Off to Europe mid sep. Using trains, Rome to la spezia,then to Switzerland then Paris.
I don't have a direct answer other than to share this site that I am suing for my own rail travel in Spain. Generally, I have found that booking ahead saves money and you can get internet-only fares, but it also cramps flexibility...Just depends on what is important to you, cost or flexibility
http://www.railsaver.com/ about 9 years ago
Try to prebook 2 months in advance! This can save you a lot of money! For example: Paris - Annecy in advance = 24 euros, 2 weeks before = 60 euros!!!
But always buy on the website of the local railway company! Others tend to charge more!
Spain - Renfe
France - SNCF (TGV)
Italy - Trenitalia
Ps: England is always expensive... :/ about 9 years ago