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Am I doing the search correctly, and when should I expect schedules to be published?

  • 7 December 2023
  • 10 replies
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Userlevel 2
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I have just tried to see if I can figure out how to book a trip and I’m after a little guidance as to whether this is the easiest way, and what i am doing wrong. 

First I went to Google Maps and plotted from my hotel address to my next hotel address, selecting the train option. Google tells me how far to walk to the nearest train station, which station that is, the path by train and the distance I need to walk at the other end.

Then I went to bahn.de and punched in the two train locations that Google gave me, entered other criteria and did a search. In my case, it didn’t come up with any results, likely because the timetables aren’t released yet (December 10 I believe). 

After a little experimenting I got some results, however I don’t think Rome to Florence is 21 hours given I selected Show fastest connection. Clearly I am doing something wrong. 

 

Any suggestions please

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Best answer by ralderton 7 December 2023, 11:31

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10 replies

Userlevel 7
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Bielefeld is a city in Germany. You must've added something wrong. I'd recommend searching from train station to train station : Firenze S.M.N. to Roma Termini (or Tiburtina).

All train timetables should now be on bahn.com.

Userlevel 7
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Google Maps is one tool, and bahn.com is certainly the best place to search timetables.

If in doubt, don't hesitate to break the journey down into smaller chunks. Especially long journeys.

I would also suggest this map which has the main railway lines on it.

https://www.seat61.com/reference/interrail-and-eurail-map.pdf

And the excellent guidance on the Seat61 website. He has some good suggested itineraries on popular routes, and a great guide to Eurail/ Interrail.

https://www.seat61.com/european-train-travel.htm

 

Userlevel 2
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Thanks. 

It’s easy to find schedules from city to city, but it’s the trip from accommodation to accommodation that’s the tricky one. This is the search I did on Google and I copied the station from the steps in it. I don’t know how I managed to get Germany from that. I guess I’m even less accurate than I thought at data entry .I’ll try your suggestion of breaking down the trip.

https://www.google.com/maps/dir/Palazzo+Lupardi+Relais,+104+Via+del+Governo+Vecchio,+Rome,+Italy/Kerasi%C3%A1,+Via+Giovanni+Bovio,+Florence,+Metropolitan+City+of+Florence,+Italy/@43.7768578,11.2730032,16.87z/data=!4m16!4m15!1m5!1m1!1s0x132f6045142ec8f5:0x490700f4b5998ce8!2m2!1d12.4708819!2d41.8980948!1m5!1m1!1s0x132a55f3bb3ffab3:0x1b8b3538de12ce03!2m2!1d11.2737055!2d43.7740806!2m1!5e2!3e3?entry=ttu

Userlevel 7
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Don't do the search from accommodation to accommodation. Do the search from accommodation to train station, from train station to train station, and then from train station to accommodation. 

Userlevel 7
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Google is very good at transit directions, but I definitely wouldn't rely on it to plan an end to end journey like that. At least not for anything more than a very rough first draft.

It seems to have done OK in your example, but it could find some very odd routings!

Userlevel 7
Badge +7

I’m not sure what you are asking exactly here. The detailed route from point A in Germany to B in Italy? You ask a lot from the search engines, to provide you with a very detailed route. Not every public transport company shares it’s data fully with google maps so far in advance.

Probably Trenitalia didn’t share it’s data yet for April, it’s still quite far away, giving you weird results. Try an earlier date somewhere in January, schedule probably won’t change much.

Personally I find Google Maps very American in its routing. (So a bit car centric, and awful in plotting routes on foot, by bike or public transport, since it doesn’t recognise smaller paths providing more pleasant circumstances to walk/bike).

Following street signs, looking at ordinary maps, asking locals, or using planners based open street map are usually better in giving you walking routes to get you from the station to your accomodation. No need to stress about that ;)

From (international) station to station you best use the DB-planner. The DB-search module encompasses almost all trains in Europe (with theoretical times), but you cannot expect it to know the way from a hotel in Germany to a hotel in Italy, with local public transport, walking routes,....

Some local/regional search engines are quite good, enabling you to customize a lot choose your preferred modes of transport, ways of getting to/from stations,… but expecting this on a European wide level is a bit wishful thinking for now :). Hopefully some time in the future.

Feel free to ask the community here for their tips and tricks for (local) navigation.

 

Userlevel 2
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Thanks for your comments.

It should be pretty easy getting from one big city centre to another. What I am trying to figure out is if there’s an easy way to find the right train station near my accommodation that will get me to my ultimate destination without doubling back or doing an unnecessary grand tour.

This will be our first trip to Europe, and the first time we’ve ever done a trip without a hire car, for the most part and the first time I’ve ever gone on such a big trip where I’ve planned every night in advance. Usually we drive till we’re ready to stop, then find somewhere to stay. Google makes that pretyy easy, and when I am driving, I can be quite forgiving, unlike train drivers. We’re just trying to be as well prepared as we can, and pre-booking our travel seems to be as important as pre-booking our accommodation.

Everyone here has been incredibly helpful and patient with me and I am very grateful!

Userlevel 7
Badge +4

Seat61 also has you covered for which station to use in which city.

Italy, for example:

https://www.seat61.com/train-travel-in-italy.htm#Which_station_in_which_city

Userlevel 7
Badge +9

Many cities only have one train station and if there are several stations, long distances trains on a certain route often run from one of the stations. So you can't really choose which station to embark the train. 

Userlevel 2
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Thanks again to everyone. Hopefully, once the train schedules are added it will all fall into place for me and with the guidance and links provided, I will figure it all out!

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