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Can I board a sleeper after the station I booked from?


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I’m thinking about using my pass to board the Vienna to Kiev sleeper, but I might prefer to do so from Budapest rather than Vienna.

Of course Ukraine isn’t in the Interrail pass area, but you can use a pass to cover the section up to the border, which is really useful. This isn’t something I found out myself, it’s from this helpful blog: https://railguideeurope.com/nightjet-eurail/

Anyway, to cut to the chase, the price from Vienna, for two passholders sharing a compartment, bought at oebb.at, is €114. However, this can only be bought from Vienna (not from any other station en-route) and the ticket can only be collected in person within Austria (so I would probably have to do the journey west-east, in order to have been to Austria first).

To buy from or to Budapest, the only option is to go with an agency like Polrail, which doesn’t count any Interrail discount, and charges a whopping 1220zł (€270), plus whatever postage of the physical ticket costs to where you live (unless you collect in person in Poland).

Given a choice like that, it seems a pretty easy decision to make to buy the whole journey and save €156, but not use the Vienna-Budapest bit. But would I get away with it when boarding at Budapest? Or would I be deemed to have forfeited the compartment and invalidated my ticket?

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Best answer by Nanja 7 July 2021, 13:28

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Hi EdM, your conclusion is the ideal one - since the Interrail-covered part of the trip is happening only after midnight, it's wiser to just enter Zahony-Wien on the arrival day as travel date (you might need to do it manually, as the train does not stop at the border station, and only stops in Kisvarda an hour later, and only for exiting the train, not for boarding it).

Looking into the Rail Planner App, it does not allow me to add Zahony at 3.46, but it does let me add Chop (in Ukraine) at 3.28 (which is this train's time).

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Excellent, thanks to you both - in that case I’ll probably just enter a journey from Zahony (where the UZ carriages are coupled to a recognised EC train), and not muddy the waters by telling the app about the irrelevant earlier part.

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The train Kiev - Vienna indeed only enters the Interrail validity area after midnight, so you only need a travel day after midnight. I don't know, however, how clever the app is (if you're using that) and if it determines the same. Maybe better test that a few days in advance so you can cancel any unjustified travel days and enter a manual journey from Zahony(Gr) to Wien Hbf.

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As i never used the train with Interrail and have no experience maybe @Nanja  or @Felipe.iturrieta  can answer the question ;) In my understanding i would use the “day of arrival” for this specific Nighttrain as the train enters the Interrail validity room after midnight :)

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Subject to the evolving geopolitical situation, I am still planning to do this in the summer, but developments in my itinerary mean I’d probably now be going east to west.

With that in mind, I thought I’d revisit this post to ask about how this trip might work as regards travel days, so that I can make sure I record it correctly on my mobile pass for ticket inspection purposes.

 

So, if I am on the train from Kyiv,

but the Interrail pass is only covering the basic fare from Zahony onwards

(even though the full-price Kyiv-Zahony and Interrail-covered Zahony-(Wien) parts are contained within one physical ticket along with the berth surcharge),

and the Hungarian border is only crossed after midnight,

does this mean that the travel day used and recorded should be the day of arrival rather than the day of departure, as would be normal for a night train?

 

Very grateful for any advice answering this slightly contrived-sounding question :-D

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ad 2) you need extra reservations for the Citystar ticket. Was always like that. 

Best to write to info@slovakrail.sk with your inquiry. They respond usually quick and can give you details about prices and if it is running or not… 

Thanks to many years ago :D 

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ad 2) you need extra reservations for the Citystar ticket. Was always like that. 

Best to write to info@slovakrail.sk with your inquiry. They respond usually quick and can give you details about prices and if it is running or not… 

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  1. Atleast one change is needed in Kosice as the sleeper doesn´t travel anymore to Bratislava :/
    .
  2.  If i remember correctly it was with a berth but not sure (took this offer many years ago. The sold even City Star Irkutsk in East Russia :D but this is past)
     
  3. Can´t find a timetable at the moment seems like it´s not running best is to ask ZSSK (Slovak Rail) depature was usually at 3p.m. in Kosice with Os 8862 and then 3 hours in Chop for Boggie change and passport / coustom control
    arrival next day 10am :)
  4. Ah sound like that International Pricelist for Reservations of ZSSK you don´t need a reservation for the Rechlyk trains marked with “R” in the timetable :) There are two Routes possible North via Poprad (with dinning cars that worths a visit) or South via Zvolen - Lucenec they have no dinning cars. You can reserve for 1€ the section Bratislava - Kosice.

    Sorry that i can´t offer more informations it´s actual very hard to get approved answers.
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Thanks all!

Both these suggestions are really useful and well thought-through. What are the precise terms of the CityStar offer? It almost looks like once I buy it in, say, Bratislava, just €132.60 gets me an entirely flexible return trip for two people valid for a month, which is incredible.

A few questions:

  1. Can stopoffs occur? If not, how long is allowed for the connection in Kosice?
  2. Is this price (which works out at only €33.15 each way per person) inclusive of a berth, or is there an extra surcharge?
  3. Where can I find any information about the timetable of the Kosice-Kiev through-coach? Is it running at the moment, and if not is it likely to be reinstated?
  4. If the ticket is “not bound to any specific train”, I assume I will have to make reservations separately? I assume that, being part of a night train, the Kosice through-coach is reservation-obligatory? Does train type matter for the Bratislava-Kosice section?

*P.S. If you’re thinking the original post looks familiar, it is!

This was the first query I ever made on this site (several weeks ago), but it got ‘lost in the post’, and I rewrote it a week or so later. Now the original has miraculously appeared, and I look like I have the memory of a goldfish…

Technology eh? :joy:

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@EdM  another option that might be cheaper is to catch the Through coach from Kosice (Slovakia) to Kiev :)

Budapest - Kosice usually since last Dec. 4 trains per day but actual the old timetable with just 2 direct depatures per day :/

From (Bratislava) - Kosice to Kiev you could use a special offer of Slovakian Rail 🙂City Star Ukraine 

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Hey,

if you wanna are afraid to do it like that you might do the cheap (but also INCONVENIENT!) variant: use your interrail pass in the train which carries the “Kurswagen” Vienna-Kiev until Zahony. Then change to the regional train which goes across the border to Ukraine. There you enter Ukraine as foot passenger and then you board a platskart (open carriage with beds) to Lviv. There you change to the express train going to Kiev. The Kurswagen from Vienna-Budapest uses exactly the same trains.
Price for this should be around 20 euro per person (but didn’t check now all prices, just approx. price).
Zahony-Chop should be like 3 euro (or even less).
Chop-Lviv and Lviv-Kiev you can check on https://booking.uz.gov.ua/en/
You don’t have to print out the online tickets for Ukraine, but if you collect tickets you might exchange them in Chop.
The inconvenient thing about this: you will arrive in Chop at 2.28 and the train leaves only at 5.27… so even with border control you will have to wait for a very long time on a wooden seat inside the station… but if you don’t mind, then this is a solution for your problem ;-).

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Hi, we advice against it as sleeper trains sometimes have strict rules about boarding and if it's after midnight, they won't let the customers board at all for security reasons. However, it is worth checking with the carrier that is operating the train you wish you to take. To be on the safe side, via email so you have proof of it :). I hope this helps. Cheers :relaxed:

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