Overnight Trains to BudaPest

Old Jun 3rd, 1999, 03:34 AM
  #1  
Valerie
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Overnight Trains to BudaPest

Can anyone tell me what the overnight sleepers on the trains in eastern europe are like? I will be traveling from Prague to BudaPest with my husband and was wondering what precautions we should take,if the doors lock, etc. Thank you.
 
Old Jun 3rd, 1999, 04:21 AM
  #2  
s.fowler
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Ben Haines is our train expert so I hope he'll weigh in here!

I looked at the Deutschebahn site. There are two trains I saw that don't require a change. [there are probably more earlier...]

One originates in Hamburg and leaves Prague around 2:30 in the afternoon, arriving close to midnight in Budapest. It takes 7 1/2 hrs.

The other originates in Prague and arrives Budapest at about 8am taking 9 hours. It is the sleeper train.

On international trains the cars can come from many sources. For example on our Paris-Budapest train the sleeper was Austrian. The couchettes French and the 1st class coach cars Hungarian. I think my level of comfort would have to do with the management of the car I was in. On most overnight trains they do take your passport and tickets so you don't get woken up at borders.

The overnight train looks a lot slower with more stops. For me the fewer stops the better. Less chance for uninvited "guests".

Unless you are trying to save a night's hotel I'd take the earlier train. It is an EC train which implies a certain standard. As Ben will tell you CZech Rep and Hungary are not the Balkans!

Ben?
 
Old Jun 3rd, 1999, 12:56 PM
  #3  
Valerie
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Thanks S. Fowler for your answer. Unfortuantely, I must take an overnight train because I am short of time. Did you say that I must handover my passport for the entire night and collect it in the morning? Also is it relatively safe sleeping as I have heard of people waking in the morning to the door locks having been picked open and items stolen.
 
Old Jun 3rd, 1999, 01:12 PM
  #4  
s.fowler
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Most of the horrow stories are from Russia or the Balkans. I wouldn't worry too much.

On our trip I wore my moneybelt at night. You can also tie your bags together and/or to the luggage rack. And I've been told those plastic film canisters are great to stick under the doorhandle. Take your cue from your conductor. If he shows you how to lock your door and discusses precautions, take as many precautions as you want. Otherwise just be sure your valuables aren't easy to get to.
 
Old Jun 3rd, 1999, 01:16 PM
  #5  
s.fowler
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It will depend on the train and your car whether they take the passports or not. It's perfectly safe and done all the time. Of course be sure to have a copy [or copies] of the main page and any relevant visas in a safe place.
 
Old Jun 3rd, 1999, 02:32 PM
  #6  
ann
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I took the overnight to BudaPest in 1993 and had no trouble. Unfortunately we checked our luggage and it ended up on a different and much slower train. Our passports were not taken but inspected at the border. It may be different now. Use common sense and keep your luggage with you.
 
Old Jun 4th, 1999, 01:32 PM
  #7  
Ben Haines
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How nice to be expected, though you've already had all the main points.

Your train is the Pannonia Express. You can book your sleepers from the travel centre in any main station in western Europe, incuding those at such arrival airports as Charles de Gaulle, Schipol, Frankfurt and Zurich. The train leaves from ague Hlavni station, which is notorious for luggage thieves and pickpockets: not a place to linger. You board about 2230, and the train leaves 2310. It arrives at Budapest Keleti at 0812, but your sleeper is to carry on towards the frontier, so leaves the station at 0830. There is thus no need to hurry to leave it.

The sleepers will be Czech or Hungarian, and any age from one to fifteen years. Each compartment has not only a lock that the conductor can open with his key and thieves with theirs, but also a chain or a counter-lock that you control only from inside the door.

I'm afraid that on this train the conductor takes your rail tickets but not your passports, so you wake at each frontier to show passports to control officers. You stay in bed, but you do in fact show your passports to Cezch exit, Slovak entry, Slovak exit and Hungarian entry officers. Tedious.

With the e-mail copy of this I am sending my notes on european night trains. Please write if I can help further.

Ben Haines, London

 

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