Traveling by train for the first time?

hey
im gonna be traveling by train for the first time to visit a frien of mine from time to time
there are a few things id like to know
1) how easy is it to by a ticket straight from the station at the ticket booth?
2) can i buy tickets once ive gotten in the train?
3) how do i know which train to get on?
4) are

hey
im gonna be traveling by train for the first time to visit a frien of mine from time to time
there are a few things id like to know
1) how easy is it to by a ticket straight from the station at the ticket booth?
2) can i buy tickets once ive gotten in the train?
3) how do i know which train to get on?
4) are trains usually late or do they gett interupted often?
5) can i buy a ticket without a credit card?
6) can you get off between stops?
7) how do you know the estimated time of the jurney

im just really nurveous as it is my first time
any more usefull information you can give ill be glad to know 🙂
thank you

Best Answer:

paper: You don't say what country you are talking about, but railways in most civilised countries find that bewildered passengers wandering around like lost sheep tend to get in the way, so they try to make things as easy as possible by providing signs, maps, timetables, information screens, announcements and staff to assist you!

To answer your questions as far as the UK is concerned:
1. At a station, you can buy your ticket from the ticket office – if it is busy, you don't usually have to wait in line more than a few minutes to get served. You can also buy from the ticket machines, which have easy-to-follow instructions.

2. You can only buy tickets on trains that are designated as 'Paytrains' – usually local services in quieter country areas. On all other trains you are required to buy a ticket before boarding, or the conductor or Revenue Protection Inspector can issue you with a penalty fare, as well as charging you the full un-discounted fare for the journey. I say "can", because they are allowed some discretion – if you made every effort to find the conductor to pay your fare as soon as you boarded, you will probably be OK. However, the conductors/RPIs can only sell full-price tickets as opposed to 'Off-Peak' or other cheaper fares.

3. Look for the information displays (just as in airports – where do you think THEY got the idea from in the first place?), check the notice boards, ask the staff.

4. In the UK some trains do run late, but on average something like 95% of trains run to time.

5. Of course you can buy tickets – from a ticket office, ticket machine or conductor – in cash. That's exactly how we used to do it before credit and debit cards were invented!

6. You can't get off between stops – you're likely to get killed! Seriously, I presume you mean "Can you get off at an intermediate station and continue your journey later"? This is called "Break of Journey", and depends upon the type of ticket you buy – ask at the station (or ring them up and talk to a human being beforehand).

7. As to the length of the journey, all stations have timetable displays. At the larger stations these usually take the form of boards listing all of the possible destinations, under which are listed all of the train services to that destination, and the times that they depart and the times that they are scheduled to arrive. Again, if in doubt, ask the staff.

Any other problems, once again, ask the staff.

Have a pleasant trip!

Other answer:

paper:
I agree with Stephen Weinstein's answers. I suggest you indicate your age and mobility and also your starting point and destination so people can give you better suggestions.

With regard to Ryan's extremely negative experiences I submit my lifetime of riding trains both before Congress setup Amtrak and riding on Amtrak since. For the record Amtrak was setup by a congress similar to the one we have now. Most Congressmen at the time they set it up hoped and believed that it would fail. It was never set up to make a profit. Amtrak owns no railroad tracks and so the passenger trains are often delayed because they have to wait till the frieght trains go by.

Yes it's a hell of a way to run a railroad. That Amtrak has survived at all is due to some clear thinking Republican Congressmen from the Northwest who disagree with their party leaders and have supported Amtrak all these years.

If you are old or have some difficulty with stairs I recommend you get reserved seats in the lower level. There are only 12 seats here, but the advantage is the toilets and showers are at the other end of the car.

Ryan is right that Amtrak is often late, but his 4 hour delay is an extreme exception. My experience with the employees is just the opposite. I have found most of them either friendly or extremely friendly. There is always a sourpuss in every group.

While the Amtrak website leaves much to be desired, I suggest you spend time looking at all the information it has. If you don't have a computer, go to you library.

StephenWeinstein:
1) Relatively easy, but sometimes there is a long line, so make sure to get there early, so that you don't miss your train.
2) Not always. Some trains don't allow it, and some charge extra. Buy it before you get on the train.
3) Usually there are announcements or signs.
4) It depends on where you are going. Some trains are better than others.
5) Yes
6) No.
7) You look at the train schedule (also called a timetable).
Ryan:
fact: Amtrak is government owned and has never made a profit.

I have road the rails in American and it is not a fun experience. If it rains in the Midwest trains in the Northeast will be delayed by hours (my New York train was late by 4 hours because it was raining in Chicago).

All train employees have the power to kick you off the train with no questions asked. So ALL employees treat you like dogs and if you make even one comment about the abuse they will say "I can just kick you off the train if you have a problem."

Don't pay extra for a room car because them you will have more interaction with the staff who look like they are on some kind of prison work release program.

The best way to survive a train ride on Amtrak is to find a seat in the back and hide from the staff.