1st Class Train

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Aug 18th, 1999, 08:24 AM
  #1
PAUL
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1st Class Train

What is the difference between first and second class train tickets in europe?
 
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Aug 18th, 1999, 08:32 AM
  #2
Hans
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Basically space. The seats in 1st class are wider and tend to recline more whereas the 2nd class seats are closer together (think Economy Class vs. Business Class seats on a plane). We just got back from Europe about a month ago and had 1st class tickets between Munich-Innsbruck-Florence-Venice-Salzburg-Munich and found the trains very comfortable. The difference in cost is usually only a few dollars and on longer train rides it may make sense. On the trains we took, there were generally less people in 1st Class in each cabin (we often had a cabin to ourselves) and the cabins were cleaner. But, in the end, it's just like a plane--everyone gets there at the same time.
 
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Aug 18th, 1999, 08:32 AM
  #3
Hans
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Basically space. The seats in 1st class are wider and tend to recline more whereas the 2nd class seats are closer together (think Economy Class vs. Business Class seats on a plane). We just got back from Europe about a month ago and had 1st class tickets between Munich-Innsbruck-Florence-Venice-Salzburg-Munich and found the trains very comfortable. The difference in cost is usually only a few dollars and on longer train rides it may make sense. On the trains we took, there were generally less people in 1st Class in each cabin (we often had a cabin to ourselves) and the cabins were cleaner. But, in the end, it's just like a plane--everyone gets there at the same time.
 
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Aug 18th, 1999, 09:32 AM
  #4
Ben Haines
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In western Europe, including Scandinavia, Germany, Austria and Italy, first class seats are just an inch or so bigger in width and depth, so there's very little difference in comfort. As has been said, the difference is in degree of crowding. In central Europe (Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary, Croatia Soivenia and east and south thereof) the difference is greater, as second class seats in compartments have four seats abreast, while first class have just three. Whether this makes a difference depends on how crowded the train is.
Throughout Europe first class costs 150 percent of second class, which can amount to quite a difference in Germany or Switzerland.

What I use in western Europe is second class, with a seat booked a few days ahead if I'm going in a rush period, such as a summer Fruday. In central Europe I board second class, but move to first and pay the conductor a supplement if I find second crowded.

All couchettes are second class except in France, where they have first class 4-berth couchettes. Mostly throughout continental Europe sleepers are just the same in both classes, but they fold down three beds in second class, and only two or one in first. Some trains have 2-beryh second class sleeping compartments, called Type T2.

On British Pullman trains and on Eurostar trains restaurant ars are for first clss travellers only, but elsewhere bothy classes use the restaurant cars. Amd very pleasant too, to eat your goulasch soup as you look out at the Rhine Valley, or your braised steak as you pass the forests of Transylvania.

Please write if I can help further. Welcome to Europe.

Ben Haines, London


 
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Aug 18th, 1999, 05:22 PM
  #5
greg
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We have just come back from mostly train trip in Europe. The space and degree of crowdedness have already been mentioned.

Let me also point out that if there is a school excursion or if the train is used for school commuting, they will mostly be in the 2nd class. In some country, they are very noisy and badly behaved (radio blasting.)

Beside that, there is issue of finding the 1st class cars in the first place especially while changing the train. We had less of this problem in France because they gave us plenty of time to do this and the current track numbers are nearly always displayed on TV by the stairs. But in Germany and Switzerland with mega stations, this was more of the hassle. The German/Swiss train change over time is something in the order of 8 minutes even at mega station like Zurich. You look at the yellow departure sheet to find where your next train is located. This is usually up to date, but not always. We had to run all the way to the main display board to find out the new track number since there was no train on the track indicated by the yellow sheet. We learned to alway ask the conductor when he comes to check our ticket what track is the next train. Since most of the trains we took were late, the changeover time was even shrunk to less than 6 min. Once you get there, if your train is ICE or some behemoth train with many cars, your 1st class car may be 1/4 miles away and you do not have time to get to your car on the platform. So whenever we had to change to ICE like train, if we could not find the 1st class immediately, we ended up using the 2nd class so as not getting totally exhausted. (not all trains have pass thru corridors so walking in the train was not always an option.) TGV and major trains, however, have car assignment display on the platform (if you have time to read it) showing which platform "Sektor" "Repere", etc correspond to the 1st class.
 
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Aug 20th, 1999, 01:27 AM
  #6
karie
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The difference between first and second class...on a recent train trip from
venice to florence, we rode second class, boarded in venice along with several noisy groups of school groups (teens) and their piled backpacks, etc. Very noisy...picture a crowded McDonald's with a field-trip in line in front of you. The train stopped somewhere in transit because of an accident ahead, and so, I decided to walk to dining car to stretch my legs and get a cappucino. Walked through first class to get there...opened the door to...another world. Quiet, civilized, a well-dressed gentleman looks calmly up as I enter the door to the first-class car, and I think, "whoah! this is where I want to be next trip." It's just according to your taste, what you are willing to put up with to save the extra money. A tip...you can book second class, then walk to the dining car, order a cappucino, sit at one of the white-tablecloth tables and nurse your cappucino as you watch the scenery roll by. Yes, you leave a tip, but it is a pretty cheap surcharge for dining almost first-class.
 
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