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What's going on with rail europe? Paper tickets?

acdbee

New Member
Past OR future Camino
september 2013
Hi there~!
2 weeks ago, my husband booked a ticket on rail europe from Frankfurt, Germany to Bayonne. We received an e-ticket.
Had to cancel.
Now we are trying to rebook that same voyage, but RailEurope will only give us the option of paper tickets, not e-tickets! They would never get to us (in the Canadian north) in time.

Does anyone have any wisdom about why this is happening and how we could circumvent paper tickets?
We are thinking of just arriving into Frankfurt and buying a ticket from there on the day (September 16th).

Advice?
Thanks!
Anne
 
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NicoZ

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2013
And it looks like bahn.de won't let you book an international trip with an electronic ticket.

I guess you could try booking it in two legs? Or maybe trying the French train line.
 

NicoZ

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2013
Same issue with the French. Nobody seems to provide an electronic international ticket.

I think your best bet might be figuring out if it's possible to break it into two legs. There must be a station near the border.
 

jirit

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2007,
Via Francigena Italy, 2008,
Jakobsweg Austria 2010,
Camino Frances 2011,
Le Puy to Lourdes 2012,
Via de la Plata 2013,
Future:
Ökumenischer (Via Regia), Germany,
Lycian Way, Turkey
My experience with Eurail is that they ship to Canada very quickly, in a matter of few days. My last walk on the camino francs I decided and left on one week's notice and ordered a pass that arrived within two days.

This said I have ordered international tickets directly from Bahn.de and tickets from SNCF. Since you are flying to Frankfurt, you should be able order the tickets and print them at home or simply pick them up aT the train station in Frankfurt. As suggested you may have to purchase two separate tickets: one from say Frankfurt to Paris ( probably the most direct route) through Bahn.de and then another ticket from SNCF from Paris to Bayonne via the TVG.

It is a relatively simply process that will probably save your loads of money as compared to buying the tickets through Eurail. I have an old account with Bahn.de but I don't think you need one to buy tickets from them. However ensure you have a chip enable credit card if you decide to pick up the tickets in Frankfurt.

For SNCF ensure you follow the instructions to buying the tickets as documented at this link.

http://www.seat61.com/voyages-sncf.htm#.UipFGsu9KSM

Check out the pricing from Frankfurt to Paris and Paris to Bayonne and compare this what you might get from Eurail.

And consider second class to save money - the german ICE and French TVG are great trains to travel on regardless of the class.

Regards
 
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indyinmaine

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances - SJPdP to Santiago - Sept/Oct 2013
If the railroad website wants to promote international travel it's sometimes possible to buy tickets from them. Obviously RailEurope will do that but they will also add a hefty chunk to your ticket price, sometimes allowing you only to book First Class. As long as you stay within the country you're OK. I've booked two rail tickets in the last week through SNCF.com. They even give a reduction if you're 60+! Make sure you stay on the French site otherwise they kick you over to RailEurope! The final alternative is that if you're not travelling during a holiday and have an extra 10-15 minutes to spare, just walk up to the ticket counter (someone usually speaks English) and ask for the ticket you want. For the most part it will be the same as the website.

Last but not least, I "think" the Swiss, www.sbb.ch, will sell you a ticket in their Ticket Shop. If they don't they'll steer you in the right direction and they ALL speak English! Bon voyage; gute Fahrt!
 

billmclaughlin

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
SJPP/Burgos 2012; Le Puy/SJPP 2013; Aumont Aubrac/Aire sur l'Adour 2014; Burgos/Santiago 2016.
There are paper tickets and there are paper tickets. It sounds like you believe a paper ticket needs to be delivered to you, but more typically with SNCF you purchase online and pick up the paper ticket at a train station or SNCF outlet. You extract the ticket from a machine if your credit card is Europe-friendly, otherwise it requires a little human interaction.
 

longwalker

Member
Past OR future Camino
2007
There are paper tickets and there are paper tickets. It sounds like you believe a paper ticket needs to be delivered to you, but more typically with SNCF you purchase online and pick up the paper ticket at a train station or SNCF outlet. You extract the ticket from a machine if your credit card is Europe-friendly, otherwise it requires a little human interaction.

Bill,
I'm praying what you say is true. After a lot of effort and help from Merideth of this website, I purchased my ticket online with my credit card. Hopefully, when I arrive in Paris it will be a breeze. I'll simply go to the machine, insert my card and get my ticket, well maybe.
I'll keep you posted.
 

indyinmaine

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances - SJPdP to Santiago - Sept/Oct 2013
There are paper tickets and there are paper tickets. It sounds like you believe a paper ticket needs to be delivered to you, but more typically with SNCF you purchase online and pick up the paper ticket at a train station or SNCF outlet. You extract the ticket from a machine if your credit card is Europe-friendly, otherwise it requires a little human interaction.
If it's SNCF I already have my printed out ticket with the QR symbol on them to show they're valid tickets.
 

billmclaughlin

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
SJPP/Burgos 2012; Le Puy/SJPP 2013; Aumont Aubrac/Aire sur l'Adour 2014; Burgos/Santiago 2016.
Longwalker,

I'll be picking up my ticket by human (not machine) in Paris on Monday September 9. Done it before. No problem.
 
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