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Is 2nd class on train a mistake?

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Jul 19th, 2015, 11:12 PM
  #1
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Is 2nd class on train a mistake?

Hi Fellow travellers, hope you can help. I have booked a ticket on the night train from Vienna to Venice with my husband in September and was wondering is this a mistake? I was advised by my travel agent that there wasn't much of a difference with 1st class or 2nd in seating section. Also that you wont sleep much anyway in a sleeper cabin? This is our first trip to Europe and thought a train trip would be nice instead of flying everywhere. Has anyone done this trip? Can you also tell me are the seats facing in forward direction? or backwards? Thanks , all advice appreciated.
Elle12345 is offline  
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Jul 20th, 2015, 12:05 AM
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I don't have experience with this particular journey, but suggest you look at www.seat61.com

I remember finding a seating layout on that site - this will show where particular seat numbers are located. There is also plenty of helpful advice on this site for all European train routes etc.

We did an overnight trip from Strasbourg to Vienna in a sleeper carriage - fairly basic accommodation, but we did sleep quite a lot of the time, and enjoyed the scenery during the daylight hours. Certainly less of a hassle than negotiating the airports! Di
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Jul 20th, 2015, 12:49 AM
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Hi Elle, 1st class is always better then 2nd class..it would be better if you can change your ticket 2nd class to 1st class.
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Jul 20th, 2015, 01:15 AM
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Ah, but you meet a much nicer class of people in 2nd I'd not sweat it.
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Jul 20th, 2015, 02:04 AM
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We've not taken that overnight route, though we have taken long routes in 2nd class across Austria into neighboring countries. I can not speak to unreserved seating; though, we found the reserved seating in the compartments to be a crapshoot; we've had everything from sweaty travelers to overly perfumed Omas to "squatters" who took their chances on an empty seat that they didn't have to reserve ride along with us. If we were ever to take the overnight from Vienna to Venice, I would spend the extra for at least first class if not for a private cabin.

Sorry, bilboburgler, but "a nicer class of people" or not, I would not want them falling asleep on me en route.
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Jul 20th, 2015, 02:04 AM
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More important than the booking class is the type of car. There are no less than 9 types:

1. "Sitzwagen": cars with normal seats (very hard to sleep)
2. "Liegewagen 6": compartment with 6 very basic cots, incredibly cramped
3. "Liegewagen 4" with 4 cots in a compartment, not much better
4. "Schlafwagen 3": private compartment with 3 cots and sink
5. "Schlafwagen 3": private compartment with 3 cots and private shower/WC
6. "Schlafwagen 2": private compartment with 2 cots and sink
7. "Schlafwagen 2": private compartment with 2 cots and shower/WC
8. "Schlafwagen 1": private compartment with 1 cot and sink
9. "Schlafwagen 1": private compartment with 1 cot and shower/WC

Look what is written on your ticket. A night in a Liegewagen will be an experience that you will never forget.
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Jul 20th, 2015, 02:46 AM
  #7
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Thanks for your replies, I haven't got my tickets yet but is in seated area!I do not want a trip that I won't forget , especially a bad one! Will have to try to change my booking if it doesn't cost too much in fees.
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Jul 20th, 2015, 03:30 AM
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" "a nicer class of people" or not, I would not want them falling asleep on me en route."

In my neck of the woods, the merchant bankers and consultants charging their first class tickets to some ripped off client are infinitely more likely to fall asleep (and, once away, to snore) than the bishops, retired government ministers and Nobel prize winners paying their own way in second.

No doubt the kind of snob mouthing gibberish about "I would not want them falling asleep on me en route" lives in the kind of hell-hole where excess cash passes for class.

But in the civilised world, first class merely buys a smidgeon of extra space.
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Jul 20th, 2015, 04:08 AM
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So have a ticket for the Sitzwagen. You will find just seats, like on a plane. You may find some sleep in your seat, but be aware that there will be much more disturbances than during a smooth flight. Especially in train stations, there will be noise and passengers leaving and coming and handling their bags and talking etc. The train has 15 stops between Vienna and Venice.

It is matter of chance which direction the seats have. In some stations, the trains changes direction, so it does not matter anyway.

These are the differences between first and second class:

- you have about 20% more space in first class - wider seats and more legroom

- many first class trains have electrical outlets at the seats

- in first class, there are less people in a car, so it will be quieter

- in first class, the chance is lower to meet a party of drunk, rackety members of a bowling club who spend the night drinking heavily
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Jul 20th, 2015, 05:08 AM
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Do you really want to spend a whole night sitting up - and if you do dose off guarding your valuable from the many people who will be getting on and off the train at many stops?

Granted probaly everyone else will be a legitimate traveler, but there is no guarantee. A friend of mine had her camera stolen (it was tucked between her body and the side of the train) when she fell asleep in a sitting car on a night train. She secured her other valuables (passport, credit cards, money etc) by putting them in a small day pack and sitting on it.
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Jul 20th, 2015, 06:45 AM
  #11
 
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Some great train sights to get answers to those questions: www.seat61.com; www.budgeteuropetravel.com and www.ricksteves.com.

I've taken first class on that night train and in a multi-person compartment there is 4 folks instead of 6 - get a private compartment - first class - IMO for the best experience. Cheapest is not always the best.
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Jul 20th, 2015, 06:59 AM
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>>>on that night train<<< Which one???

There is no direct night train from München to Brussel.

Probably the best connection would be taking a late train to Düsseldorf (there is one leaving at 19:48 and arriving at 1:04), then taking a few hours rest in a cheap hotel near the station and then taking the early morning Thalys to Brussel (dep 6:16 / arr 8:32).

The websites display some crazy connections with multiple changes, even bus rides. Forget this.

And look for flights.
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Jul 20th, 2015, 07:00 AM
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Sorry, wrong thread. Just forget it.
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Jul 20th, 2015, 07:03 AM
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flanneruk, your comment is offensive. My seat is my personal space. I don't wish to have anyone not related to me falling asleep on me on any kind of travel. That hardly makes me a snob.
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Jul 20th, 2015, 07:10 AM
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I wouldn't be concerned with the minor difference between 1st and 2nd class. I'd be thinking about all that scenery you'll be missing out on by traveling at night. You might want to rethink your itinerary, and do that part of the trip during the day.
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Jul 20th, 2015, 07:31 AM
  #16
 
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I find this really funny that you would take a travel agent's advice that sleeping sitting up isn't much different than a bed. If you feel that is true, though, maybe it is for you. I absolutely cannot sleep sitting up and hardly get any sleep on a plane and I wouldn't need someone to tell me that.

First class is always a little nicer than second, that's why you pay more. If you've ever traveled by train much, you already have an idea of the difference and whether it is worth the cost. It is to me on long journeys. I haven't slept on a train in many years as it really isn't necessary in Europe much, but while it wasn't the best sleep, it was a million times better than enduring another night on top of the flight over sitting up. Mine was first class, though.

All trains have some seats facing forward and some not that I've been on, just the way it works. If you are lucky, you can select the direction when booking (you can usually on French trains, they tell you), but sometimes you aren't told. I just had to book trains in the Czech Republique and online it didn't tell me when direction the car was going.
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Jul 20th, 2015, 09:59 AM
  #17
 
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But in the civilised world, first class merely buys a smidgeon of extra space.>

flanneruk has obiously NOT ridden first class much - even in Britain on long-distance trains where there is a world of difference - a bunch of nonsense that unfortuantely thru ignorance or downright deceit is so so WRONG IME of deacades of European train travel.
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Jul 20th, 2015, 11:26 AM
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Unless you are traveling in one of those older 6-place compartments on a train it is highly unlikely that you are going to "meet" anybody on the train. Now, if you actually enjoy going up to total strangers and introducing yourself and start a conversation, perhaps there's a spot for you.

If you DO meet anybody in First you can remember that those people really ARE different than the people back in Second in that they were willing to PAY for a First Class ticket. If you can relate to that as well as having more space then no it is not a "bad" idea. Neither is being smart enough to stay in an air conditioned space in humid and hot Europe after you get off the train, too.
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Jul 21st, 2015, 09:04 AM
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In a nutshell, on a European overnight train, 'class' is irrelevant. The 'real' classes are:

1. Sit-up-all-night seats = sleeping in a shop doorway or on a park bench.

2. Couchettes (liegewagen in German) = a youth hostel or pensione.

3. Sleeping-car = a hotel.

I'd NEVER recommend using a sit-up-all-night seat unless it's a must-get-home emergency situation, it's the lowest of the low, and whether you slum it in 2nd class seat or slum it in a 1st class seat is a detail. No sleep, no security.

I would rather sleep properly, lying flat, in a securely-locked 2nd class couchette compartment, than sleep slumped in a seat (even a 1st class one) trying to stay awake to guard my luggage in the dregs part of the train. Hence class is irrelevant. A 2nd class couchette is far better than a 1st class seat, and usually much cheaper!

A couchette is fine, flat padded bunks in 4 or 6 berth compartments.

A sleeper is lovely, a cosy compact bedroom with washbasin, carpet, comfy beds, breakfast included.

ALWAYS book at least a couchette, for both comfort and security.
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Jul 21st, 2015, 10:16 AM
  #20
 
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>>>A 2nd class couchette is far better than a 1st class seat, and usually much cheaper!<<<

Yes, but I don't see where this train offers 1st/2nd class seats. Some trains do have standard sleeping car and a gran class sleeping car. Standard a bit smaller with only a sink while gran has a tiny bathroom and a bit more space.
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