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Old 09-17-2011, 11:46 AM
 
Location: Beautiful Pennsylvania / Dull Germany
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I think the only high speed trains that do not always require reservations is the German ICE (but I think it may have changed now.. last time I was there was in 2008-2009.)
They have not changed it, however for certain routes and certain times it still is strongly recommended to have a reserveration, because the trains are more or less crowed and it is no pleasant experience to stand in the aisle of an ICE for 2-3 hours.

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Just curious. Anyone ride the AVE train in Spain? What was your experience like? Did you put your luggage on below your seat or something for fear of theft? Any tips or suggestions that i need to be aware of when riding this high speed train? Thanks.
I used it several times when I was in Spain, as well as the Alfa Pendular Train in Portugal. The experience with the AVE was quite good, it was fast, clean and on time, however I had no luggage with me. In general, there is nothing to be aware of, just buy a ticket and get on the train.
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Old 10-11-2011, 10:00 PM
 
Location: Trumbull/Danbury
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The last time I was over there (January 09) my mom got me a 21 day rail pass I think. We were in Luxembourg, so there were a lot of choices out of there: France, Germany, Belgium, Netherlands. The only one's I needed an actual ticket for was the ICE I took out of Frankfurt, and a couple overnight's I did (Germany to Copenhagen, Denmkark and Stockholm, Sweden) and an overnight from Budapest Hungary to Munich, Germany. Also, the train I took from Salzburg, Austria to Budapest I needed an actual ticket for. All those other one's I would get on the train, show the conductor my passport and pass, and I'd be on my way.
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