Travel TipsMonthly travel tips
TRAVEL TIP OCTOBER 2021
CROSSING PARIS – This is a little more complex than crossing London, because you need a RATP ticket as well as your rail ticket if travelling from, say, London to any destination beyond Paris. It is possible to buy a carnet of metro tickets from the cafe Metropole on board the Eurostar and thus save time at the Gare du Nord.
We have been informed that from October 1st 2021 the traditional carnet is to be phased out and replaced by an Easy Navigo card – but as of mid-October, it was still possible to buy the carnet.
DEUTSCHE BAHN is still recovering from the severe flooding in July in the west of the country and the total repair bill is expected to be 1.5bn euro. Euskirchen is still being served by replacement buses on all four lines and trains there are not expected to resume till mid-2022.
FOOT PASSENGER ACCESS TO FERRIES – Harwich International Port remains the model, with a good train service and step-free access to the ferries; while at Hoek van Holland there is a frequent metro service to Schiedam and Rotterdam Blaak and Alexander with easy interchange with the Dutch rail network.
At the other end of the spectrum, none of the Dover ferries accepts foot passengers. When passenger sailings resume from Tyne Commission Quay, bus service 327 will resume from Bewick Street, diagonally opposite Newcastle Central Station.
Foot passengers are allowed on ferries from Newhaven, Portsmouth and Plymouth. Rail access is possible at Newhaven (but there is a 35-minute
walk from the terminal at Dieppe to the station), and a bus service is understood to operate between Portsmouth & Southsea station and the
ferry terminal. We welcome feedback from readers using these services.
TRAVEL TIP JULY 2021
What is RailTeam?
It is a grouping of high-speed operators, such as Eurostar and Deutsche Bahn, whose trains connect with each other at key hubs such as Brussels and Cologne. If you miss a connection because your train is delayed, you can hop on the next high-speed train. You should just ask the station staff (at, say, Brussels or Cologne) to put a “RailTeam” stamp on your ticket.
TRAVEL TIP FEBRUARY 2020
A CIV ticket to London International enables you to cross the city at any time, not only to catch a ferry to Ireland or the Continent, but also to Heysham for a ferry to the Isle of Man. Following discussion with the Rail Delivery Group, we can confirm that CIV tickets will also be accepted to cross-London journeys before 10.00. This is important for passengers from south of the Thames travelling to Heysham to catch the daily ferry to Douglas.
TRAVEL TIP OCTOBER 2019
Welcome back to Hoekse Lijn!
Since the end of September, the new light rail service has been operating every 20 minutes from Hoek van Holland Haven. This brings seamless rail/sea/rail travel back to the route between the UK and the Netherlands and a gap of more than two years, while the Hoekse Lijn was being converted and tested.
After the passport check, ferry passengers walk out of the terminal and along the platform to board the train, whose destination screen says “Nesselande.” It takes 50 minutes to speed through the western suburbs of Rotterdam, including 14 minutes in tunnel under the city centre and out into the eastern suburbs to Alexander, where you can change to a mainline train to Utrecht and beyond. You could also change at Schiedam for frequent services to The Hague and Amsterdam or to Rotterdam Centraal; and at Blaak for a stopping train to the south. The train also calls at metro stations in the city centre.
“The “Dutch Flyer” offer includes a Combi-Ticket giving unlimited travel for a day on RET (The Rotterdam public transport network) and NS (Dutch Railways) |Since January 2020 the Combi-Ticket on a piece of card has been replaced by one that can be downloaded and, if necessary, printed off the NS website after the insertion of a code. The ferry staff and NS ticket office staff have been very helpful in this respect.”. If you are going just to Rotterdam, for business or pleasure, then a ticket from the reception on the ship or the ticket vending machine on the platform at Hoek van Holland Haven, may be all that you need.
The light rail trains do not have as much luggage space as traditional trains but at least you will have plenty of room when boarding at the terminus, and the average commuter into Rotterdam does not carry much luggage! Bicycles can be taken, except in the morning and evening rush hours Monday to Friday and on special event days.
TRAVEL TIP JULY 2019
What is RailTeam?
It is a grouping of high-speed operators, such as Eurostar and Deutsche Bahn, whose trains connect with each other at key hubs such as Brussels and Cologne.
If you miss a connection because your train is delayed, you can hop on the next high-speed train. You should just ask the station staff (at, say, Brussels or Cologne) to put a “RailTeam” stamp on your ticket.
TRAVEL TIP MAY 2019
Enforcing Passenger Rights
If you have problems with train services within Great Britain, concerning delays and missed connections, for example, you should contact Transport Focus.
TRAVEL TIP APRIL 2019
Did you know that you can buy a special ticket from your local station to “London International” when you travel by Eurostar? It enables you to travel by any train and is especially useful if the Eurostar is delayed or if you have to travel in the peak period.
This ticket is also called a “London CIV” or “Euro High Saver” ticket. If you purchase it from a station booking office, you should be prepared to show your Eurostar ticket.
TRAVEL TIP MARCH 2019
Did you know that you could leave London in the early morning and be in Barcelona by the evening? Or leave Manchester at breakfast time and enjoy your evening meal in Frankfurt?
For longer journeys on the Continent, there are still night trains in many countries – so lunch in London and breakfast next morning as you approach Vienna is a possibility.
Your journey may start in Scotland on the Caledonian Sleeper; or involve one leg by air or ferry, to be completed by train. It could also have the flexibility that comes with an Interrail pass.
On a business trip, you probably want a fast journey with minimal changes and space to work – so Eurostar, Thalys, ICE, and TGV are all high-speed options – as far as for example, Spain and Italy. You may also want to reserve a seat or indeed a cabin on a night train.
On a leisure trip, however, you may prefer to go “the pretty way” – by normal InterCity train down the scenic Rhine Gorge, or tourist train over the classic Lotschberg or St Gotthard line rather than the new base tunnel.