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Planning a cross-border rail journey

June 27, 2014
Author: Eve-Marie Morgo

For the 5th Amadeus Rail Forum, we wanted to experiment the feeling of traveling cross-border rail. We went for the 17-hour train journey from Antibes to Vienna. Read on to discover the experiment results!

Planning the perfect rail journey

Now many of you will think that the rail journey starts when you board, but it does when you start planning the trip. We, the Amadeus Rail Marketing Team, decided to split the planning duties and take a different rail sales channels each to record what we found while planning the trip. 

The perfect rail online booking tool?

My task was to search through the railway websites and I took the decision to start from SNCF's website.  I tried to book from Grasse to Vienna – it provided me only with a night train option, warning me that for international trains there is no seat guarantee.

As a first time traveler, I don’t know Italy's railway companies, so I've searched “booking rail travel in Italy”. The first result, The Man in Seat 61 website, helped me to search for rail tickets, taking me to Trenitalia's website. I made my selection: a 16-hour day journey. I went through the rail booking process and end up with 3 tickets seated together. As I can only book from Ventimiglia, I had to go back to SNCF to book the train that gets me to Italy, but instead, decide to buy at the station on the day of departure. In terms of timing, it took me 45 minutes, that’s quite a long time.

Different rail sales channels, different opportunities

What about my colleagues? They used a self online booking tool, a station, a travel agent and checked out some online retailers. Incredibly, each channel offered us a different route, some with no way to book, some traveling over 24 hours via Paris and some stopping on the German border! So, in the end, we opted for the France, Italy Austria route.

Would you like to see how the whole planning process was? Watch it now



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