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Train Budapest-Bucharest-Istanbul Experience

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I'm considering this itinerary by train in April. I've read timetables and message boards (here, LP, maninseat61, ricksteves, etc) and I've got a good idea what's involved in terms of time, equipment on each leg of the trip, etc. But I would like to hear from anyone who has recent experience with any of the segments; esp the Bucharest-Istanbul leg.

I'm aware it involves a middle-of-the-night break at the Romania/Turkey border each way. I'm aware my eurailpass would not work in Turkey. I've heard or read somewhere it's often several hours late arriving either way. I'm curious if it usually leaves on time, at least.

I'm also interested in experiences or comments involving food, safety, sleeping, etc.

And if anyone else happens to think it'd be a neat trip in April, by all means let me know that too.

As I said, the most helpful info would be from someone who has "been there done that" recently.

Thx in advance...


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