riding a TGV) and as for going between Brussels and Amsterdam, I'd just hop on the hourly IC to Rotterdam, walk around that city and then take an IC direct to Amsterdam, probably much easier than the Thalys!
     
  16. philjo

    philjo Established Member

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    I recently booked a 1st class passholder reservation (standard premier) for eurostar via the SNCB site: https://www.b-europe.com/EN

    That site gave a bit more control over the reservation - it asked for preferences (e.g. window/aisle etc). the Voyages SNCF site just seems t give a reservation without any options.

    SNCB charges in euros and on my credit card statement the fare I paid was about £2 cheaper than the sterling fare quoted by voyages SNCF. (my credit card does not charge a fee for transactions in euros)
     

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