Questions about free travel in Luxembourg?

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Back when you had to pay for public transport in Luxembourg the following three stations were considered domestic stations and normal domestic tickets applied to travel to and from them instead of international fares:

• Athus (Belgium)
• Audun Le Tiche (France)
• Volmerange Les Mines (France)

So my question is can you travel to and from these stations for free? Are these still considered domestic Luxembourg stations and you can travel for free to and from them? Or do you have to pay to travel to them?

Secondly can you travel on SNCB/NMBS/NGBE trains and SNCF trains for free within Luxembourg? Both of these operators run trains which stop at multiple stations in Luxembourg so i am wondering if travel within Luxembourg is free onboard them? Or do you have to pay to travel on these operators within Luxembourg?

Thirdly what is the policy regarding cross border bus routes? I presume travel is only free to the last stop in Luxembourg? Or can you cross the border for free on any of these?

Thank you for any help.
 
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XAM2175

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So my question is can you travel to and from these stations for free? Are these still considered domestic Luxembourg stations and you can travel for free to and from them? Or do you have to pay to travel to them?

Per the official website:

Since 01/03/2020, you no longer need a ticket to travel on the tram and national buses and trains (except first class). As free public transport ends at the border, cross-border tickets and passes have been reassessed.​

The site makes no mention of ticketing for travel on trains operated by foreign railways within Luxembourg, so I'm assuming that these journeys are free too.

Also, please feel free to refer to the Belgian rail operator simply as SNCB or NMBS :p
 

biko

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I'm pretty sure that travel is free to the two French stations as those are only connected to the Luxembourgish network and are considered as Luxembourgish stations. The website of CFL is a bit unclear, but for Athus it doesn't give the same reaction as to other foreign stations (it doesn't say you have to buy a ticket at the international site which it does for e.g. Arlon). I couldn't find a good source.
Thirdly what is the policy regarding cross border bus routes? I presume travel is only free to the last stop in Luxembourg? Or can you cross the border for free on any of these?
I could find an answer to this one: free until the last stop in Luxembourg. After that there is a €5 ticket needed. See: https://www.cfl.lu/en-gb/ticket/internationaldetail/regiozone-1-ou-2-(1)#nav-main-0
 
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Per the official website:

The site makes no mention of ticketing for travel on trains operated by foreign railways within Luxembourg, so I'm assuming that these journeys are free too.

Also, please feel free to refer to the Belgian rail operator simply as SNCB or NMBS :p
Many thanks. That is good to know. I was not sure about the foreign trains as it is not mentioned anywhere but that is good those are free too. I never know what to call the Belgian State Railways as it is known by a different name in each part of the country so i just use all three names. I shall just call it by one of those in the future then.

I'm pretty sure that travel is free to the two French stations as those are only connected to the Luxembourgish network and are considered as Luxembourgish stations. The website of CFL is a bit unclear, but for Athus it doesn't give the same reaction as to other foreign stations (it doesn't say you have to buy a ticket at the international site which it does for e.g. Arlon). I couldn't find a good source.

I could find an answer to this one: free until the last stop in Luxembourg. After that there is a €5 ticket needed. See: https://www.cfl.lu/en-gb/ticket/internationaldetail/regiozone-1-ou-2-(1)#nav-main-0
Many thanks. That is good to have a clear answer about the bus and the two French stations. Maybe i shall email CFL regarding Athus in Belgium as they do not make it clear anywhere on their website.
 

zero

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I read a number of threads on here which addressed the situation with those 3 stations before my trips to Luxembourg in 2018 and 2019 but I can't seem to find them any more.

Volmerange and Audun are for all intents and purposes part of CFL, they have CFL ticket machines although some of the signage is different from stations in Luxembourg.

In my recollection Athus also has a CFL ticket machine, as well as a Belgian one. There is a CFL service to Luxembourg and I don't think there are any Belgian services that cross the border.

There is also another cross-border service which I could not find any information about online, from Rodange to Longwy (France). I went to Rodange and attempted to buy a ticket to Longwy, but there was no option for this at the ticket machine. This was a CFL train with CFL guards, but they didn't check tickets on that journey.

At Longwy there was only a TER ticket machine which did not sell tickets to Luxembourg, and the guards didn't walk through the train again, so I ended up not paying. I did have a day ticket for Luxembourg.

You were able to buy tickets on board for €1 extra so I didn't feel that I was doing anything wrong, in fact I observed several people paying the €1 extra on board, even though checks were very frequent in Luxembourg so I doubt pay when challenged would have saved money in the long run?
 

riceuten

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Cross border travel is specifically covered in a section of the Mobiliteit.lu website. You need to navigate to the French version of the website for the full skinny, but on there, there is a English language version of the relevant page


Which states

Travel on public transport in Luxembourg is free from 1st March 2020 (except 1 class). Traveling abroad? Free public transport ends at the border, so you must get a cross-border pass or ticket if you plan to travel outside of the territory of Luxembourg.

Clicking on any of the passes gives you more detail of what is covered


Both state that all cross border lines cost money and that, unless you're taking the bus to Saarlouis or Saarbruecken in Germany, single tickets cost €3 and day tickets €5 (or €5 and €9 for Saarlouis and Saarbruecken). This is irrelevant whether you get on at the Gare Centrale or the last stop before the border. You can buy all these tickets on the CFL and Mobiliteit app.
 
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I read a number of threads on here which addressed the situation with those 3 stations before my trips to Luxembourg in 2018 and 2019 but I can't seem to find them any more.

Volmerange and Audun are for all intents and purposes part of CFL, they have CFL ticket machines although some of the signage is different from stations in Luxembourg.

In my recollection Athus also has a CFL ticket machine, as well as a Belgian one. There is a CFL service to Luxembourg and I don't think there are any Belgian services that cross the border.

There is also another cross-border service which I could not find any information about online, from Rodange to Longwy (France). I went to Rodange and attempted to buy a ticket to Longwy, but there was no option for this at the ticket machine. This was a CFL train with CFL guards, but they didn't check tickets on that journey.

At Longwy there was only a TER ticket machine which did not sell tickets to Luxembourg, and the guards didn't walk through the train again, so I ended up not paying. I did have a day ticket for Luxembourg.

You were able to buy tickets on board for €1 extra so I didn't feel that I was doing anything wrong, in fact I observed several people paying the €1 extra on board, even though checks were very frequent in Luxembourg so I doubt pay when challenged would have saved money in the long run?
That is interesting to hear. It is certainly very confusing. I think they really need to work on making things clearer. I wonder how passengers between Rodange and Longwy are meant to buy tickets. Perhaps they just expect them to buy onboard. I wonder if the EUR1.00 surcharge to buy onboard still applies if your ticket is not available from the ticket machine.

Cross border travel is specifically covered in a section of the Mobiliteit.lu website. You need to navigate to the French version of the website for the full skinny, but on there, there is a English language version of the relevant page


Which states

Travel on public transport in Luxembourg is free from 1st March 2020 (except 1 class). Traveling abroad? Free public transport ends at the border, so you must get a cross-border pass or ticket if you plan to travel outside of the territory of Luxembourg.

Clicking on any of the passes gives you more detail of what is covered


Both state that all cross border lines cost money and that, unless you're taking the bus to Saarlouis or Saarbruecken in Germany, single tickets cost €3 and day tickets €5 (or €5 and €9 for Saarlouis and Saarbruecken). This is irrelevant whether you get on at the Gare Centrale or the last stop before the border. You can buy all these tickets on the CFL and Mobiliteit app.
This is what makes it so confusing. It says that free travel ends at the border. But yet before free travel was introduced the stations of Athus (BE) and Audun Le Tiche (FR) and Volmerange Les Mines (FR) were all considered domestic stations. So that makes me think that free travel may still apply. If free travel does not apply to these three stations than what are the fares as nowhere online seems to show what the fares are to these three stations.
 

Quakkerillo

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I travelled for free to/from Athus last year, and it is included. You can't even buy a ticket if you tried. Same goes for the other CFL-owned/operated stations you mentioned.
 

etr221

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Having looked at the Mobiliteit.lu and CFL websites, they seem to be clear that free travel ends at the border and you need to buy a ticket for travel beyond: but the tickets they quote to appear to be a bus only offering...

Both Audun Le Tiche (FR) and Volmerange Les Mines (FR) appear on CFL's list of stations (with French addresses), but Athus (BE) is omitted...
 
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I travelled for free to/from Athus last year, and it is included. You can't even buy a ticket if you tried. Same goes for the other CFL-owned/operated stations you mentioned.
Great to hear from someone who has been there and can confirm. That is good that Athus is definitely free too. Out of interest did you travel on any SNCB or SNCF trains entirely within Luxembourg during your stay? I know XAM2175 says they are probably valid as the website makes no mention of ticketing on foreign operated trains? But i am wondering if that is because they are foreign so they are not mentioned on the CFL website? So it would be great if anyone has been there and can confirm whether the SNCB and SNCF trains within Luxembourg are definitely free too?

Having looked at the Mobiliteit.lu and CFL websites, they seem to be clear that free travel ends at the border and you need to buy a ticket for travel beyond: but the tickets they quote to appear to be a bus only offering...

Both Audun Le Tiche (FR) and Volmerange Les Mines (FR) appear on CFL's list of stations (with French addresses), but Athus (BE) is omitted...
I think that is because Athus is owned and managed by Belgian State Railways even though it is considered part of the domestic CFL network. Where as on the other hand i think the two French stations are still owned and managed by CFL as they have no link to the rest of France at all. Out of interest does SNCF have any involvement at the two French stations? Like do they own the track and signals there? Or is this owned by CFL still? I am just wondering as they have no connection to the rest of France at all?
 

Quakkerillo

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Great to hear from someone who has been there and can confirm. That is good that Athus is definitely free too. Out of interest did you travel on any SNCB or SNCF trains entirely within Luxembourg during your stay? I know XAM2175 says they are probably valid as the website makes no mention of ticketing on foreign operated trains? But i am wondering if that is because they are foreign so they are not mentioned on the CFL website? So it would be great if anyone has been there and can confirm whether the SNCB and SNCF trains within Luxembourg are definitely free too?
I travelled into Luxembourg from Liège on an SNCB train. Only had a ticket as far as Troisvièrges; the rest was free. The train was fitted perfectly into the half hourly service from Troisvièrges as a CFL service, and even had a change of train staff so that it was CFL-staffed NMBS/SNCB train (although the driver may still have been Belgian, the guards were all Luxembourgish). So I can also confirm the SNCB trains within Luxembourg are free.
If you were to come in from Arlon (not via Athus) a ticket to Kleinbetting would suffice to get you to Luxembourg. If you tried to book such a ticket on the Belgian rail site, you'll see that it's €2.50 from Arlon to Kleinbettingen, as well as to Luxembourg.
SNCF will work similarly with their services.
 

etr221

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I think that is because Athus is owned and managed by Belgian State Railways even though it is considered part of the domestic CFL network. Where as on the other hand i think the two French stations are still owned and managed by CFL as they have no link to the rest of France at all. Out of interest does SNCF have any involvement at the two French stations? Like do they own the track and signals there? Or is this owned by CFL still? I am just wondering as they have no connection to the rest of France at all?
My interpretation - looking at various maps - is that Volmerange Les Mines was always just at the end of branch of the Luxembourg network, that came across the border, and there was never a (direct) connection to rest of the French (or pre 1918, German) network - so whether it was always a Luxembourg line, or whether SNCF had ownership at some stage I don't know (but would think probably the first). On the other hand Audun Le Tiche (in Germany up to 1918) was connected to the Franco-German network: but who owned the line across the border to it, I don't know - quite possibly it was built by one of the Luxembourg railways. and may well have been inherited by CFL.

But even so, the Luxembourg free travel scheme is a project of the Grand Duchy for its citizens: and it would be perfectly reasonable them to have laid down that these stations - across the border, although part of the CFL network - were not included in it.
 

Beebman

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I think I might have found the answer in this French-language article from a Luxembourg news site from March 2019:
http://www.lessentiel.lu/fr/news/gr...in-gratuit-entre-arlon-et-luxembourg-21001450

It basically says that while Athus, Audun-le-Tiche and Volmerange are free for travel to and from Luxembourg, it's reporting that travellers who use Arlon station are unhappy that they still have to pay (at least up to the border at Sterpenich).

It also links to another article saying that Athus, Audun-le-Tiche and Volmerange are included in the CFL free travel system:
http://www.lessentiel.lu/fr/luxembourg/story/gratuite-pour-les-3-arrets-cfl-de-l-etranger-21711712
 
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I travelled into Luxembourg from Liège on an SNCB train. Only had a ticket as far as Troisvièrges; the rest was free. The train was fitted perfectly into the half hourly service from Troisvièrges as a CFL service, and even had a change of train staff so that it was CFL-staffed NMBS/SNCB train (although the driver may still have been Belgian, the guards were all Luxembourgish). So I can also confirm the SNCB trains within Luxembourg are free.
If you were to come in from Arlon (not via Athus) a ticket to Kleinbetting would suffice to get you to Luxembourg. If you tried to book such a ticket on the Belgian rail site, you'll see that it's €2.50 from Arlon to Kleinbettingen, as well as to Luxembourg.
SNCF will work similarly with their services.
Many thanks. Good to hear those SNCB and SNCF ones are definitely free too. I did not realise they had a staff change at the border.

My interpretation - looking at various maps - is that Volmerange Les Mines was always just at the end of branch of the Luxembourg network, that came across the border, and there was never a (direct) connection to rest of the French (or pre 1918, German) network - so whether it was always a Luxembourg line, or whether SNCF had ownership at some stage I don't know (but would think probably the first). On the other hand Audun Le Tiche (in Germany up to 1918) was connected to the Franco-German network: but who owned the line across the border to it, I don't know - quite possibly it was built by one of the Luxembourg railways. and may well have been inherited by CFL.

But even so, the Luxembourg free travel scheme is a project of the Grand Duchy for its citizens: and it would be perfectly reasonable them to have laid down that these stations - across the border, although part of the CFL network - were not included in it.
Many thanks. I shall have a look online and see if i can work out who owns these two short sections of track. I remember seeing some infrastructure map on the SNCF website ages ago so if i can find this again this might confirm.

I think I might have found the answer in this French-language article from a Luxembourg news site from March 2019:
http://www.lessentiel.lu/fr/news/gr...in-gratuit-entre-arlon-et-luxembourg-21001450

It basically says that while Athus, Audun-le-Tiche and Volmerange are free for travel to and from Luxembourg, it's reporting that travellers who use Arlon station are unhappy that they still have to pay (at least up to the border at Sterpenich).

It also links to another article saying that Athus, Audun-le-Tiche and Volmerange are included in the CFL free travel system:
http://www.lessentiel.lu/fr/luxembourg/story/gratuite-pour-les-3-arrets-cfl-de-l-etranger-21711712
Thank you for this. Good to find something in writing saying it is valid to these three stations.

Interestingly when i clicked on that link i found another article on that website saying that politicians have called for the free travel to be extended to Aubagny (BE) and Halanzy (BE) stations so perhaps the free travel area might be extended further.

Does anyone know how much the cross border fares currently are such as these?

• Bettembourg (LU) to Hettange Grande (FR)
• Kleinbettingen (LU) to Arlon (BE)
• Rodange (LU) to Aubagny (BE)
• Rodange (LU) to Longwy (FR)
• Troisvierges (LU) to Gouvy (BE)
• Wasserbillig (LU) to Igel (DE)

Quakerillo above said that it is EUR2.50 from Arlon to Kleinbettingen but i am wondering if the others are the same?

Also completely unrelated but why is almost all information in Luxembourg (both railway related and unrelated stuff) only in French and not in German and Luxembourgish too? It seems that they like to ignore those other two languages even though all three are joint official languages?
 

zero

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Many thanks. Good to hear those SNCB and SNCF ones are definitely free too. I did not realise they had a staff change at the border.


Many thanks. I shall have a look online and see if i can work out who owns these two short sections of track. I remember seeing some infrastructure map on the SNCF website ages ago so if i can find this again this might confirm.


Thank you for this. Good to find something in writing saying it is valid to these three stations.

Interestingly when i clicked on that link i found another article on that website saying that politicians have called for the free travel to be extended to Aubagny (BE) and Halanzy (BE) stations so perhaps the free travel area might be extended further.

Does anyone know how much the cross border fares currently are such as these?

• Bettembourg (LU) to Hettange Grande (FR)
• Kleinbettingen (LU) to Arlon (BE)
• Rodange (LU) to Aubagny (BE)
• Rodange (LU) to Longwy (FR)
• Troisvierges (LU) to Gouvy (BE)
• Wasserbillig (LU) to Igel (DE)

Quakerillo above said that it is EUR2.50 from Arlon to Kleinbettingen but i am wondering if the others are the same?

Also completely unrelated but why is almost all information in Luxembourg (both railway related and unrelated stuff) only in French and not in German and Luxembourgish too? It seems that they like to ignore those other two languages even though all three are joint official languages?

I did all of those journeys during my visits to Luxembourg. I would also have liked answers to all your questions before my trip.

As I mentioned earlier, for some journeys only a "special offer" return ticket is possible to buy at a Luxembourg ticket machine and for others it is not possible to buy anything at a ticket machine. The "special offer" fare is the same from all of Luxembourg (except for Wasserbillig).

https://www.b-europe.com may also quote you a fare. I checked it when I went, but cannot be bothered to do it again now; if you wish to and post the results here I would be interested. I recall that they quoted ridiculous fares that were perhaps double the "special offer" fare, except for Troisvierges to Gouvy.

In France, the only local ticket to Luxembourg it was possible to buy at a ticket machine was the Saar-Lor-Lux ticket, but I think it may have been possible to use the TGV machine to buy a TGV ticket on the Paris train (the one that is just a computer which goes to the TGV website).

In Germany I used the Rheinland-Pfalz-Lux ticket. I didn't get off at Igel so not sure if it was possible to buy something there.

It was also impossible to buy a ticket from Gouvy to Troisvierges from a Belgian ticket machine, but I used b-europe. Not wanting to spend 2 hours in Gouvy I didn't investigate the machine there. At Aubange it was possible to buy the "special offer" return ticket to any Luxembourg station at the ticket machine, but not a single to a named station. It was cheaper to split tickets from Brussels / Liege to Luxembourg than buy one ticket valid the whole route.

There was a weird train that goes from Thionville to Perl on weekends only. The TER machine did offer a ticket to Perl, but it wasn't the same price as b-europe. I was the only passenger and the stations after Thionville were deserted. One day I may write up all these trips properly. Also I saw a discarded single ticket from Thionville to Bettembourg from a ticket office which was less than half the special offer fare.

Regarding use of languages, you may find the following articles interesting:



Later on I did a similar exploration of the border area of Liechtenstein and it was so much easier to obtain tickets. Although I'm still confused about why Austrian machines sell tickets for the Liechtenstein buses that are cheaper than what you can buy on the bus, while Swiss machines sell more expensive tickets.
 

dutchflyer

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Confirm these 3 stations are still free. The 2 in FR are dead ends anyway.
Again short lesson on INTernational trains in EUrope: its not so much what is written outside the cars but who owns the rails that determines who is responsible. Thus that changes on the border. Though I know CFL must have the far highest nr of foreign staff working-as do the LUX buses- so even that CFL gaurd might very well have been belgian/wallon.
On the DB site and in local info in Rh-Pfalz it was clearly announced that the old RhPf+LUX was withdrawn and that the plain RhPf dayticket could now be used as such to also travel into LUX.
The belgian TEC buses charge their regular 3 eur fare anyway and do not now take local pax INside LUX-but I somewhat think they never did that anyway.
Fares to first NMBS/SNCB stop-Gouvy or Kleinbettingen? just before Arlon are 2,50=the higher INtern. fare from NMBS. Officially you are supposed to buy that fare (which can only be done online or for an extra 7 eur ´service´supplmt) on the b-rail website. Coming from DE the area has zonal fares and thus not related UK-style to just stops. In FR they never ever sold INtern. fares from their machines. Hence f.e. you also cannot pay all the way into Ventimiglia/IT coming from Nice-Monaco.
The hourly BRU-LUX IC trains do not make domestic stops in LUX and somehow I think these are thus not ´free´. NOr are of course the Paris TGV trains.
The whole scheme was also mainly set up to try to move a % of the 100.000s of foreign workers to switch to Publ.trsp and thus save on roadworks. In fact LUX has more people working in the country as it has inhabitants-this explains the high average income-its a statistic fenomenon.
BTW: some of the old INTern. LUX buses charged domestic fares (2 eur single 2 hrs) till their foreign end-f.e. to Bastogne in BE-but these have thus now gone up and cost 3 eur! It was also a well known local saving method on the long line from Prüm into LUX to buy the (old 5 eur) fare to LUX even if you exited already in DE-due to much higher german zonal fares! Of course the other way it would not work. This route has been reorganised and continues to (former-line washed away in the floods) Gerolstein and I think to there its now also 5 eur. It also now starts in Clervaux-formerly Ettelbruck and got a sideline into BE-St. Vith.
BTW: I was there about 1 yr ago in the midst of all covid and then all ticket sales were barred from buses and in effect thus all INTern. buslines were free all the way. I think this may still be the case, perhaps except for the main Saarbr. express.
For FREE bus travel here in FR (as I am now in Tours) there are also more and more minor cities (also Dunkerque just across the channel and i think now also Calais) that offer that-one even changed its name into TUG=Transports Urbains Gratuit! Or several regions now have a flat 1 eur fare for all regional buslines-some well over 40/50 kms long but very feeble frequency.
 
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I did all of those journeys during my visits to Luxembourg. I would also have liked answers to all your questions before my trip.

As I mentioned earlier, for some journeys only a "special offer" return ticket is possible to buy at a Luxembourg ticket machine and for others it is not possible to buy anything at a ticket machine. The "special offer" fare is the same from all of Luxembourg (except for Wasserbillig).

https://www.b-europe.com may also quote you a fare. I checked it when I went, but cannot be bothered to do it again now; if you wish to and post the results here I would be interested. I recall that they quoted ridiculous fares that were perhaps double the "special offer" fare, except for Troisvierges to Gouvy.

In France, the only local ticket to Luxembourg it was possible to buy at a ticket machine was the Saar-Lor-Lux ticket, but I think it may have been possible to use the TGV machine to buy a TGV ticket on the Paris train (the one that is just a computer which goes to the TGV website).

In Germany I used the Rheinland-Pfalz-Lux ticket. I didn't get off at Igel so not sure if it was possible to buy something there.

It was also impossible to buy a ticket from Gouvy to Troisvierges from a Belgian ticket machine, but I used b-europe. Not wanting to spend 2 hours in Gouvy I didn't investigate the machine there. At Aubange it was possible to buy the "special offer" return ticket to any Luxembourg station at the ticket machine, but not a single to a named station. It was cheaper to split tickets from Brussels / Liege to Luxembourg than buy one ticket valid the whole route.

There was a weird train that goes from Thionville to Perl on weekends only. The TER machine did offer a ticket to Perl, but it wasn't the same price as b-europe. I was the only passenger and the stations after Thionville were deserted. One day I may write up all these trips properly. Also I saw a discarded single ticket from Thionville to Bettembourg from a ticket office which was less than half the special offer fare.

Regarding use of languages, you may find the following articles interesting:



Later on I did a similar exploration of the border area of Liechtenstein and it was so much easier to obtain tickets. Although I'm still confused about why Austrian machines sell tickets for the Liechtenstein buses that are cheaper than what you can buy on the bus, while Swiss machines sell more expensive tickets.
Many thanks for all the information. Well i have found the fares for three of these journeys but i can not find the other three fares anywhere online.

• Bettembourg (LU) to Hettange Grande (FR)
????

• Kleinbettingen (LU) to Arlon (BE)
SINGLE (STD): £2.50 //// SINGLE (1ST): £6.20

• Rodange (LU) to Aubange (BE)
????

• Rodange (LU) to Longwy (FR)
????

• Troisvierges (LU) to Gouvy (BE)
SINGLE (STD): £2.50 //// SINGLE (1ST): £6.20

• Wasserbillig (LU) to Igel (DE)
SINGLE (STD): £1.80 //// SINGLE (1ST): £5.90

As per most of Mainland Europe they do not seem to offer Return tickets (or if you buy a Return you are just simply sold two Single tickets).

It also seems odd that some of the stations do not sell Single point to point tickets for cross border journeys. Perhaps you have to buy these from the Guard onboard the train.

Confirm these 3 stations are still free. The 2 in FR are dead ends anyway.
Again short lesson on INTernational trains in EUrope: its not so much what is written outside the cars but who owns the rails that determines who is responsible. Thus that changes on the border. Though I know CFL must have the far highest nr of foreign staff working-as do the LUX buses- so even that CFL gaurd might very well have been belgian/wallon.
On the DB site and in local info in Rh-Pfalz it was clearly announced that the old RhPf+LUX was withdrawn and that the plain RhPf dayticket could now be used as such to also travel into LUX.
The belgian TEC buses charge their regular 3 eur fare anyway and do not now take local pax INside LUX-but I somewhat think they never did that anyway.
Fares to first NMBS/SNCB stop-Gouvy or Kleinbettingen? just before Arlon are 2,50=the higher INtern. fare from NMBS. Officially you are supposed to buy that fare (which can only be done online or for an extra 7 eur ´service´supplmt) on the b-rail website. Coming from DE the area has zonal fares and thus not related UK-style to just stops. In FR they never ever sold INtern. fares from their machines. Hence f.e. you also cannot pay all the way into Ventimiglia/IT coming from Nice-Monaco.
The hourly BRU-LUX IC trains do not make domestic stops in LUX and somehow I think these are thus not ´free´. NOr are of course the Paris TGV trains.
The whole scheme was also mainly set up to try to move a % of the 100.000s of foreign workers to switch to Publ.trsp and thus save on roadworks. In fact LUX has more people working in the country as it has inhabitants-this explains the high average income-its a statistic fenomenon.
BTW: some of the old INTern. LUX buses charged domestic fares (2 eur single 2 hrs) till their foreign end-f.e. to Bastogne in BE-but these have thus now gone up and cost 3 eur! It was also a well known local saving method on the long line from Prüm into LUX to buy the (old 5 eur) fare to LUX even if you exited already in DE-due to much higher german zonal fares! Of course the other way it would not work. This route has been reorganised and continues to (former-line washed away in the floods) Gerolstein and I think to there its now also 5 eur. It also now starts in Clervaux-formerly Ettelbruck and got a sideline into BE-St. Vith.
BTW: I was there about 1 yr ago in the midst of all covid and then all ticket sales were barred from buses and in effect thus all INTern. buslines were free all the way. I think this may still be the case, perhaps except for the main Saarbr. express.
For FREE bus travel here in FR (as I am now in Tours) there are also more and more minor cities (also Dunkerque just across the channel and i think now also Calais) that offer that-one even changed its name into TUG=Transports Urbains Gratuit! Or several regions now have a flat 1 eur fare for all regional buslines-some well over 40/50 kms long but very feeble frequency.
Many thanks for all the information. That is very helpful. I never realised that the trains changed operators at the border. I had always thought it was it was one operator running it throughout.

On the subject of Audun-le-Tiche, the line between the border and the station appears on the official SNCF Grand Est network map but not the line to Volmerange (which AFAICS does seem to be owned by CFL).

https://www.sncf-reseau.com/sites/default/files/2018-12/A3_SNCF-Reseau_GE_sr_No-Lignes.png
Many thanks. I am guessing that confirms that the FR/LU border to Audun Le Tiche is SNCF owned and the FR/LU border to Volmerange Les Mines is CFL owned. I wonder why Audun Le Tiche has not transfered to CFL too as i am surprised SNCF want to manage a tiny line that is completely isolated from the rest.
 

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