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I am planning a train trip from Lyon (France) to Dresden (Germany). I am looking for information on whether the following trains are likely to be more crowded on a weekend or a weekday. I strongly prefer to avoid crowds on this trip due to having to move with heavy and fragile luggage, as well as animals. Tentative travel dates are Feb 11 Sun or Feb 12 Mon.

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I would also appreciate tips on where I could look up this information myself. Do the train companies make statistics public?

Update: I just found out that Feb 12 is Fasching in Germany. Is this likely to cause increased traffic on that day?

  • Unless the carriage is ~30% or lower, the biggest factor will be whether or not the trains originate in Lyon/Frankfurt and you can board ahead of departure. – Johns-305 Jan 3 '18 at 18:36
  • The Lyon-Frankfurt train originates in Marseille, if I'm not mistaken. – Mike Harris Jan 3 '18 at 18:53
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    I don’t think you would have direct information for the part in France (as opposed to what you could get from the SBB site in Switzerland for instance), but you could get information indirectly: prices are heavily dependent on how full the train is, and if you try to order the French part of the trip in first class you should be able to get a seat map to pick your seat, which will give you more direct information. Note that load levels in 1st and 2nd class are not necessarily in sync. Also these trains with many stops may have very different load factors from one sector to the next. – jcaron Jan 3 '18 at 23:44
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    @simbabque It was quite full on a Monday, but everyone had seats. I tried to choose seats so that they are close to the luggage rack; or they are close to a location with back-to-back seats. That way I could put the luggage inbetween the opposite-facing seats. – Szabolcs Feb 19 '18 at 14:03
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    Could you add this information as an answer? – JonathanReez Feb 23 '18 at 4:23
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Post travels, OP shared his experience in comments (which are not searchable and may disappear):

It was quite full on a Monday, but everyone had seats. I tried to choose seats so that they are close to the luggage rack; or they are close to a location with back-to-back seats. That way I could put the luggage inbetween the opposite-facing seats.

Lyon -> Frankfurt was more crowded than Frankfurt -> Dresden (up to Strasbourg)

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