Thalys Cologne to Paris

Old Jun 25, 17, 12:05 pm
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Thalys Cologne to Paris

Hi,

I'm staying in the Hilton Cologne so will be form hotel to train station in a few minutes.
But who much time should I calculate from entering the station to get to the track and then when will the train pull in (don't want to stand around for long but don't want to rush either).
I have Comfort 1 tickets so could use the lounge if it makes sense (ease of getting there and short distance lounge to train) ..... otherwise I just have another coffee in the hotel.

Thanks,
Marc
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Old Jun 26, 17, 12:50 am
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Köln Hbf is easy enough to navigate, I wouldn't have thought it'd take you more than five minutes to get to your platform on arrival, maybe not even that if you check which platform your train's due on in advance on the DB app.
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Old Jun 26, 17, 7:15 am
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Thanks!
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Old Jun 27, 17, 1:45 pm
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If you want to minimize the time you spend at the station, you should skip the lounge. Actually, it is not located inside the station, but on the other side of the square in front of the station. While you will probably pass by it when walking in from the Hilton (it's at the corner to your right hand when you approach the taxi rank), you still have to leave several minutes before your train will depart

Thalys trains (as well as most other south- and westbound long distance trains) will depart from platform 4/5 or 6/7, but the walk inside the station isn't very long (maybe 200m). As first class coaches are usually at the front, you should take the smaller entrance to the station (which is also closer to Hilton), right behind the taxi rank. If you walk up to the platform, you should already be near the spot where your coach will stop.

Depending on whether your train will originate from Cologne or be coming in from Dortmund, you should expect that it will pull up 10 (originating) or about 5 minutes before departure, if it is not delayed. Please also be aware that the SMS Thalys will send you in case of a delay are usually inaccurate or sent out too late. In the case of a longer delay, you should indeed use the lounge, as they might be able to send you to the platform again when it's time.
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Old Jun 27, 17, 3:08 pm
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Thanks Bruce ... will skip the lounge as the Hilton has probably a better breakfast
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Old Jul 13, 17, 6:53 am
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Originally Posted by bruce80 View Post
If you want to minimize the time you spend at the station, you should skip the lounge. Actually, it is not located inside the station, but on the other side of the square in front of the station.
This information is somewhat misleading, THALYS passengers traveling 1st class can use the DB (German railways) lounge, which is located close to platform 1. Nothing super-fancy, but it does offer comfortable seating, drinks and possibly a snack. In order to get in, one needs to be part of the THALYS frequent traveler program though, but that is free of charge.
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Old Jul 13, 17, 9:58 am
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Originally Posted by Arnur View Post
This information is somewhat misleading, THALYS passengers traveling 1st class can use the DB (German railways) lounge, which is located close to platform 1. Nothing super-fancy, but it does offer comfortable seating, drinks and possibly a snack. In order to get in, one needs to be part of the THALYS frequent traveler program though, but that is free of charge.
Can they? I thought after DB left the Thalys company and after they built their "Store & More" in Cologne, Thalys passenger were no longer entitled to use the DB lounge there..
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Old Jul 30, 17, 1:14 am
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I would suggest to get to the station about 5-10 minutes before departure.
Normally Thalys departs about on time - have a look at the departure board when entering the station.

Originally Posted by bruce80 View Post
Can they? I thought after DB left the Thalys company and after they built their "Store & More" in Cologne, Thalys passenger were no longer entitled to use the DB lounge there..
I have Platinum status with Thalys and use the DB lounges from time to time (in Cologne as well).
But it is nothing to write home about, since you mostly get a coffee, water and wifi ...
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Old Jul 30, 17, 1:54 pm
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The breakfast at the Cologne Hilton is rather good with a wide variety of dishes. Beats any DB lounge hands down and literally around the corner from the main station.
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Old Aug 8, 17, 12:55 pm
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Originally Posted by bruce80 View Post
Can they? I thought after DB left the Thalys company and after they built their "Store & More" in Cologne, Thalys passenger were no longer entitled to use the DB lounge there..
Oh, most definitively, I did this just last week (as a Thalys Silver Card member). This is also a published benefit according to the Thalys website. DB indeed no longer has a direct relationship with Thalys, but both companies belong to the Railteam alliance, which offers reciprocal lounge access for its elite card holders. In the case of Thalys, this means any status with The Card and a First Class ticket. They built their Store & More in Cologne after DB stopped selling Thalys tickets, but it does not offer much in terms of a lounge..
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Old Aug 8, 17, 12:58 pm
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Originally Posted by Askartus View Post
I have Platinum status with Thalys and use the DB lounges from time to time (in Cologne as well).
But it is nothing to write home about, since you mostly get a coffee, water and wifi ...
I agree that one should not go out of one's way for the lounges, but the first class section of the DB lounge also offers a light snack Last week, they had soup and two different kind of sandwiches. I have been to worse airline lounges, to be honest..
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Old Aug 8, 17, 2:34 pm
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Originally Posted by Arnur View Post
Oh, most definitively, I did this just last week (as a Thalys Silver Card member). This is also a published benefit according to the Thalys website. DB indeed no longer has a direct relationship with Thalys, but both companies belong to the Railteam alliance, which offers reciprocal lounge access for its elite card holders. In the case of Thalys, this means any status with The Card and a First Class ticket. They built their Store & More in Cologne after DB stopped selling Thalys tickets, but it does not offer much in terms of a lounge..
Well, the same is true for the "Store & Less" here in Aachen. A ticket counter, a coffee machine and exactly 5 seats cramped into a corner of the DB Reisezentrum.

But try the RailTeam thing in the Thalys Lounge in Brussels.. I once went there, with bahn.comfort status and a first class ticket to Aachen, and their face expression clearly told me that they had rather not let us in. The lounge itself is also pretty bad, but then I have only been there once, as I generally tend to avoic Thalys at all cost, due to several reasons.

Edit: While the status thing ("any status") might be true for Thalys' own lounges, doesn't the RailTeam lounge access policy say that only "top tier" status members have access to foreign lounges? I mean, as a DB status member (there is only one level with DB), I don't really care, but that might be important for members of other programs..
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Old Aug 8, 17, 2:43 pm
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Something else on the first class lounge in QKL (Köln Hbf).. There are actually two things that I don't particularly like about that part of the lounge - as it is open and located directly above the ticket counters, it can be quite noisy at times (particularly when they call the numbers of the people waiting for a counter, there is a very penetrating noise when they call the next person). Additionally, I found the service (partly due to the restricted space) to be relatively un-proactive; this is usally much better at Frankfurt Hbf, where the staff behind the bar can more or less see every person entering the lounge, which is quite important if you have a short layover (nobody will probably spend more than 1 hour in here, as most train lines will run every hour) and want to eat/drink something. In those occasions, I often prefer the bahn.comfort area in Köln, particularly if I only need something to quench my thirst and maybe the toilet.
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