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Q. Can I bring my bike on board?
A. In general, bicycles can be taken with you as carry-on luggage, free of charge on just about any national or international train- if you put it in a bike bag. In the bike bag, the wheels, pedals and handlebars must be removed.
In addition, many European trains allow bikes in a special bike compartment for free or a small fee. If there is a fee, it’s typically about 5-15 Euros per journey. Bikes are typically permitted on local & regional trains in most countries, at least outside peak travel hours.
Many inter-city trains also allow bikes, however not in Spain. And in France only a few French TGVs allow bikes that aren’t in a bike bag. Some TGV-Lyria trains between Paris & Switzerland also allow bikes. Paris-Madrid & Paris-Barcelona night trains only allow bikes if they’re in a bike bag and if you & your fellow travellers occupy the entire sleeper compartment. Overnight Thello sleeper trains & daytime TGV trains between Paris & Italy only allow bikes in a bike bag. Thalys trains between Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam & Cologne only allow bikes in bike bags. Long-distance trains into Eastern Europe such as Cologne-Moscow, Bucharest-Istanbul or Budapest-Sofia only allow bikes in bike bags, primarily because these trains don’t have luggage compartments.
Lastly, some trains, primarily in the UK, will require advance reservations for bicycles. These reservations will need to be made locally at the station.
Q. Can I change seats after the train departs?
A. You may check with the conductor once your train departs to see if there are any other available seating options.
Please note that you should stay in the same class of service as your ticket or you may incur a surcharge.
If you change seats and the seat you move to is reserved by another traveller, they will have priority.
Q. How far in advance can I buy my train ticket?
A. Train tickets can be purchased 60 to 180 days in advance, depending on your route of travel. Rail carrier policies vary, depending on when their schedules are available for sale.
For the best deals, purchase your train tickets three months in advance, if possible. But always book as far in advance as you can to assure the best price and to avoid your class of service being sold out (especially during peak travel season on high speed trains).
Q. I missed my train. What should I do?
A. If you’re traveling with a train ticket that doesn’t include a reservation, you can simply get on the next train that accepts tickets without reservations.
If you’re traveling with a train ticket that includes a reservation, you may have to purchase a new train ticket. Review the exchange and refund terms of your ticket to determine if your train ticket can be exchanged.
If you missed your train due to a connecting train being delayed, ask a Conductor or railway official to endorse your train ticket to say there had been a delay. This is usually sufficient proof for the train staff at the onward station to allow a free transfer to the next available train.
Upon your return home, please contact us via the Contact Us page to inquire about an applicable refund your ticket may qualify for. All refund information may be found on the after-sales voucher that was included with your train ticket.
Q. How can I find the cheapest train tickets?
A. There are two ways you can ensure you get the best price. The most effective way is to book your train ticket(s) in advance. Many rail carriers operating high speed trains or night trains make a limited number of cheaper seats available for advance purchase. Once those seats have been sold or the purchase window has passed, prices go up. That’s why we recommend booking 60 to 90 days prior to the train departure, especially if you plan on traveling during peak season (summer and holidays).
The other way to ensure you get the best rate is to correctly indicate the composition and number of your traveling party when requesting your fares and schedules. This will allow us to determine eligibility for some reduced fares such as child, youth or senior fares when offered by the rail carrier.