Italy -Second Class Only Trains/Sleepers

Nov 10th, 2001, 10:29 AM
  #1  
Chels
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Italy -Second Class Only Trains/Sleepers

I'll be travelling to Naples on an overnight train on Christmas Eve. The regular train is not in service that night, only an Italian train that only has second class service is available. Has anyone travelled on this type of train? We're booking a sleeping compartment, but we usually do the first class, which has always been comfortable and clean (and recommended on this site!) Any thoughts on this type of service? Is it to avoid, or does it make no difference?

Thanks in advance,

Chels
 
Nov 10th, 2001, 02:06 PM
  #2  
Ben Haines
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Please can you say where you'll be travelling from, and I'll be able to comment properly. Second or first class seats give a poor night's sleep, if any. 6-berth second class couchettes are tolerable, but crowded, and mixed sexes mean that you can't changhe intyo pyjamas. Second class sleepers have two berths if they are type T2, but usually three berths. If you simply book those, you'll find that your husband travels with two strange men, and you with two strange women, as people who don't book all three berths are sorted by sex.

At the same time, if the timetable shows a second class sleeping car then you have discovered the only one in continental western Europe. The standard continental design is a car of compartments in which the conductor can fold down one bed (first class single), two beds (first class double, your usual type) or three beds (second class triple or "tourist"). I suppose that the Stendhal Express fom Paris to Milan might be re-marshalled for Christmas Eve to carry only comfort class 4-berth couchettes, but this seems odd.

But when you give me your route, and pehaps departure time, I may be able to help further.

Ben Haines, London
 
Nov 10th, 2001, 04:04 PM
  #3  
Mari
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We once travelled on a train from Frankfurt to Milan in a first class compartment and then switched to a sleeper compartment for the journey to Naples. We should have stayed in the first class compartment. The sleeper compartments are small and not at all comfortable compared to first class. We also had a sixth person, a stranger, put into our sleeper at the last minute. Sensing our discomfort, he was kind enough to go to another compartment for the overnight journey. Wait for another train and stay in first class if you can and if your schedule allows. I'm envious...I wish I could be in Italy at Christmas time. Whatever you do, have a safe and wonderful journey!
 
Nov 11th, 2001, 10:37 AM
  #4  
Ben Haines
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A compartment with six berths is a second class couchette, and as you say they are crowded. As I say, a second class sleeper has three berths, and a first class sleeper has one or two berths. I go over this ground and other matters in http://www.twenj.com/tipsnighttrains.htm

Ben Haines
 
Nov 11th, 2001, 01:02 PM
  #5  
Patty
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About 7 years ago we took an overnight train from Paris to Florence. There was no room in first class so we took a second class cabin. We had our own room with an upper and lower bed (fold ups), a window, it was perfectly clean and acceptable. I didn't sleep well only because I wanted to see all the beautiful towns we were pass through until exhaustion took over. The only difference I would guess was that it was filled with Italians and not Americans, which was a real treat. Many sat and stood outside their rooms and talked and sang late into the evening. I don't speak Italian but we joined in a little and they were very friendly and gracious. Good Luck!
 
Nov 11th, 2001, 07:22 PM
  #6  
Chels
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Thank you for responding. The route we will be taking on Christmas Eve is from Venice to Milan, and then the sleeper train from Milan to Naples (Train number D1913). We booked the 2nd class T-2, where there are only 2 berths in each compartment. Last year, we went directly from Venice to Naples on the overnight train in a first class 2-bed compartment, and it was more than adequate. (This train is not running that night due to the holiday.) I am apprehensive about the 2nd class due to posts I have read here; any feedback or suggestions would be appreciated.

Regards,

Chels
 
Nov 11th, 2001, 08:37 PM
  #7  
Ben Haines
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Dear Ms Pinno,

I was wrong. While I know no standard sleeping car that is second class only, T2 sleeping cars are indeed purely second classs, and that's what is on offer to you. They'll have decided to detatch the standard sleeper car, as it is not much used at New Year. You found the first class 2-berth compartment more than adequate. The T2 compartment is similar, but less tall. You lose little by that: you'll recall that the compartment you used was so tall you could hardly get luggage up onto the topmost rack.

As to what you "have read here", Matri was in a 6-berth couchette compartment, which doesn't compare, and Patty's problem of wanting to see the view was of her own devising, and as much a pleasure as a problem. If people sing when you want to sleep you should ask the conductor to ask them to move along the train to a day car -- though they won't be popular there, either. Even in Italy, most people sleep at night.

Please write again if I can help further.

Ben Haines


Message: Thank you for responding. The route we will be taking on
Christmas Eve is from Venice to Milan, and then the sleeper train from
Milan to Naples (Train number D1913). We booked the 2nd class T-2,
where there are only 2 berths in each compartment. Last year, we went
directly from Venice to Naples on the overnight train in a first class 2-bed
compartment, and it was more than adequate. (This train is not running
that night due to the holiday.) I am apprehensive about the 2nd class due
to posts I have read here; any feedback or suggestions would be
appreciated.
 
Nov 12th, 2001, 02:38 PM
  #8  
Chels
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Dear Ben,

Thank you for the information. I think we will be fine. If there is any singing, I guess we'll just join in.

Thanks again, and thanks to all who responded.

Chels
 
Nov 12th, 2001, 03:31 PM
  #9  
Ben Haines
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That's the spirit. Give them a round of "Oh Susanna".

Ben Haines
 

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