a VirtualTourist member
I'm planning on catching the traing from Munich to Zagreb in May. This involves changing trains at Villach with 9 minutes for the transfer. I'll be travelling with my husband 2 year old son and we'll have a fair bit of luggage! Is it a big or confusing station? Is 9 minutes enough time for a transfer?
Thanks in advance for any advice,
It looks like that is a tiny little station. In fact, I just googled "Villach Train Station" and it brought me to raileurope.com site and click on "facilities" and you'll see a photo. Looks like only four or six tracks. Here is that link:
If you look up the times on www.oebb.at you'll be given the platforms you'll arrive at in Villach, and where the trains leave. So you'll know where to go. if the trains are on time I see no problem.
If one of the trains is late you can take the next train that comes along.
Looking at www.bahn.de I see that there are tickets available for 49,- for this route. Grab them if you can. These tickets are train specific, so you must leave München on the booked train, however if the train gets delayed and as a result you miss your connection in Villach you can take a later train without any problem, you won't have to buy another ticket.
It's quite a nice and scenic trip btw.
Gyuri is right about the delay. The one time I needed to transfer at that station I was delayed by a couple of hours and had to take a later train. Ended up being one of the only people on a late-arriving train into Ljubjulana and had a nearly-impossible time finding a place to sleep after arriving after midnight. Though, come to think of it, the Park Hotel was quite nice!
Wow! Thanks for all the great advice. I think, on balance, we'll risk the 9 minute transfer as catching the 8.27am train from Munich makes sense for our itinerary. As long as the train from Munich isn't delayed it sounds like it should be fine. We've got an apartment booked in Zagreb so even if we're late we'll have somewhere to stay!
In the past they just switched cars from the train 111 to 211 in Villach. Both trains still run, it's just the through cars they cancelled. So they didn't really cut the service. They still do this with trains 113 and 213 though, although looking at the timetable it's now probably in Spittal-Millstättersee that they do it. (It was in Villach when I was on that train last year). The thing is shunting those cars around is expensive, and takes time. That these long distance through cars are gradually disappearing is not really a symptom of European railways going down hill, they are just changing.
In my youth there were through cars Oostende - Split. You spend two nights on them. Nowadays you have to change trains several times on that route, but you are about 8 hours faster... You win some, you lose some. That's change.