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Istanbul trains via Beograd/Sofia vs Bucharest--any experience?

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The man in seat 61 seems to say, as of mid-December 2011, that the train trips to/from Istanbul are better [i.e., more predictable and reliable, not necessarily "quality"] via Bucharest than Sofia and Beograd, at this point in time. I have a LOT of faith in his experience, but I'm curious what others' experiences might also be.

Also, the Dec 2011 Thomas Cook European Rail Timetable does note that the sleeper or couchette cars on the overnight trains to/from Istanbul via Beograd are "reported as not running most nights". Which increases my curiosity about the reliability of booking either the inbound or the outbound leg of an Istanbul trip from, say, Vienna or Prague, via Beograd.

Anyone have anything else to add? Any and all answers greatly appreciated!

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