Solo travel and overnight trains

Aug 22nd, 2001, 08:34 PM
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Solo travel and overnight trains

First let me say many thanks to the people who have responded to my posts! Your information have been very helpful.

Planning first trip to Europe. Will not rent a car - too much trouble, expense. Plan to travel by train. Most of my trips will be in the day time or the evening, but I had planned on taking one overnight from Paris to Interlaken to cut down on time.

I am not sure if my friends will go on this trip with me or I will go solo. I have traveled other places solo with no problems whatsoever. After reading posts on this board about crime in Paris and people getting gased and robbed on trains and several other travel guides I am very concerned about taking an overnight train as a single woman.

If I take the overnight train, I want to get a first class private compartment, if possible. What I would like to know if there are any other women who have taken the overnight train solo and what have your experiences been? Other than taking the obvious precautions (dress conservatively, no fanny packs, keep purses close and zipped, etc), what else can I do to be safe? Are train stations safe late at night? Or should I avoid overnight trains altogether as a single female?
Aug 22nd, 2001, 11:01 PM
Posts: n/a
By and large safety on night trains can vary quite a lot, depending on the countries you are travelling through and the type of train you travel on. Your comments on selecting a First Class single sleeper are spot on; I would'nt do it any other way, but then I am ageing gracefully (I hope) at present.
Normally Swiss trains are probably the safest of all.
I'm not sure that you can get a decent night train from Paris to Interlaken - as far as I know there are no through direct trains, which means you will have to change somewhere in the middle of the night, and often from a good quality train to a couchette or seats only train. Not much fun.
There is a TGV train from Paris at 1644, with a 5 minute connection at Bern, arriving Interlaken 2225. You could have dinner on the TGV and arrive safely and comfortably at Interlaken in time for a good nights sleep. There is another at 1804 from Paris, but does'nt reach Interlaken until just after midnight.
Aug 23rd, 2001, 12:41 AM
Ben Haines
Posts: n/a
Mr Albury's doubts are justified. I'm afraid there's no through night train, and the best journey is not good. Paris Est board bout 2215, leave 2243. Zurich arrive 0620, stay on board till 0650, then change. Leave 0704 by restaurant car train: wash and breakfast on board. Interlaken Ost 0920.

There's a faster arrival via Basel, but there you leave your bed at 0510.

I'm not sure you need first class: a two berth wonen-only second class sleeper has lock, door chain, and travelling conductor. If you'd like more detail on gretting the best from sleepers please see my note on

Anf otherwise, please write if I can help further.

Welcome to Europe.

Ben Haines, London

Please write if I can help further.
Aug 23rd, 2001, 03:10 AM
Posts: n/a
I have taken an overnight train both as a solo and with traveling companions. I had the best trip when I was solo and in a compartment with 5 other Italian women. I felt safe in both situations because the train conductor watched over the compartments. He checks everyones passport and keeps them overnight until the next morning when a light breakfast is served. Feel free to e-mail me if you have any other questions.
Aug 23rd, 2001, 04:33 PM
Posts: n/a
You guys are the very best! Ben I will check out your website and Linda, I will be in touch. I am excited about my trip again!
Have a great day!

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