Notices

Train Terminology

Old Apr 16th, 2005, 07:39 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 2,674
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Train Terminology

What is the difference between a "Sleeping Car" and a "Couchette?"

I thought the Sleeping Car was more like a bed in a room and the Couchette was like bunkbeds for 4 - 6 in a room.

My travel agent just said something different. He told me the Sleeping Car would be like bunks and the Couchette would be like the private car with seats.

What is the correct answer?

Thanks
moldyhotelsaregross is offline  
Old Apr 16th, 2005, 07:57 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 480
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hello Moldy:

Does this help?

The sleeping car is a railroad car on a train with sleeping facilities. The more luxurious types have real beds and compartments not shared with strangers, while the couchette car with berths is more basic, with compartments for four or six people, where seats convert into double- or triple-level bunk-beds, respectively.

Google is amazing. Gradyghost
gradyghost is offline  
Old Apr 16th, 2005, 08:00 AM
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 2,674
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks! That sounds more like the description I had in my mind prior to talking to the travel agent. I think he's nuts based on his description!

moldyhotelsaregross is offline  
Old Apr 16th, 2005, 08:06 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,473
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
For photos of sleeping car and couchette, please check: www.seat61.com.
JudyC is offline  
Old Apr 16th, 2005, 08:08 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 480
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hello Moldy:

This may be info overload but you may wish to look at:

http://www.german-way.com/railupd2.html

Good luck. Gradyghost
gradyghost is offline  
Old Apr 16th, 2005, 09:25 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 186
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
the prices for the sleeper room seem quite hefty as an add on to your 1st class rail ticket.

what are your experiences with 6 person couchettes? what is the protocol in such a room re snoring/putting on pyjamas or sharing the room with married couples?

what about just sleeping in a normal train chair?if you are tired enough, or after some fine wine you might fall asleep, like sleeping on a plane.
got1tiel is offline  
Old Apr 16th, 2005, 09:33 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 94,290
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I have had several great experiences with overnight trains in a private compartment (wagon-lit is the term i have seen used in switzerland). This was a room with a door that locks, two bunk beds with linens, the bottom one flips up to a seat for riding before bedtime, a sink and a window. Yes it is expensive, similar to a hotel room cost for one night, in my experience.

Never tried a couchette (which for the record is 4-6 people on flip down platform like beds sharing a single compartment). I would not be comfortable sleeping with strangers, not to mention the 6 person bunks are claustrophic (you can't sit up in bed).

For the OP, I would be a bit concerned about the travel agent you are using!!
suze is online now  
Old Apr 16th, 2005, 10:10 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,129
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
In couchettes, you sleep in your day clothes. You will be sharing with strangers of either sex, and there's no space to hang clothes even if you want to undress. Couchettes are an economical way of travelling overnight - they're more comfortable than sitting in a seat, and the compartment door can be locked at night, so you're safer.
GeoffHamer is offline  
Old Apr 16th, 2005, 10:31 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,049
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I would suggest you look at www.seat61.com, as previously recommended, and select the countries in which you will be travelling. There is a lot of variety in terms and conditions between countries, and the author of that site seems to have a lot of very useful and specific information.
clevelandbrown is offline  
Old Apr 16th, 2005, 10:31 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 45,322
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hello GeoffHamer, I have a question. If a couchette is shared with other people of either sex and the door can be locked how can that be safer then just sitting in the train seat?

I would find it scary trying to sleep in a couchette.

Obviously I have never riden a train overnight but I would prefer to either pay for a sleeping car or just try to doze in the regular train seat. Actually I did do this once on a train ride from Portland OR to the Bay Area.

Anyway, maybe there is something I am not understanding. Thanks.
LoveItaly is offline  
Old Apr 16th, 2005, 10:32 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 94,290
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I'm not certain all night trains have seats available as an option. Aren't there ones that are 100% sleeper cars?

suze is online now  
Old Apr 16th, 2005, 11:01 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 2,456
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
> Aren't there ones that are 100% sleeper cars?
Yes there are. e.g. by my personal experience, I know Geneva-Venice night trains are only sleepers & couchettes. Geneva-Barcelona likewise.

>In couchettes,...You will be sharing with strangers of EITHER sex.

Not necessarily. When I traveled alone, I shared my 4 birth couchette compartiment on a GVA-VCE night train with a woman (I'm a man) and a couple. We had no problem with that.
kappa is offline  
Old Apr 16th, 2005, 11:12 AM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 94,290
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
thanks kappa, Funny several of my experiences were exactly that route, Geneva to Venice, and I didn't think I recalled the option of folks sitting up in seats overnight even if they wanted to!
suze is online now  
Old Apr 16th, 2005, 11:18 AM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,129
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
If you are sitting in a seat, any of the hundreds of people on the train might be able to pick your pocket or tamper with your luggage. Trains usually make intermediate stops, and people may be joining or leaving the train in the middle of the night. Sleeping and couchette compartments are much safer because the door can be locked to keep out intruders.
If you share a sleeping compartment with strangers, they will all be the same sex; if you share a couchette compartment with strangers, they can be of either sex (or both).
GeoffHamer is offline  
Old May 11th, 2005, 02:01 PM
  #15  
rex
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 13,194
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I am bringing up this mildly old thread because I have an observation on www.seat61.com - - and I'm not sure it merits a new post.

I don't know why it didn't come up - - or why I didn't think of it - - but I have recently started a thread, with some fairly lively input received on the pros and cons of 2nd class couchette service, Biarritz to Paris, and no mention of www.seat61.com appeared there, in well over a dozen posts.

Anyhow, once it occurred to me to look at Seat61, I found it interesting that their (actually "his") website has a clear-cut mistake in the info about Biarritz->Paris (London). The route of the Corail Lunea service is to Paris Austerlitz, not Paris Montparnasse - - as seat61 says.

I have sent an e-mail about this.

So, I wonder if anyone else hasever encountered any factually inaccurate info on seat61.com - - minor though this might be considered (in my case, I'm more pleased that Austerlitz is right and Montparnasse is wrong - - I would have been quite miffed if it had been the other way around!)

We plan to go straight, on foot, to Gare de Lyon upon arriving at Austerlitz.

Best wishes,

Rex
rex is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
bxl4373
Europe
37
Jul 31st, 2009 08:56 AM
cammci
Europe
14
Mar 8th, 2006 04:41 PM
Lorin
United States
16
Dec 13th, 2002 02:43 PM
Brett
Europe
7
Aug 24th, 2002 07:53 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information