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"Compartment" vs "Saloon Carriage" in 2nd class: Salzburg to Venice?

"Compartment" vs "Saloon Carriage" in 2nd class: Salzburg to Venice?

Old Jul 10th, 2014, 11:50 AM
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"Compartment" vs "Saloon Carriage" in 2nd class: Salzburg to Venice?

Hi,

I did read up a bit on this but still not clear (my head is getting groggy with planning a 5 weeks Europe trip in 10 days!)

I intend to travel on EN-944 overnight train from Salzburg to Venice. The options in second class are:

Compartment
or
Saloon

In Compartment, there are 3 options in dropbox, namely Window / Central / Corridor.

In Saloon, there are 2 options in dropbox, namely Window / Corridor.

Considering it is a night train (not much of a "view" to partake) and I would be traveling solo (female) with reasonable luggage, what would be more comfortable and safe option to choose?

Please help.
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Old Jul 10th, 2014, 12:13 PM
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I would book a couchette rather than sit up all night.

Otherwise I prefer the compartment and hopefully no one else will be with you and you can lie down. Since the train leaves so late probably no one else will be boarding after Salzburg and you can find an empty compartment if there are too many people in the one you're assigned. Choose the window seat. Never choose center seat.

How much luggage do you have? You won't be able to put larger than a 24" on the overhead rack. Can you lift your luggage over your head and extend your arms? If not, you need to lighten the load.
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Old Jul 10th, 2014, 12:23 PM
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Book a couchette - much better security as the doors to the compartment lock from inside - in an open car IME there is always the risk of theft whilst sleeping - I have witnessed that myself several times and no longer EVER will sleep on a night train in an open seating car (no compartments) - check www.seat61.com for relevant info on this as well as adrienne's great info.
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Old Jul 10th, 2014, 01:31 PM
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Your options are seat, couchette or sleeper (seat is the default so that is the reason you have the selections about compartment or saloon). If you click sleeper, you can select either single, 2 people or 3 people sleepers (you can select sex also if you don't want to share with opposite sex). Under couchette, you can select 4 or 6 person couchettes.
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Old Jul 10th, 2014, 05:10 PM
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I would never consider sitting up al night - both for comfort and for safety (of your belongings - not you). A budget-minded friend decided to take an overnight train in a seat versus couchette and ending up losing her very expensive camera - even though it was pushed between her body and the side of the train (window seat). So she saved a few $ on the train and lost almost $500 on the camera - plus a lot of her photos.

I would select a single sleeper for 1) better security and 2) not having to share with a stranger who may snore - or worse.
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Old Jul 11th, 2014, 04:53 AM
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Again, another voice to add.

Don't book a seat = sleeping in a shop doorway, no staff, no security, no sleep.

Book a couchette = hostel bed, in a safely locked compartment. You can choose a ladies-only compartment if you like, too.

Or a sleeper = hotel on rails, single-sex 2-berth or solo berth compartment. Though solo sleepers are expensive.
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Old Jul 11th, 2014, 03:06 PM
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Thanks all. Booking the couchette.
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Old Jul 11th, 2014, 04:01 PM
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Couchettes have uper, middle and lower berths usually - three stacked on either side of the aisle or for more money (so-called first-class couchettes two bunks on each side of the aisle -and if these trains have 4-person couchettes they are infinitely better than 6-person couchettes IME - lots less baggage strewn around - lesser chance of getting the ubiquitous loud snorer.

And I would always choose the highest upper bunk for safety reasons - never leaves bags on the floor near the door - folks often IME do not lock the doors when they return from the loo in the middle of the night!

and up top is more roomy as you can avail yourself on the room over the corridor outside - a big shelf to put your bags on and have the greatest security. You are also well above any noises below. Not sure you can pick where you berth is but the veruy top berth is always my favorite place to be. You do have climb ladders however so if physically challenged a no.
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Old Jul 26th, 2014, 01:20 AM
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PalenQ, I ended up picking the uppermost sleeper in the T3 sleeper. There was a 4 berth couchette available, but I hope the T3 sleeper is more comfortable
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Old Jul 26th, 2014, 05:37 AM
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Well a T-3 is far better IME than a 4-berth couchette - for one thing it should be the in sleeper car - where there are only singles, doubles and triples - a lot less people in the same car so easier to find vacant WCs and wash rooms - always at the ends of each car.

Plus one less person in the compartment the better - same-size compartment as 4-berth and yes the top to me is the most secure and above the fray.

Well worth the extra bucks IME.
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Old Jul 26th, 2014, 07:10 AM
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@PalenQ, should I stuff my big suitcase below the first sleeper at the bottom? Is it safe? I can't possibly imagine I'd be able to lift mine to stow it on the rack above the window!! I'd have a small bag with passport, iPad, etc which I can keep with myself on my sleeper.
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Old Jul 26th, 2014, 08:18 AM
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Well it is quite a trek up to the top on a narrow ladder - just do not leave anything of value in your bottom pack - unlikely it will be victimized as in a triple you are in the sleeping car (I think) and the conductors there monitor anyone coming and going and with only two others in the compartment (if full, may not be) the chances of someone leaving the door unlocked when they return from the loo, etc is less likely - as long as the door is locked from the inside I believe even the conductor can't get in!
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Old Jul 26th, 2014, 08:43 AM
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It looks like your train will go through Slovenia and Croatia. Just a tip: we did this trip with Eurail passes several years ago and checked with them to see if we needed visas for Slovenia and Croatia. Eurail informed us that the train didn't go through either country. Ha! It did--and the conductor came to us right after the train left the station to tell us that we needed the visas. For the three of us, it was 100 euros cash on the spot. Fortunately, we had just enough. So. . . check the route before you go to be sure.
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Old Jul 26th, 2014, 09:02 AM
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You no longer, if an American, need visas for either Slovenia or Croatia - both are in the EU now (though not sure if they are in Schengen countries or not but anyway pretty sure you need no visa any more.
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Old Jul 26th, 2014, 10:34 AM
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I went to both countries in 2006 and didn't need a visa. I'm American.
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Old Jul 27th, 2014, 06:58 AM
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@PalenQ, it was just me and one Russian girl in the sleeper. I stowed my suitcase on the floor and took the day bag with passport, etc up with me. Attendant was super courteous. Breakfast was decent (included). As I am a vegetarian, she got me bread rolls with honey, jam, butter, brunch spread and fruit yogurt and orange juice and hot chocolate (she came to ask me in the morning for my preference as she said she had lost my preference card on which I had ticked the (any) 6 items. Bathrooms were trashed! Sigh! Bed was comfortable. Slept well for sleeping in a train.

@happytourist, I'm not an American, unlike Adrienne yet no visa needed last night.
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Old Jul 28th, 2014, 05:43 AM
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Glad it went well.... except for the bathroom - kind of typical IME on night trains as cleaners only come on when the train arrives at its destination.
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