For anyone interested in getting more information about making reservations for train travel in Europe, there is a very comprehensive website with all the national railway timetables available online at http://mercurio.iet.unipi.it/misc/timetabl.html. This site has all the information one could want for getting around Europe by train. You can purchase tickets online, by fax, or phone.
Getting the best price depends on many factors, but eliminating as many middle people as possible helps. Also selecting the appropriate route is another factor. You can travel on private railways and get there quicker, but you pay a preimium. It depends on what you are willing to pay for that convenience.
Happy travels to all.