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How much is 4-couchettes better than 6-couchettes?

How much is 4-couchettes better than 6-couchettes?

Mar 10th, 2005, 09:21 AM
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How much is 4-couchettes better than 6-couchettes?

Is it worth to pay CHF49 for 4-couchettes compartment (other than CHF31 for 6-couchetters compartment)? Our group are 4 adults and 1 child (8 year old). I wonder if 4c. is better and bigger than 6c. or not. Anyone ever tried both?
sakullak is offline  
Mar 10th, 2005, 09:28 AM
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Hi sa,

In a 6, there are 3 bunks hung on each wall. In a 4. there are only 2.

I think a 6 berth couchette violates the Geneva Conventions.

ira is offline  
Mar 10th, 2005, 09:29 AM
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If you go for the 6 berth, you will be sharing it with 2 strangers.
ira is offline  
Mar 10th, 2005, 09:30 AM
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And their luggage, which might not be inconsiderable. The one time we used a couchette we arrived at the door to find a family of 5 in residence and every available surface covered with suitcases and bread and sausage and other food. We upgraded to a compartment in a big hurry!
Underhill is online now  
Mar 10th, 2005, 09:33 AM
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If there are five of you, including one child, in your group, it might make sense to buy all six places in a six-couchette compartment.
jahoulih is offline  
Mar 10th, 2005, 09:37 AM
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haha .. yeah we're family of 5 and may make others run away too.

jahoulih, I just wonder about 4-couchette has wider bed and much more space for us or not. Since our child (actually she is my niece) can share the couchette with her mom. I think noone want to sleep on the top one in 6c.
sakullak is offline  
Mar 10th, 2005, 11:16 AM
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I thought the 6 berth meant you had less room between the bunks (i.e., head room), since 3 hang off the wall instead of just 2. Isn't that right? Aren't the actual fold down bed/plank the same width?
suze is offline  
Mar 10th, 2005, 11:38 AM
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I think Suze is correct. I have never taken one, but have seen photos, and it looks about like the same room but with three on each side, there is less headroom. I don't think there is a lot more other room in the 4 bed room.
Christina is offline  
Mar 10th, 2005, 11:54 AM
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I've taken both, though the 6-berth only back in my student backpacking days 5 years ago. I can tell you this:

1. the beds are the same width in 4 and 6-berths. They are TIGHT. They won't fit the mom and child, not in a million years

2. You will have no space at all to sit up in a 6-berth. If you are in the middle berth, you may as well spend the night in the cable car because it is murder. You are crammed in like a sardine and it is awful. Thank god I've never gotten the middle!

3. Unless you are the poor student type who is travelling for months on a tight budget, I would NEVER suggest you take the 6-berth. If I were you, I would either go for the 4-berth or buy all the seats in the 6th.
Personally, I can't imagine how a toddler, much less an 8-year old, can fit into one of those beds, no matter what the cabin! She would be much more comfortable, and her mother both, if she had her own bed.

4. Additional reasons for not sharing a 6-berth with strangers involve the fact that often times the AC can break down, or as many travelers speculate, is turned off at certain times, and when you deal with people you don't know (and sometimes their hefty luggage) you run the risk of having a lack of oxygen, elevated levels of B.O., people who come in and out of the cabin in the middle of the night, chat loudly, snore even louder, want to turn up the AC or turn down the AC, etc etc.

SO - if you really want to sleep in a 6-berth couchette cabin, do yourself an favour and buy the extra bed even if you don't intend to sleep in it.

OH, and sit up slowly so you don't band your head.
isabela is offline  
Mar 10th, 2005, 11:56 AM
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I mean, so you don't bang your head. You kind of have to slide in and out of a bed and don't mind someone using your bed as a footstool.

I love train travel, but I would never take a 6-berth cabin unless I shared with friends or family. And even then...
isabela is offline  
Mar 10th, 2005, 12:14 PM
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I'm not recommending it... but it sounds like at least if you booked the 6-berth for your party of 5, everyone would have a plank (I use this word because they really aren't very bed-like) to sleep on and one extra to stash a bit of luggage.
suze is offline  
Mar 10th, 2005, 02:26 PM
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It occurs to me that, when we did the Secret Itineraries tour of the Doge's Palace in Venice, the prisoner's cells were only 4 bunks, and they were wider than the T4 couchettes on the trains.

ira is offline  
Mar 10th, 2005, 02:40 PM
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ira is right! The cells in the Ducal Palace were indeed larger than the 4 couchette compartments...
TexasAggie is offline  
Mar 10th, 2005, 05:53 PM
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I am fairly certain you must have a valid train ticket to accompany each bunk space you purchase. Therefore, you would be entitled to purchase 5 spaces.
I personally don't like night trains, especially in those six-bunk arrangements. I never slept well in them, the ventilation was always poor, and inevitably, the train would stop in some little town in the middle of nowhere and a bunch of people would enter the train car at 3AM, turning on the lights, and making lots of noise.
platzman is offline  
Mar 10th, 2005, 06:18 PM
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Reading you guys posts and don't want to take neither 4 nor 6, haha. But this train marks Couchette Only. Are there any other types of compartments in this train?
sakullak is offline  
Mar 10th, 2005, 10:45 PM
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Couchettes are MISERABLE! Very hot in the summer and a puke-festof a ride. Much better to take a day train. YES, you lose the time, but think of the comfort you gain. The 6-bed berths are aweful. VERY little room to move when the beds are all down. You can raise them up so you can sit for a bit, but basically once you get in there you will want to just lay down and ATTEMPT to go to sleep. If you MUST take a night train, go for the 4-bed layout. Good luck if you are trying it with a child though. Aweful.
viennajenny is offline  
Mar 10th, 2005, 10:54 PM
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I would take the 6-berth just for the sake of having the family all together. For the theoretically 2 free berths, I would have a little talk with the wagon-manager : the kid,... the family,... (one of us snores like hell...) and ask him politely if he can manage to keep the 2 berths free for the trip. It all depends a bit on the season. And maybe give him a 5CHF tip when you leave the train the next day.
baldrick is offline  
Mar 11th, 2005, 12:47 AM
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It is worth it to pay the CHF 49 per berth. Four of you will be together, and the fifth in a nearby compartment with three strangers. You cannot book six berths and occupy only five, as the rule say that ten minutes after departure time the conductor can re-let the unoccupied berth to any late-show traveller.

You should ask the fare for a berth in a second class sleeper, with more space, and a wash basin in your compartment. Most of these have three berths, but some (called T2) have two berths. They are worth the small increase in the supplement you pay. There is a note on getting the best from sleepers and couchettes at http://www.geocities.com/rexbickers/...ghttrains.htm/.

Your agent can use an options page to say which level berth you prefer, so you can say you do not want middle level.

For sakullak: Please would you tell us which train, which time and places, is marked couchettes only ? They are rare.

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ben_haines_london is offline  
Mar 11th, 2005, 01:06 AM
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ben_haines_london, i got it from sbb.ch
Train number is EN303 described EuroNight, R (Reservation compulsory), Z (Supplementary charge), L (Couchettes only)

I showed my family 6-couchettes pictures from seat61.com, they saw it and accepted this awful but still wanted to take this train for saving a day trip.
sakullak is offline  
Mar 11th, 2005, 02:01 AM
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A six-berth couchette compartment has as much space as a compartment with six seats, and that's probably more space than six seats on a plane. If the train has a sleeping car, I'd rather pay extra for that, but if there are no sleepers, I'd much rather sleep in a couchette than in a seat - you have a basic pillow and blankets, and can lock the door and turn out the lights. The modern carriages run much more smoothly than the older ones which is a big help in sleeping.
GeoffHamer is offline  
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