Night trains?

Old Feb 5th, 2005, 06:42 PM
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Night trains?

Help! I am considering taking a night train from either Paris or Nice going to Venice. It will be me and a friend, both college aged girls. Basically, I need some advice on whether it is advisable for us to take a night train to Italy, and if so, what kind of sleeping arrangements should we make for the train.
Is it worth the expense to pay for a 2 person sleeper for safety reasons? And should we only buy first class tickets for the night train? Student discounts only apply to 2nd class and we don't intend to have railpasses.
Can we lock the door of our cabin if we are in a shared couchette (T4 or T6)? Is it safe to hand over our passports to the night conductor?

Thanks so much for the help, Happy Travels, AShields
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Old Feb 5th, 2005, 08:52 PM
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Before deciding, you should definately check out the low cost airlines which are all over the place now in Europe. Ryanair flies from Paris to Venice, for example. This option will save you loads of time and hassle and no matter how you book it, overnight trains are never a good way to spend the evening.

-kevin
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Old Feb 6th, 2005, 08:00 AM
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I have a different opinion. I love an overnight train journey, although I wouldn't do more than 1 or 2 per trip to Europe. I have only done it in a wagon-lit (the private 1-2 person cabins) but loved the whole idea and atmosphere of it. I'd even call it romantic (though I have only traveled solo or with a pal not a lover).

Also train stations are usually right in a town, where getting to the airport usually involves much more hassle and some added expense.

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Old Feb 6th, 2005, 08:43 AM
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Perhaps our mistake was not taking a private couchette. We took the overnight train from Marseille to Starsbourg and as we were a party of three and didn't feel like paying for the extra three seats, we ended up sharing the cabin with two other people who (at the risk of being P-IC) didn't have the same sense of bodily cleanliness as do we.

In any case, I still would opt for a short flight (especailly when it is cheaper) anyday (or night).

-Kevin
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Old Feb 6th, 2005, 08:49 AM
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Hi ash,

You don't have to keep reposting.

Click on your name and your other posts will come up.

You have replies from the last time you asked this question.

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Old Feb 6th, 2005, 09:03 AM
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I have done night trains several times and it has been with me (girl) and another early-twenties girl. We never had any problems, and we were in the six person ones. Granted, we didn't get the best sleep of our lives, but it was fine and I'd do it again.
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Old Feb 6th, 2005, 09:38 AM
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Ben Haines has a worthwhile file of reading on the geocities website which bears my name (I provided the space, and helped him with re-formatting and uploading).

See http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...2&tid=34547441

Also note that the thread mentioned above has a message header that is much more informative - - providing a clue as to where are your destinations.

Best wishes,

Rex
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Old Feb 6th, 2005, 06:38 PM
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It's true. I would not consider this if I couldn't afford a private cabin. Not for safety reasons, because I think the 4-6 person couchette is fine that way. But I just know I would not be able to get a decent night's sleep sharing a cabin with strangers.

In the private cabin you can take on a nice picnic dinner, have a bottle of wine, good conversation with you travel mate, read a book, and then go to bed. Great fun. No trip to the airport and flight can offer this kind of experience IMO.
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Old Feb 6th, 2005, 07:25 PM
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I would definitely consider the Ryanair option (I think they start this route from Paris in April), even though the Ryanair airports are somewhat remote and usually involve a bit of extra bus or train journey at the ends. It can be difficult to get a good nights sleep in the T4/T6 compartments, as it is a fairly small space you are sharing with strangers.

Even supposing you could find the night conductor, I don't think there are passport controls on this route anymore.
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Old Feb 6th, 2005, 11:34 PM
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Thanks for all the great advice! I think due to time constraints, the overnight train is going to be our best bet. I feel a lot better after having heard that most people have had good experiences on these trains, not just the horror stories that everyone hears.

Ashields
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