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Flying into Dusseldorf rather than Cologne

Flying into Dusseldorf rather than Cologne

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Old Dec 31, 06, 11:17 am
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Question Flying into Dusseldorf rather than Cologne

I need to get to Cologne but the flights that come up at the time needed are very expensive. I found very cheap alternatives flying into Dusseldorf from LHR. Can anybody shed some light on getting into Cologne (downtown) from the Dusseldorf airport? Is it expensive? Easy or difficult? Worth the savings of $130? Thanks!
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Old Dec 31, 06, 11:36 am
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This is very easy to do.

There are trains direct from Dusseldorf Airport mainline station to the centre of Cologne. They take about 38-45 minutes and I think there are a couple of trains an hour during the daytime.

You can check out the timetable at www.bahn.de (click on 'Internat. Guests' for english)

I'm not sure what the fare would be but im guessing it would be around 20-30 euro return.

BTW there are actually 2 separate train stations at Dusseldorf airport.

The trains to Cologne go from the main 'Dusseldorf Airport' railway station, and not the much smaller "Düsseldorf Flughafen Terminal" station (which is underneath the terminal).

Last edited by abfab; Dec 31, 06 at 11:51 am
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Old Dec 31, 06, 11:40 am
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Buy tickets in advance?

Is this something I could just purchase the train ticket in the station for or should I buy the ticket in advance online? Thanks for the great info.
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Old Dec 31, 06, 11:53 am
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Originally Posted by dugknight View Post
Is this something I could just purchase the train ticket in the station for or should I buy the ticket in advance online? Thanks for the great info.
For this short trip, I think buying the ticket at the station is the best course of action. You would not save very much money by booking ahead of time, and this leaves you with the greatest flexibility if anything happens with your flight (delays or whatever).

Last edited by alex0683de; Dec 31, 06 at 12:04 pm
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Old Dec 31, 06, 12:03 pm
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Originally Posted by alex0683de View Post
For this short trip, I think buying the ticket at the station is the best course of action. You would not save very much money by booking ahead of time, and this leaves you with the greatest flexibility if anything happens with your flight.
I would agree with this, I don't think theres any great advantage in trying to pre-book the train tickets on-line in advance.

I would just buy the ticket at the station.
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Old Dec 31, 06, 12:06 pm
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Booked!

Thanks, I just found an even cheaper flight from LHR to DUS, $50 including taxes! It was $185 from LHR to CGN so it is worth the small train trip. Thanks again for the info.
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Old Dec 31, 06, 12:57 pm
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Originally Posted by alex0683de View Post
For this short trip, I think buying the ticket at the station is the best course of action. You would not save very much money by booking ahead of time, and this leaves you with the greatest flexibility if anything happens with your flight (delays or whatever).
I am not sure, if this is a good advise and somebody might comment:

I have gone (some years ago) several times from DUS to Cologne Central Station....and didn't pay!
That's how it happened. I lived in Hamburg near the Airport and missed several times the plane to Cologne (where my company's headquarter was). So I took the plane to DUS and then the train to Cologne ... I went right on the train ... you can pay at the train. No train "conductor" ever showed up.BTW, the train was always the (slow) night train from Hamburg to South Germany.
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Old Dec 31, 06, 1:06 pm
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I had to commute between DUS airport and CGN city every day for about two years and I used the train...

From DUS airport Railway Station (connected by SkyTrain to the Terminal A/B/C) are at least two IR (Inter Regio - don't be afraid - it just stops 4 times between CGN and DUS - not at every tree) trains per hour to Cologne...

If they are on schedule, they leave at X.31 and X.51 from track 4.... You are at CGN main station at X.15 the following hour (the "X.31 train from DUS) and at X.35 the following hour for the other train. So, that's exactly 45 minutes...
Round ticket is less than 20 EUR, you get them at all ticket machines (upstairs, not at the platform!!!! - cash prefered, credit cards don't work once in a while) or at the counter directly at the Skytrain exit (long lines)

There are further trains to CGN as well, all leaving from track 4as well , like the a little bit faster ICE (Inter City Express) or IC (Inter City) (both make 2 stops between DUS and CGN) but they are more expensive, they don't commute that often and they are not really more convenient.

By the way, don't count on the conductor not showing up and getting a ticket on board... If you get a nasty conductor, you'll have to pay the "no ticket" fare of 40 EUR (one-way)... Aditionally if they don't like your ID, they let the police check you... So, try to avoid that...

For further questions, don't hesitate to send me a PM...
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Old Dec 31, 06, 1:11 pm
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Originally Posted by USAFAN View Post
I am not sure, if this is a good advise and somebody might comment:

I have gone (some years ago) several times from DUS to Cologne Central Station....and didn't pay!
That's how it happened. I lived in Hamburg near the Airport and missed several times the plane to Cologne (where my company's headquarter was). So I took the plane to DUS and then the train to Cologne ... I went right on the train ... you can pay at the train. No train "conductor" ever showed up.BTW, the train was always the (slow) night train from Hamburg to South Germany.
This might work on the regional trains - on the long distance trains, you're far more likely to get caught. Your exposure is a 40 Euros (I think) fine on the regional trains. On long distance trains, you can even buy your ticket on the train for a surcharge of 20% percent of the full fare.
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Old Dec 31, 06, 1:57 pm
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Pay

Originally Posted by USAFAN View Post
I am not sure, if this is a good advise and somebody might comment:

I have gone (some years ago) several times from DUS to Cologne Central Station....and didn't pay!
That's how it happened. I lived in Hamburg near the Airport and missed several times the plane to Cologne (where my company's headquarter was). So I took the plane to DUS and then the train to Cologne ... I went right on the train ... you can pay at the train. No train "conductor" ever showed up.BTW, the train was always the (slow) night train from Hamburg to South Germany.
------------------

Why isn't it good advice? Your a visitor and guest in the country - pay for the ticket.
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Old Dec 31, 06, 4:00 pm
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Originally Posted by MacDaddie View Post
------------------

Why isn't it good advice? Your a visitor and guest in the country - pay for the ticket.
I totally agree....

And not just the guests should do that... Everybody travelling without a ticket is travelling on other people's expenses
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Old Jan 1, 07, 4:40 pm
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Don't even think about it!

Getting on a train without paying is indeed a foolish thing to do (as well as being dishonest, of course - it's theft, purely and simply).

You may be able to get away with it... but if you get caught you'll be in trouble.

Unless things have changed since I last read up on this the rules for getting on a train without a ticket in Germany are as follows:

If the ticket office at your station was closed you can buy a ticket on the train and there is no surcharge - but you MUST report to the train attendant as soon as practicable (i.e., don't sit down and wait for him/her to find you, but make an active effort to go and look for him)

If you get on a train without a ticket for other reasons (for example because you didn't have time to buy a ticket) then you can buy the ticket on the train for a small surcharge - but again you MUST report to the train attendant as soon as practicable, see above

If the attendent catches you without a ticket you are deemed to be a fare dodger and you get fined.

So - don't risk it, get yourself a ticket. Personally I would buy a ticket online - full fare tickets are valid on any train, so it doesn't matter if your flight is late and you end up going on a different train from the one you had planned to catch.
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Old Jan 2, 07, 8:41 am
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Originally Posted by Aviatrix View Post
Getting on a train without paying is indeed a foolish thing to do (as well as being dishonest, of course - it's theft, purely and simply).

You may be able to get away with it... but if you get caught you'll be in trouble.

Unless things have changed since I last read up on this the rules for getting on a train without a ticket in Germany are as follows:

If the ticket office at your station was closed you can buy a ticket on the train and there is no surcharge - but you MUST report to the train attendant as soon as practicable (i.e., don't sit down and wait for him/her to find you, but make an active effort to go and look for him)

If you get on a train without a ticket for other reasons (for example because you didn't have time to buy a ticket) then you can buy the ticket on the train for a small surcharge - but again you MUST report to the train attendant as soon as practicable, see above

If the attendent catches you without a ticket you are deemed to be a fare dodger and you get fined.

So - don't risk it, get yourself a ticket. Personally I would buy a ticket online - full fare tickets are valid on any train, so it doesn't matter if your flight is late and you end up going on a different train from the one you had planned to catch.
It is not only foolish but it is a criminal offence. No chance to buy a ticket on a regional (red) train from DUS, only on the (white) ICE or IC trains (with a small surcharge)
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Old Jan 2, 07, 10:12 am
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I don't intend on not paying!

I have never taken advantage of the system on the trains. I would be too worried about getting in trouble! ha Anyway, I don't have a problem paying for my ticket. Thanks everybody for the information on the trains, it will be very useful to me.
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Old Jan 4, 07, 11:53 am
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Just a short note:

Deutsche Bahn has decided, that since 12th december only a few High Speed trains will stop at Düsseldorf Fernbahnhof.

There is a desk in the Train Station, reached by the Skytrain from the main terminal, where you can buy tickets. If you are able to catch an IC or ICE you are able to buy tickets on board the train (surcharge), but not oboard regionla trains.

There is no need to take a high Speed into Cologe, as the regional train is only a few minutes slower. The directions of the trains to Cologne are either to Aachen or Koblenz.

And yes, it is worth saving the money.
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