blueflyer
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BRU-FRA Not A Trip Report But...

Mon Jan 23, 2012 6:35 am

So I went from Brussels to Frankfurt this Sunday, a bit at the last minute, and I enjoyed the experience. Hassle-free, very comfortable seat, pretty decent food, friendly service, smooth ride... I read my Nook for part of the trip and I took a quite restful nap for the rest so I arrived in pretty good shape, and with a cab waiting for me to take me to my hotel.

To boot, it cost my employer less than €200 for premium cabin instead of the usual €600 that a last-minute ticket costs.

No, not Lufthansa, Deutsche Bahn...

I've done Thalys and Eurostar plenty of times before, but it was the first time I tried the three-hour train journey. I'm sure it won't be the last. The only downside I see is I often stay very close to the airport in BRU so it would actually take me longer to get to the station than the airport...
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TW
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RE: BRU-FRA Not A Trip Report But...

Mon Jan 23, 2012 2:01 pm

Quoting blueflyer (Thread starter):
The only downside I see is I often stay very close to the airport in BRU so it would actually take me longer to get to the station than the airport...

Brussels is pretty small, and the airport is very close to the city. Even if you are staying close to the airport, it shouldn't take you that much longer to get to Bruxelles Midi station. It can take only 15 mins from the airport to station without traffic. If you take the cab, the driver will usually drop you off on the side of the Eurostar, Thalys, and ICE tracks. Also, if you need to take the ring road to Zaventem from the east, you can stay very close to the airport but still be stuck in traffic for 30 mins.

If you dont need the FF miles and are more concerned about convenience and comfort than flying 6 legs just to experience different planes and airlines, then taking the train is much better.
 
TUGMASTER
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RE: BRU-FRA Not A Trip Report But...

Mon Jan 23, 2012 4:29 pm

Quoting blueflyer (Thread starter):
I read my Nook

What's a Nook...?
Some new Yankee Doodle thing.... the next big Kindle..?

        

Seriously tho'

Intercity travel in Europe is so much more cost/time effective by train nowadays...

LHR-CDG was multiple...and i mean maybe 10-15 widebodys each way years ago....
Now it's the trains who rule the London-Paris route...
Same with London -Manchester...Centre of town to centre of town...2hrs...

Shorts hops within Europe are slowly dissapearing....
 
dc9northwest
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RE: BRU-FRA Not A Trip Report But...

Mon Jan 23, 2012 6:10 pm

Interesting... I can't say I was that impressed by DB when I travelled around Germany.

OK, the ICE top speed is nice, but the journey was much less smooth than I would've expected. Lots of bumps and jolts... Maybe just got a bad wagon/car/carriage, who knows.

And a 4-hr delay on Stuttgart-Munchen is a lot (not ICE this time)... then again, we were able to go straight to the hotel afterwards since it was already time to check-in there.

Still, the prices were very good (nice special offers) so I can't complain. I like trains too.
 
blueflyer
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RE: BRU-FRA Not A Trip Report But...

Mon Jan 23, 2012 7:04 pm

Quoting TW (Reply 1):
Also, if you need to take the ring road to Zaventem from the east, you can stay very close to the airport but still be stuck in traffic for 30 mins.

I get to stay within walking distance of the airport (if there were any sidewalk). Not the Sheraton, but not much further. I took a cab this time. Next time, if it's during rush hour, I probably would be better off taking the hotel shuttle to the airport and riding the train back into town.

Quoting TUGMASTER (Reply 2):
the next big Kindle

In my opinion, Kindle is trying to be the next big Nook. I've tried several, nothing beats a Nook Color...

Quoting TUGMASTER (Reply 2):
Intercity travel in Europe is so much more cost/time effective by train nowadays...

I've ridden Thalys between Brussels and Paris and Eurostar too many times to count, but it was my first attempt at a longer trip. I thought I might find it long, but not so at all. If LH were to code-share on the trains the way AF does, I would definitively give it a try when connecting in FRA too, but I can see why this is too impractical and confusing at this time.
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aloges
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RE: BRU-FRA Not A Trip Report But...

Mon Jan 23, 2012 8:20 pm

Quoting blueflyer (Thread starter):
I've done Thalys and Eurostar plenty of times before, but it was the first time I tried the three-hour train journey. I'm sure it won't be the last.

If you can get one, a railway discount card may well be worth it for you. DB have various kinds on offer and I'm sure that the SNBC/NMBS have something as well. I've saved a couple thousand € over the years due to mine and the FQTV benefits are nice as well.

Quoting TUGMASTER (Reply 2):
What's a Nook...?

I looked it up and apprently, it is an e-reader from Barnes & Noble.

Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 3):
OK, the ICE top speed is nice, but the journey was much less smooth than I would've expected. Lots of bumps and jolts... Maybe just got a bad wagon/car/carriage, who knows.

It depends on lots of factors, such as your position in the carriage, the state of it and that of the rails themselves, the amount of switches your train pases and so on. The arrival at any major station always tends to be bumpy.

Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 3):
And a 4-hr delay on Stuttgart-Munchen is a lot

You were just terribly unlucky - in tens of thousands of railway kilometres that I've travelled, that kind of delay has never ever happened to me.

Quoting blueflyer (Reply 4):
If LH were to code-share on the trains the way AF does, I would definitively give it a try when connecting in FRA too, but I can see why this is too impractical and confusing at this time.

Oh, they do, but only on Cologne-FRA and Stuttgart-FRA.   Cologne-FRA is 100% rail with LH flight numbers on many of the ICE services... which is a bit annoying because they block my favourite seats on the train for LH pax, so I can't use them with a DB ticket. The main stations in Cologne and Stuttgart have the IATA codes QKL and ZWS, respectively.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AiRail
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blueflyer
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RE: BRU-FRA Not A Trip Report But...

Tue Jan 24, 2012 6:45 pm

Quoting aloges (Reply 5):
If you can get one, a railway discount card may well be worth it for you. DB have various kinds on offer and I'm sure that the SNBC/NMBS have something as well.

I'll keep that in mind. I'm not based in Europe and I don't expect to travel between Brussels and Frankfurt more than once a month at the most, but it might save the bean counters some money indeed.

Quoting aloges (Reply 5):
Oh, they do, but only on Cologne-FRA and Stuttgart-FRA.

I meant from Brussels. I almost experienced the code-share train service last year when flying from ARN to CGN. I was initially routed through FRA with a connection to a train, and I was looking forward to try it out, but our travel manager changed it to ARN-MUC-CGN at the last minute. Perhaps they don't like trains.

BRU-FRA could never be 100% rail, at least not with current technology, so I guess in the interest of not confusing passengers, it'll remain all air for the time being.
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dc9northwest
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RE: BRU-FRA Not A Trip Report But...

Fri Jan 27, 2012 1:02 am

Quoting aloges (Reply 5):
You were just terribly unlucky - in tens of thousands of railway kilometres that I've travelled, that kind of delay has never ever happened to me.

I'm sure it was unlucky... and it was quite strange actually. I know international trains are subject to delays but I didn't think Amsterdam/Paris-Munich would be subject to the same factor--no controls in Schengen. It was actually quite bizarre, really. We left Stuttgart I think ~2 hours late. We arrived in Dinkelscherben, where we stopped for a good half hour. Then we headed back to Offingen, up towards Donauworth (I think), and down to Munchen. I never understood what happened that day... I was sick with a fever the next day though (don't think that was related) so I didn't investigate it. (thinking about it, it probably wasn't completely DB's fault)

Quoting aloges (Reply 5):
It depends on lots of factors, such as your position in the carriage, the state of it and that of the rails themselves, the amount of switches your train pases and so on. The arrival at any major station always tends to be bumpy.

Yes, I'm aware of some of these elements; I guess I just expected too much of the ICE... It didn't seem to happen only when approaching stations though.

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