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I'm going from Rome to Karlsruhe. Direct flights are not comfortable, and going there through Stuttgart (few flights, bad times) is tricky as well. So I decided to go to Frankfurt and get a train from there, because I heard that there are many trains from Frankfurt to Karlsruhe.

So, I've now my ticket to Frankfurt (scheduled arrival at 20:45, Terminal 1 without checked luggage) and I was searching for some trains from the airport to Karlsruhe.

I was pretty astonished when I saw (at this site) that there is a train every 3 hours!

It means I'll have to wait hours at the airport. Is there another way (fast, even if not cheap) to get from Frankfurt to Karlsruhe? Maybe there are other train solutions I don't know?

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    As per bahn.de, there is a train at 21:53 reaching Karlsruhe Hbf at 23:00 goo.gl/BTnIXP – skv Nov 26 '14 at 9:17
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    The train is as fast as it gets. Schedule convenience is another matter but even from the central station, there are better links than that, the site you used is simply not good. – Relaxed Nov 26 '14 at 10:10
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    @DanieleB: Are you really landing exactly 21:00 or are you coming with the Lufthansa flight, which lands 20:45? Are you going to have checked luggage? If you really land 21:00 and have checked luggage, it might be difficult to catch the 21:53 train. There are however trains from the airport to Karlsruhe 23:17 and 00:28 as well. – Tor-Einar Jarnbjo Nov 26 '14 at 12:07
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    @DanieleB: No, the Frankfurt airport train station is quite directly connected to the airport building. However, luggage claim may be far from your arrival gate, and once you're there, luggage may arrive any time between 0 and 30 minutes, depending on how fast the airport is working, and how many special checks happen to be inserted. As you have only hand luggage, you don't need to wait there, but with Frankfurt being a large-ish airport, the internal walking distances (and the indoor navigation) are still not to be underestimated. Add to that initial delays if your plane is served by buses. – O. R. Mapper Nov 26 '14 at 14:21
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    Lufthansa lands at Terminal 1 with an estimated 10 Minutes walk to the railway station. If your plane is scheduled to land 20:45 and you have no checked luggage, you should have plenty of time to catch the 21:53 train. If you had come with a different airline and been scheduled to land 21:00 at Terminal 2 with an estimated 25 Minutes walk to the railway station, it would have been a very tight (though not entirely impossible) connection if you wanted to catch the 21:53 train. – Tor-Einar Jarnbjo Nov 26 '14 at 14:47
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I've edited your question to add the details from your comments. If your question is which train you will be able to catch, it's important to know exactly when you're landing (20:45, not 21:00 as originally written), which terminal you will land and if you have checked luggage or not.

German Railways gives you an estimate of 10 minutes to walk from Terminal 1 or 25 minutes to walk from Terminal 2 to the railway station. These estimates are usually excessive, so if you walk at a normal pace and are able to follow the directions without problems, you could plan with less time.

If you are scheduled to land at Terminal 1 with a domestic or intra-schengen flight (no immigration required) at 20:45 and have no checked luggage, you should have plenty of time to get to the railway station and buy a ticket before catching the 21:53 train to Karlsruhe, arriving at 23:00. From December 14th, the train departs one minute later, at 21:54. If your flight should be delayed, there are further trains departing 23:17 and 00:28.

The regular price for the train ticket, which you will have to pay if buying the ticket shortly before departure, is 40€. If you book your ticket well in advance, there are saving offers starting at 19€, but these are bound to a specific train. If your plane is delayed and you have to take a later train, the rebated ticket is forfeit and you would have to buy an additional full-price ticket for the next train. It's up to you to take this risk or not.

If the 21:53 train is not fast enough, the only realistic option to be in Karlsruhe before 23:00 is IMHO to take a taxi. The estimated price is about 220€, but with not much traffic so late in the evening, the trip shouldn't take much more than an hour and with some luck, you would be in Karlsruhe already around 22:00.

If you consider the time you need to pickup and return a rental car, it will take you longer than going by train and at least when including fuel, you are not likely to find a rental car for less than 40€.

Bus or finding a private driver (Mitfahrgelegenheit) willing to bring you are both probably the cheapest options, but if time is an issue, they are both less than ideal.

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Ok there are two things, while searching trains in Germany Bahn.de has been my best site. I have even used them to book hotels in Paris, its very informative and useful.

Second confusion may have been caused due to the Frankfurt airport station.

Frankfurt(Main) Flughafen is the name you are looking for if you look at the main (Frankfurt (Main) Hauptbahnhof) station the information would be different.

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    Searching from just "Frankfurt(Main) Flughafen" will be a better choice. There are two train stations at the airport, and this will give connections from either of them. For Karlsruhe it looks like Fernbf has the best connections much of the time, but there are other destinations where the Regionalbf is better. – Henning Makholm Nov 26 '14 at 11:05
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For future travels: there is a special offer to book your train ticket with the flight, called Rail&Fly (or AirRail for a few selected destinations).

Rail&Fly is an offer of the airlines and tour operators and can therefore only be booked by them.

These tickets are not bound to a specific train.

  • from/to each of the over 5.600 DB train stations
  • from/to any German airport as well as Basel and Salzburg Airport on the entire DB rail network. Below, please find a list of all connecting services to and from airports which are included free of charge in your Rail&Fly ticket.
  • flexible in all DB trains (including ICE) except for Motorail und charter trains. City Night Line and Sprinter trains with extra charge.
  • valid on the day before your flight departure, the day of the flight departure, the day of your return and the following day.

http://www.bahn.de/p/view/service/flug/rail_und_fly.shtml

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As @skv explained, the train is better than goeuro suggests, you need to use the local train company's website.

Otherwise, you can obviously get a cab or rent a car. It's probably not even quicker but it's more flexible and, given the distances involved, perfectly doable.

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Car Sharing

Let's add another option here: car-sharing (Mitfahrgelegenheit). Here is an example site (in English). You could try a search using your arrival date and time to see if anyone is driving that route. I tried a dummy search and the route seems to be covered by both car-sharers as well as coach lines. The cost ranging between 8€ for coaches and 14€ for car-sharing.

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