Overnight train question

Jul 27th, 2007, 08:52 PM
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Join Date: May 2003
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Overnight train question

I will be taking the overnight from Paris to Venice in a T-6. Can I reserve what bed I want? Any ideas on a top or bottom bed might be better.
mike_b12 is offline  
Jul 27th, 2007, 10:24 PM
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I think you only reserve by getting there first. And I submit that the bottom is definitely the best, if only for the chance (which happened to us, our one and only overnight train experience) - - that no one shows up to use the middle berth. Not entirely sure why, but the only other travelers in our compartment chose the two top berths.

In the morning, with no one in the middle berths, we could put them flat against the wall, and enjoy spacious "headroom", while sitting up in our berths, getting our stuff ready for disembarking.

Best wishes,

rex is offline  
Jul 27th, 2007, 10:34 PM
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Yeah, my sister and I took the same train a few years ago and we only got to choose because we booked a 2-bed sleeping berth. Your compartment may be designated, but I believe the bunks are all first come, first serve.

Though I'm not sure about the top vs. the bottom. A friend of a friend who slept on the lower bunk had her lugggage stolen in the middle of the night (because you can't control entry & exit), whereas the people on the top were safe. I'd take the top, but then I'm not claustrophobic (which should be a big factor in your decision).
slangevar is offline  
Jul 28th, 2007, 08:07 AM
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I'm pretty sure people do choose the top for luggage security and because then no one is climing over them.
suze is offline  
Jul 28th, 2007, 08:30 AM
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Couchettte doors lock from the inside. (Of course, that doesn't prevent someone entering if the door is left unlocked or if someone sharing the couchette decides to steal your luggage.)

If you book at sncf.com, you can choose the couchette level or leave it open.

When available, discount fares are sold on sncf.com making the price of a 1st class, four-person couchette quite reasonable (less than the standard fare for a six-person couchette). The extra space and comfort is worth the higher fare.
TimS is offline  
Jul 28th, 2007, 02:26 PM
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When you book a seat, couchette or sleeping berth, places are allocated when you make the booking, and you can choose which position you want: if it's a seat, you can specify a preference for one by a window, for example.
When booking overnight accommodation, in a couchette or a sleeper, you can choose your preferred position, and a 6-berth compartment has upper, middle and lower berths.
The lowest berth is easiest to reach. The upper berths are accessed by a ladder so are not a good idea if you're not agile. I once saw an agile 80-year-old man clamber up to the top bunk without using the ladder, so it's not very difficult.
The top bunk gives more privacy because people in the lower berths can't see you. The Paris-Venezia train stops at Verona, Vicenza and Padova, amongst others, to drop off passengers, and if they're in your compartment, they may disturb you, especially in the lower berths.
On the other hand, the top of the compartment is usually warmer, and is often too warm for comfort in my experience.
GeoffHamer is offline  
Jul 28th, 2007, 03:06 PM
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You can get a good intro to night trains at http://tinyurl.com/y57vft.

I prefer the bottom, despite the security issue. Guard your stuff, especialy in stations. Do not leave any valuables in your luggage at any time for any length of time.

hopscotch is offline  
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