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Brühl/Cologne/Belgium train help

Brühl/Cologne/Belgium train help

Old May 22, 22, 10:18 am
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Brühl/Cologne/Belgium train help

The folks here have given some great advice for our upcoming trip. I am trying to book a train trip from Phantasialand to Antwerp on June 6th, arriving into Antwerp around 8pm.

According to google, I can book a Thalys train, but none of the train sites let me do this. So, my options seem to be Bahn.
It seems that the routing would be Brühl -(on RE) Köln Hfb (on S bahn) - Köln-Ehrenfeld - Belgium. That is 254 Euro. But if I start at Köln Hfb or Köln-Ehrenfeld, it is just 214 Euro. I seem to recall that I can get a 24 hour ticket for 5 for 20ish euro. A bit cheaper.
But the real reason I am thinking this is that the transfer time from the S bahn at Köln-Ehrenfeld is only 6 minutes. I really can't miss that connection.
The route is:
Departing Bruhl on RE 5 at 5:15, arriving at Kohl Hfb at 5:28pm,
Departing Köln Hfb on S 19 at 5:40pm, arriving Köln-Ehrenfeld at 5:46pm
Departing Köln-Ehrenfeld at 5:52pm.

It would seem that I could get to Köln Hfb earlier by either taxi or train or tram and get an earlier S bahn to Köln-Ehrenfeld. But it really doesn't give me that option on Bahn.de. Is there a better way to book this?
Could I just book the Köln Hfb and get on any S bahn and figure out the best way to get from Bruhl to there or to Köln Ehrenfeld.
Any advice?
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Old May 22, 22, 2:48 pm
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On Bahn.de you should open up "more options" and you can set the shortest transfer time you are willing to accept
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Old May 22, 22, 3:16 pm
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Thanks! That worked. Interesting that it gave routing options that were not there before, even though they are quicker.

Any advice on the best way to get to either Köln train station from Phantasialand?

Last edited by pbiflyer; May 22, 22 at 3:26 pm
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Old May 22, 22, 3:39 pm
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I don't know the area that well but would presume a taxi to Brühl is your best option. June 6 is a public holiday though, so traffic might not be that bad and taking the taxi to Cologne might work too.
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Old May 23, 22, 3:03 pm
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Originally Posted by pbiflyer View Post
Thanks! That worked. Interesting that it gave routing options that were not there before, even though they are quicker.

Any advice on the best way to get to either Köln train station from Phantasialand?
There is actually a shuttle bus to the Brühl train station as well as the tram station "Brühl Mitte". It takes about 20 minutes and leaves every 30 minutes, tickets are 1,50 Euro for a one-way ticket.
A taxi to Cologne Central station will be about 50 - 70 Euros, depending on traffic and if it is pre-booked and so on. To Köln-Ehrenfeld may be around the same price, but a bit faster and easier to plan, since you must not drive into the city center.

Under normal conditions, the "bus - tram/train" connection should be safe.
But if you MUST catch ICE 12 at Köln-Ehrenfeld, a taxi would give you more safety imho.
It may be an idea to write to Phantasialand (if I remember correctly, you guys are staying there, right? Then use [email protected]) what they think your best option is. Maybe a local taxi company offers a "fixed price" or something.

If you do want to include an early dinner on that day (and return to Cologne with a rather large "minimum connection time", just to be safe), there is a nice beer garden about 600 meter from the Ehrenfeld station: https://herbrands.de/. They do open at 4 pm and you can reserve a table in the beer garden.
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Old May 23, 22, 4:45 pm
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Thanks, great info. I am noticing that all advice in the area usually includes a "there is a beer garden nearby"! I love that about Germany.

It does seem that the trains leave Brühl to the Köln Hbf every 15 minutes or so, so that gives us a bit of flexibility, especially since our train tickets include a city ticket. I think we can time that. We will ask the Phantasialand folks as well, just to confirm. Like you said they may have options already available.

I love that the directions to Herbands lists bicycle information first. I think we are visiting the Melatenfriedhof Cemetery one day, so kind of in the area even if we don't go early on the trip out. Maybe we will wander over that way.
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Old May 24, 22, 9:24 am
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One more request on this. When I check Bahn.de on the Bruhl-Koln routing, I see this note:

RE 92524: Brühl->Cologne main station: construction work. (Source: zuginfo.nrw) Switch renewals Due to several point renewals from June 3 (8:45 p.m.) to June 7, 2022 (1 a.m.), there will be diversions, train/partial and stop cancellations, travel time changes and rail replacement services between Cologne Klettenbergpark and Hürth-Kalscheuren as well as between Roisdorf and Remagen

Anyway to find out if that causes delays, cancellations or travel time changes when we are heading out on June 6th?
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Old May 26, 22, 12:27 am
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The timetable is already changed, that's why ICE 12 stops at Ehrenfeld instead of Koeln Hbf on 4-6 June.

On a ticket where the local trains are included with an IC train, you can generally take any local train as long as it's reasonable.

Also you could buy the 9 euro monthly tickets which would let you take any local train during your whole trip
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Old May 26, 22, 7:33 am
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I see. Thanks!
Good to know about the monthly tickets, as we will be exploring Cologne for several days before that.
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Old May 26, 22, 8:21 am
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As far as I can see, there are some ongoing track works at Hürth-Karlscheuren. But according to zuginfo.nrw, this should only apply to RE12, RE22, RB24 (trains going from and to the Erftstadt/Meschenich direction). The tracks and trains from Brühl and Bonn are not mentioned in this.
In normal times, trains that are visible on bahn.de or in the Bahn app are scheduled. But there might be some late-minute problems and changes to the timetable.

And about the 9 Euro ticket: It is also valid on local busses and trams! So buy one for each family member and hop on every bus/tram/local train you want.
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Old May 26, 22, 1:58 pm
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Originally Posted by Askartus View Post
As far as I can see, there are some ongoing track works at Hürth-Karlscheuren. But according to zuginfo.nrw, this should only apply to RE12, RE22, RB24 (trains going from and to the Erftstadt/Meschenich direction). The tracks and trains from Brühl and Bonn are not mentioned in this.
In normal times, trains that are visible on bahn.de or in the Bahn app are scheduled. But there might be some late-minute problems and changes to the timetable.

And about the 9 Euro ticket: It is also valid on local busses and trams! So buy one for each family member and hop on every bus/tram/local train you want.
Thanks, I downloaded the KVB app. This is great! Now we can get from DUS airport to Cologne as well.
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Old May 28, 22, 3:27 pm
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Originally Posted by pbiflyer View Post
Thanks, I downloaded the KVB app. This is great! Now we can get from DUS airport to Cologne as well.
On local trains only. But it's going to be cheap 😜

If you're ok with taking the ICE/Thalys from Aachen only, the 9 € ticket is all you'll need.

Heck, you don't even need these trains. Every hour at :04, there's a connection from Aachen on Belgian IC trains via Welkenraedt and Leuven to Antwerp-Berchem station. Quite cheap and flexible with no reservations required.
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Old Jun 4, 22, 12:55 am
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I will update our trip in the other Cologne thread. We had a wonderful time.
But we are sitting on our fourth train this trip and every single one has had significant delays, so I think we will end up taking a taxi to the ICE train.
After getting the kids up extra early, we are now missing the second shuttle bus to Phantasialand with no update on the train.

ETA: Now we are stuck on the train not on a station. A short train ride has turned into an hour plus nightmare with no end in sight.

Update: construction on the tracks has delayed most trains in the area, up to one hour it seems.
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Last edited by pbiflyer; Jun 4, 22 at 4:53 am
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Old Jun 4, 22, 6:26 am
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Seems like the infrastructure here is not capeable of cealing with all the people using the 9 euro tickets AND the people who are going on a long weekend.

In addition to that: There was a fire yesterday next to the Koblenz - Bonn tracks which damaged significant parts of the cables next to the tracks.

I do hope that you guys will make it to your destination soon! *fingers_crossed* ;-)
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Old Jun 4, 22, 1:54 pm
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We did! Arrived a bit over an hour late, but all the other trains were backed up as well, so I guess it was better that we took the earlier train.
Boarding the shuttle bus to Phantasialand was, um, a bit disorganized.
What a great staff at the park though! Fun day.
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