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Old Mar 25, 09, 12:16 pm   #1
 
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Flying into FRA - taking train to Dusseldorf - Please help?

Hi,

For some reason, the flights into FRA seem to be FAR LESS than the flights into DUS. So, I'm booked to arrive into FRA and was told I could easily take a train from FRA airport to Dusseldorf. So the flights have been booked.

Now I realize that I really didn't CONFIRM how to get from FRA to Dusseldorf via train, and the effort required and have a few questions.

Is there a train station right in FRA airport that I can board a train to Dusseldorf to?

Is this train station hard to find?

Will luggage be an issue? I will have one rolling mid/large sized garment back - not carryon - checked luggage, and my laptop bag/backpack.

How much time should I budget to get off my plane and onto the train?

Is there a website where I can buy train tickets prior to arrival?

This is my first time into FRA. Thanks for your help!
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Old Mar 25, 09, 12:29 pm   #2
 
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Frankfurt airport has two train stations. One is the regional/local train station the other one is the long distance train station. Both stations are clearly marked and easy to find. Just follow the signs. Since you want to get to Düsseldorf you will go to the long distance train station.

To buy a ticket from Frankfurt Airport long distance train station to Düsseldorf mainstation just visit Deutsche Bahn (english). You can print out your ticket at home, send it by postal service or just buy it at the train station at one of the ticket machines which accept credit cards.

It is hard to say how much time it takes after arrival to get to the train. If you are arrive at Terminal 1 (mainly Lufthansa and Star Alliance) get through immigration fast and get you luggage quickly 60 minutes can be enough. On the other hand it can take much longer.

Luggage is no problem as long you can carry it by yourself. The ICE trains are not known for their huge baggage compartments but one suitcase is no problem.
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Old Mar 25, 09, 12:31 pm   #3
 
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What about (a) doing a search and (b) reviewing the German Railways thread in the European Railways Forum?

Make the most out of your rail travel in Germany

And (c) nothing is easier than taking that train: You follow the signs to the "Fernbahnhof" (long distance railway station) or "Sheraton Hotel", both are clearly signposted, follow the long walkway and arrive at the station. it takes me 10 minutes from the luggage area to the train. You have to schlepp your luggage, on board of the train it should not be a problem. For all further queries please consult the thread mentioned.
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Old Mar 25, 09, 11:34 pm   #4
 
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Whay they said!

In addition, you want to take only trains marked ICE or IC. The ICE is the high--speed train like the TGV in France (just not as safe). The IC is the regular speed Intercity train. You can check how much faster the ICE is on your route than the IC, and if it's worth the extra money for you. My guess is that a one-way FRA-DUS is around 60 Euros on ICE.

You should not take RB or IR trains. Those are really slow.
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Old Mar 26, 09, 12:10 am   #5
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tfar View Post
Whay they said!

In addition, you want to take only trains marked ICE or IC. The ICE is the high--speed train like the TGV in France (just not as safe). The IC is the regular speed Intercity train. You can check how much faster the ICE is on your route than the IC, and if it's worth the extra money for you. My guess is that a one-way FRA-DUS is around 60 Euros on ICE.

You should not take RB or IR trains. Those are really slow.
There are only ICE and IC trains on the new track from FRA to DUS. There are no IC trains running on this route, it is ICE only. The few remaining IC trains travel the romantic Rhine valley route. The longer journey is not a result of the train type but of the route (and some people come only to travel on this route, it is one of the most scenic tracks we have in Germany). The ICE's running on the Rhine valley route are not a minute faster.

I do not understand the remark that the ICE is "not as safe" as a French TGV. It is certainly not as filthy as a Thalys, more comfortable as a TGV and for sure safer than any plane in the US. A TGV being safer? I travel the route once or twice a week and this safety remark creates surplus concerns.
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Old Mar 26, 09, 4:23 am   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tfar View Post
Whay they said!

In addition, you want to take only trains marked ICE or IC. The ICE is the high--speed train like the TGV in France (just not as safe). The IC is the regular speed Intercity train. You can check how much faster the ICE is on your route than the IC, and if it's worth the extra money for you. My guess is that a one-way FRA-DUS is around 60 Euros on ICE.

You should not take RB or IR trains. Those are really slow.
How can you say the ICE is less safe than the TGV ???

I´d rather see them on an equal level since safety levels are absolutely the same otherwise SNCF (french railways) would never permit DB-trains (e.g. "ICE") on their tracks as well as DB (german railways) would never accept SNCF-trains (e.g. "TGV") on theirs !!!

The difference is only comfort-wise as both companies have a different approach towards "comfort" !
In this context the TGV simply has a quite basic seating comfort (in coach class / 2.class) and the ICE has much superior seating over the TGV in both classes !
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Old Mar 26, 09, 5:04 am   #7
 
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How can you say the ICE is less safe than the TGV ???
ICEs "aren't safe", the train fare from Berlin to Dresden is "nuts"... seems that some people just don't like Deutsche Bahn!
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Old Mar 26, 09, 6:25 am   #8
 
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How can you say the ICE is less safe than the TGV ???
The argument could be made that ICE trains have had more serious accidents than TGV (1 versus 0). They could also cite the 2008 ICE-3 recall regarding defective axles.

I am not willing to hang my hat on the 1 versus 0 argument, and would cite the recall as a positive example of ICE safety rather than negative.
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Old Mar 26, 09, 10:08 pm   #9
 
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Originally Posted by You want to go where? View Post
The argument could be made that ICE trains have had more serious accidents than TGV (1 versus 0). They could also cite the 2008 ICE-3 recall regarding defective axles.

I am not willing to hang my hat on the 1 versus 0 argument, and would cite the recall as a positive example of ICE safety rather than negative.
Flying Lawyer, I know about that route. Have traveled it often. You are right that is very scenic.

There have been several ICE accidents, thinking of Cologne, Fulda and Eschede. Some were technically caused, others by sheep or exterior circumstances. In any case, the TGV has a better record and has been traveling for longer. It is also clear that the ICE is more comfortable.

The Bahn prices are indeed ridiculous. I am shocked every time I need to buy an ordinary ticket ever since I travel by rail i.e. 20+ years. The punctuality record of the DB is also far behind that of Switzerland and France. In addition, the friendliness and helpfulness of their personnel leave much to be desired. Mehdorn as CEO is a calamity. I have no idea how he manages to hang on to his chair. So, I think there are good reasons not to like the DB. And I know that I'm not the only one to feel like this. It becomes especially painful if you see how other countries do the same thing much better.

I just checked the prices. On a weekday at 2pm as an example the regular price is 71 Euro. Travel time is between 2:30: and 1:30h depending on the connection. There is a Sparpreis where you are tied to an exact train combo and must book three days at least in advance. Being tied to one particular train is not ideal when you are arriving by plane and the price is not much better at 59 Euro. He will also have to switch trains in Cologne which is a PITA when you have a lot of luggage. Even though, it is probably better than renting a car and driving after such a long flight.

As for French trains traveling on German rails, I think that is the case with the Thalys to Cologne and the new trains that go from Paris southbound in the direction Stuttgart (perhaps they even go to Munich, not sure). Otherwise, I am not in the know about rail and wheel specifications for French and German high-speed trains and whether they are even compatible. No idea.

Prices into FRA are so much cheaper because it's the biggest German airport and the most flights go there and connect there, so you get an economy of scale. How much cheaper were the flights really. Is it worth the hassle?

Till
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Old Mar 27, 09, 4:34 pm   #10
 
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Back to the OP's questions:

What you are planning to do should not be too difficult at FRA. I think the long distance station is the "Fernbahnhof."

At FRA, DB has at least one, probably several, places where you can buy tickets from a live person, who probably speaks pretty good English. As I recall, these are fairly obvious en route to the long distance station. As I recall, to get to the station, you take escalators up and over the street in front of the airport (where cabs and buses are). You should not need to go outside unless there is a detour for construction.

Depending on what time you are catching a train, a seat reservation may be advised, as the trains out of FRA can be crowded, especially during commuting hours. If you look into the times on DB's site (http://www.bahn.de/international/view/en/index.shtml), you can see whether they recommend a seat reservation. If so, you can buy a seat res for about 5€ without buying a ticket. It is use it or lose it, so if you miss the train or decide to take an earlier one, the 5€ is gone, but at least that is not the entire fare. If you have more than 2 train rides scheduled, you might look into a rail pass.

On the platform, there are maps which show where the cars are supposed to arrive, but these are not always accurate. The platform is covered but open at both ends, so if the weather outside is cold and windy, you will likely feel it. I suspect the other threads on European trains discuss these details at length.

Enjoy your trip.
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Old Mar 27, 09, 10:55 pm   #11
 
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Thank you everyone for the advice. I just have a couple of more questions...

I arrive into FRA late morning on a Monday, so I will likely take a train around 1pm or so. I would much prefer to just buy the ticket once I get to FRA, but is that risky? It appears that there are a lot of trains going from FRA to Dusseldorf, so I am assuming that getting a seat should not be difficult. Is that assumption an accurate one?

Secondly, I looked on the DB site, but could not find any details about the different class of service. What are the differences between First Class and Second Class? My preference will be to buy a First Class ticket when I arrive into FRA.

Thanks for everyone's help!
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Old Mar 28, 09, 1:11 am   #12
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TRRed View Post
Back to the OP's questions:
And the answers to this is in every in the German Railways thread which is to be found on the European Railtravel forum
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Old Mar 28, 09, 1:19 am   #13
 
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Originally Posted by tfar View Post
There have been several ICE accidents, thinking of Cologne, Fulda and Eschede. Some were technically caused, others by sheep or exterior circumstances.
http://www.railfaneurope.net/tgv/wrecks.html

Enjoy this website for "several" of the TGV accidents.

Sorry, but a safety discussion when talking about railtravel is Europe is nonsens. The train is certainly the safest method of travel. By far safer than the car, certainly safer the any airline in the US - so forget about that safety topic.
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Old Mar 28, 09, 2:40 am   #14
 
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Originally Posted by woojink View Post
Thank you everyone for the advice. I just have a couple of more questions...

I arrive into FRA late morning on a Monday, so I will likely take a train around 1pm or so. I would much prefer to just buy the ticket once I get to FRA, but is that risky? It appears that there are a lot of trains going from FRA to Dusseldorf, so I am assuming that getting a seat should not be difficult. Is that assumption an accurate one?

Secondly, I looked on the DB site, but could not find any details about the different class of service. What are the differences between First Class and Second Class? My preference will be to buy a First Class ticket when I arrive into FRA.

Thanks for everyone's help!
Shouldn't be problem finding a seat on Monday around 1pm. The trains are VERY comfortable even in second class. For a short trip like this it is absolutely not worth it, IMHO. There are only two valid reasons to choose first in an ICE (only part of your travel will be ICE):1. You need/want quiet. The first class is normally much more quiet simply because there are less people and those that are there are there precisely because it's quiet, so they are quiet, too. 2. You are an absolute snob and don't want to sit with "ordinary" people.

Maybe there is a third reason. The color scheme in first is more agreable.

I'd say don't waste your money. The ticket is expensive enough as is.

@FlyingLawyer
OF COURSE it is the safest way of transport. Did I ever say it wasn't?

The only thing I said, and it will be difficult to refute even for a trial lawyer, is that the TGV is safer. Even the figures in the link you provided show that. The TGV has been in operation longer with less injuries and less fatalities. The wheel and axle deal is not over yet. The discussion is therefore not non-sense. I take offense at the idea (and your remark) that any discussion I ever start could be non-sense.

I also didn't tell him not to take the train and I, myself, would not hesitate a second to take the train. So if you don't get hung up on a little remark I made in parentheses, I don't need to get hung up on you calling that non-sense.

Cheers,

Till
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Old Mar 28, 09, 2:49 am   #15
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And the answers to this is in every in the German Railways thread which is to be found on the European Railtravel forum
which happens to be the new home of this thread from now on

regards,

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germany forum
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