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Frankfurt to London Train Questions

Frankfurt to London Train Questions

Old Jul 22, 19, 12:37 am
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Frankfurt to London Train Questions

So, I'm flying into Frankfurt on SQ in a few weeks. I need to catch a train from there onwards to Brussels (and then to London...and from there ultimately to Dublin; Brussels is preferred over Paris for the Eurostar transfer to avoid an obnoxious station change). Two questions:
(1) How long should I allow for getting to the Frankfurt airport train station (e.g. disembarking, getting luggage and clearing immigration/customs)?
(2) Any advice on buying a refundable/changeable through Business/First ticket to get to London? There are two reasons for this: The first is the chance of a FUBAR on the flight/unexpected backup at Customs and/or on the connection and the second is that the respective Eurostar ticket comes with both better catering and a massively truncated line (with check-in closing 10 minutes prior to departure, not 30).
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Old Jul 22, 19, 6:38 am
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One hour at a minimum for getting from the airport train station. I would be comfortable with 90 minutes. It can be quick if all stars aligned but a delay at the immigration or a long wait for luggage can happen.

For ticket itself, I did a search on the Deutsche Bahn booking engine and through Bruxelles you are looking at 120 EUR for a reduced ticket, 330 tickets for a flexible ticket, 150 EUR for a reduced ticket in First Class and it did not provide me a quote for a flexible First ticket, but I would assume +400 EUR.
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Old Jul 22, 19, 8:56 am
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Old Aug 1, 19, 4:42 am
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The train to the main station is taking only 15 minutes, but you should plan a good 60 minutes for exiting the airport; note that Frankfurt Airport has two train stations; a first class ticket would also give you lounge access at Frankfurt (apart from the "Super Sparpreis")
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Old Aug 1, 19, 10:34 am
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Originally Posted by B41 View Post
The train to the main station is taking only 15 minutes, but you should plan a good 60 minutes for exiting the airport; note that Frankfurt Airport has two train stations; a first class ticket would also give you lounge access at Frankfurt (apart from the "Super Sparpreis")
The above info is for the S-Bahn from the Regionalbahnhof (airport regional train station) to the Hauptbahnhof (main train station in the city center). But the OP does NOT need to take this, as the ICE to Brussels stops at the Fernbahnhof (airport long-distance train station).

I would leave a minimum of 90 minutes from flight arrival to train departure from the Fernbahnhof; 2 hours is probably a better idea. Flights often arrive at remote stands so you have to take the bus to the terminal. Immigration lines are occasionally long (I've had 45 minute waits). And luggage tends not to come out very quickly in Frankfurt.

If you book a cheaper ticket you're tied to those trains, so you can't just take a later one without paying more. So I'd leave myself plenty of time and probably book a 1st-class ticket that allows use of the lounge in Frankfurt airport.

If you have Priority Pass, the Luxx Lounge in terminal 1 is landside (outside of security) so you can use it after arrival. At least when I visited about a year ago they did not require a departing boarding pass. A Centurion Lounge it's not, but it has a shower.
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Old Aug 4, 19, 6:48 am
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Originally Posted by GrayAnderson View Post
So, I'm flying into Frankfurt on SQ in a few weeks. I need to catch a train from there onwards to Brussels (and then to London...and from there ultimately to Dublin; Brussels is preferred over Paris for the Eurostar transfer to avoid an obnoxious station change). Two questions:
(1) How long should I allow for getting to the Frankfurt airport train station (e.g. disembarking, getting luggage and clearing immigration/customs)?
(2) Any advice on buying a refundable/changeable through Business/First ticket to get to London? There are two reasons for this: The first is the chance of a FUBAR on the flight/unexpected backup at Customs and/or on the connection and the second is that the respective Eurostar ticket comes with both better catering and a massively truncated line (with check-in closing 10 minutes prior to departure, not 30).
If you´re talking about the SQ flight arriving at FRA 10.40 and the train leaving 12.43 you should not worry.
That´s a comfortable 2hrs between arrival and departure ...
Unless your flight is significantly delayed there´s nothing to worry.
Expect the walking time from exiting arrivals to the platform to be roughly 15 mins (considering you´ll have luggage to drag along)

Still, makes me wonder what´s the reason you decided to go by train from Frankfurt to London ...
You won´t be able to enjoy much of the landscape due to the high speed and frequent tunnels/noisereducing walls along the route (in particular between Frankfurt and Cologne)

Last edited by MHG; Aug 4, 19 at 6:59 am
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Old Aug 4, 19, 7:25 am
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So, jumping back in here:
-I went with the 1243 departure. I'm connecting to a Eurostar, spending the night out by LHR (price difference between downtown London was around $200/night and change; for that, I can deal with a TfL train out to the airport and back), and then continuing on from Paddington to Cardiff to Holyhead (and then onwards by ferry). I bit the bullet on a full-flex Eurostar ticket (it was on a partial discount) so my only "hole" is the DB ticket if something goes tits up on my inbound flight.
-As to the whys and wherefores, well, there are a few reasons but they center around the fact that SQ had seats available for a negligible set of fees into FRA...but that didn't leave me with any handy options for avoiding either having to do some luggage claim games and deal with another airline (and probably a baggage re-check after Schengen customs) and paying out-of-pocket for said ticket (and likely dealing with luggage fees as well). I'd note that in some respects, I might have preferred to take BA or VS into London, but in both cases the fees came to several hundred dollars. The farce that is European Business Class on flights weighed into the calculus here as well, FWIW (yeah, it's a short flight, but I really didn't want to play those stupid games).
--Truth be told, after all is said and done I think that I'm only down about $100 versus the BA fees even with all of the trains and a night in a hotel in terms of getting to Dublin.
-And yes, if it isn't painfully obvious, I'm a train guy and since the core of the trip is a form of work the train trip itself is my holiday.
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Old Aug 5, 19, 12:45 am
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By stying near LHR you are however doing a lot of backtracking. Paddington - LHR - Paddington - Cardiff... Maybe better say somewhere along the GWR Mainline? (I assume you are doing the detour via Cardiff because you want to travel the Cardiff - Holyhead route?)
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Old Aug 7, 19, 2:06 pm
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Originally Posted by GrayAnderson View Post
So, jumping back in here:
-I went with the 1243 departure. I'm connecting to a Eurostar, spending the night out by LHR (price difference between downtown London was around $200/night and change; for that, I can deal with a TfL train out to the airport and back), and then continuing on from Paddington to Cardiff to Holyhead (and then onwards by ferry). I bit the bullet on a full-flex Eurostar ticket (it was on a partial discount) so my only "hole" is the DB ticket if something goes tits up on my inbound flight.
-As to the whys and wherefores, well, there are a few reasons but they center around the fact that SQ had seats available for a negligible set of fees into FRA...but that didn't leave me with any handy options for avoiding either having to do some luggage claim games and deal with another airline (and probably a baggage re-check after Schengen customs) and paying out-of-pocket for said ticket (and likely dealing with luggage fees as well). I'd note that in some respects, I might have preferred to take BA or VS into London, but in both cases the fees came to several hundred dollars. The farce that is European Business Class on flights weighed into the calculus here as well, FWIW (yeah, it's a short flight, but I really didn't want to play those stupid games).
--Truth be told, after all is said and done I think that I'm only down about $100 versus the BA fees even with all of the trains and a night in a hotel in terms of getting to Dublin.
-And yes, if it isn't painfully obvious, I'm a train guy and since the core of the trip is a form of work the train trip itself is my holiday.
Well, I was already wondering whether you´re a train guy or someone who tries to avoid flying as much as possible for some reason.
Beeing a train guy myself (to some degree) I can easily relate to such a journey planning and I strongly support that you break the journey in London before continuing to Ireland.
It gives some time reserve in case the first two segments do not connect seamlessly for whatever reason.

Last edited by MHG; Aug 7, 19 at 2:11 pm
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Old Aug 9, 19, 3:23 pm
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In a sense, both answers apply: All else being equal I'd rather take the train than fly, and that's part of why I didn't kludge together a flight reservation within Europe. Within the US, flying is...it isn't quite a last resort, but Amtrak is enough of a mess right now due to management issues (we're not sure if the issue is the CEO, the people around him, or the Board) and OTP issues (mostly on the freight railroads, but Amtrak has its own equipment issues as well).

I was either going to break the journey in London or somewhere else in the UK (I looked at Plymouth); it really just came down to affordability (many hotels in London being stupidly expensive). Well, that and the question of the cost of the Caledonian Sleeper...but that got scotched due to the new equipment not being in service.
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Old Aug 9, 19, 11:25 pm
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Originally Posted by GrayAnderson View Post
I was either going to break the journey in London or somewhere else in the UK (I looked at Plymouth); it really just came down to affordability (many hotels in London being stupidly expensive). Well, that and the question of the cost of the Caledonian Sleeper...but that got scotched due to the new equipment not being in service.
I'm confused. Why would you want to make a massive detour to Plymouth or Scotland if your destination is Holyhead for Dublin? Cardiff is not the best place either, unless you are getting the Premier Service train to Holyhead, but this arrives past 10pm which probably means an awkward ferry time. I guess departing from Paddington to Cardiff is fine if you really want to stay at an airport hotel, but there must be some hotels in North London at a suitable price which might be more suitable for a train from Euston to Holyhead.
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Old Aug 10, 19, 2:34 pm
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(1) The diversion to Plymouth would have been on the basis of hotel cost. It was a less-than-desirable option, but would have opened the door to the Pullman Dining on GWR on the basis of the 1903 train being my selection.
(2) Scotland would have been based on the Caledonian sleeper being cheaper than most of the relevant London hotels plus the fact that I would have positioned to head to Dublin via Belfast and the Enterprise. Fun plot twist: The Enterprise is truncated due to track work, so that wasn't an option (I'm only willing to put up with so much bus time). By back-of-the-envelope math, when the new equipment was due, with an advance booking this would actually have been among the cheapest and most straightforward options (insofar as avoiding shuffling to/from out-of-the-way hotels is something I'd really rather avoid).
(3) As to north London (or East London), I did consider that. Frankly, concerns about a mix of taxi costs and/or sorting routing and timing in getting to the station in the morning were at issue. I know what I'm doing getting to Paddington from the Heathrow area (either the TfL train or the Heathrow Express works here). I don't particularly care to play games with the Underground with luggage during the morning rush.
(4) Yes, I'm doing the Premier Service train and catching the overnight ferry. As far as I can tell there's at least one nearby bar that is open for most of the intervening interval. This also saves the complications of a hotel (and with it concerns that by that point I'll be exhausted enough to possibly miss my sailing).
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