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Raileurope.com: See Europe by train
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Old 11-28-2004, 01:42 PM   #1
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Hi everyone, I was wondering if you can like....see anything on overnight trains.

I'm thinking about this summer and I'm thinking about going to somewhere, and I want to take the train to wherever I go, but the only train between Paris and Barcelona is an overnight one. I was wondering if it's worth it and if you can actually see anything at night on a train. It's $20 cheaper to fly round trip then to take the train so I was just wondering if it's worth it or not.

Also, has anyone done it? How was it? I'd be in the "super reclining chair" it's the cheapest and it looks really nice...
Here's there website:
http://www.elipsos.com/htm/intro.htm

Thanks!
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Old 11-28-2004, 02:03 PM   #2
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For starters, check out www.raileurope.com for train time and schedules. You are on the website of the train hotel (thats why you don't see day trains listed).. If you take a day train, yes, you will see more. On a night train you see nothing but black, and some lights wiz by every-now-and-then, but nothint more.. I like night trains for the simple fact of sleeping. Its a bore to be on a train no matter what.. It might be cool for the first hour or 2 to look out the window, but it is much better to crash on a night train, and wake up in a new country. On the regular trains you can get a couchette (sp?) It's a little bed to sleep on, and you share the cabin with 4/6 other people.. the price will run an extra 12-24 Euro on top of the ticket price of the ride.

Hope this helps..
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Old 11-28-2004, 09:50 PM   #3
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I have a very tough time sleeping on trains, and it can be even worse depending on your couchette mates (loud snorer in a very tight room) or if you are stuck in the middle bed of a six bed couchette. Since I have had this trouble sleeping, I would spend most of the time looking outside and you really can't see anything except for when you stop at another station or a border crossing. I have also slept on the "super reclining chair" and while it is better than a normal chair, it is not as nice as it sounds.

If you want the scenery on the train ride, the night time is not the time to do it. I would just do the flying. Your costs will equal up probably becuase you will have to pay for another night at a hostel or wherever, but you will save a lot of time.

One other important thing to consider, is that depending on the train, you might be awaken by a border guard to look at your passport at any time imaginable, so this will effect your sleep as well.
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Old 11-29-2004, 11:45 PM   #4
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Ive never been on a proper overnight train, just a regular train that happens to be travelling overnight. You can get a cabin and hope no one else comes inside, but if they do it is beyond miserbale to try and sleep all squished on those fold out seats. It saves a night at the hostel though.
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Old 11-30-2004, 03:44 AM   #5
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I found overnight trains to be a waste. I didn't get much sleep at all and end up napping half the day away when I arrived at my hotel/hostel. for me it wasn't any cheaper than staying an extra night in a hotel/hostel.
no, you don't see much on the train in the night. a coupld border guards, a few lights, that's about it.
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Old 11-30-2004, 02:22 PM   #6
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So if it is cheaper going on a plane, why would anyone go on trains????

Am I missing something here?

Also is this a general rule, that most airfaires are going to be cheaper than trains?

Thanks,

Dave.
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Old 11-30-2004, 02:34 PM   #7
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^ Many times, it should be a no-brainer. The plane is often cheaper and much faster for longer trips in the EU. In such cases, people usually only end up taking trains out of ignorance or for the scenery.

For example, I flew from London to Edinburgh in a few hours. At the hostel, I met some guys who took the same route by train. It cost them a lot more and took like 8 hours. They were kicking themselves when they found out they could have flown for far less (time & money). But, they just didn't know. Well, now you do.
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Old 11-30-2004, 02:40 PM   #8
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So where do people look for air prices when they are already in Europe? Is there an online booking site.

I dont like booking before I go because I want to be able to move onto a different country when I am ready.
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Old 11-30-2004, 02:56 PM   #9
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i think that the reason this one is more expensive is

1. because it's an overnight 10 hour train jouney, lots of fuel
2. it's the only train between paris and barcelona, so they raise the fare
3. it's a "train-hotel"

i think that i'm probobly just going to fly, that isn't final yet, it depends on if i actually go....haha, and if i go on to london, if i don't go on to london i'll fly, if i do....i'll proboly take the train because a 1 way fare is $80 cheaper then flying.
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Old 11-30-2004, 05:10 PM   #10
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While I really like taking the train, I can't stand over night trains and would reccomend to avoid them if you can. Couchettes aren't bad, but they aren't great (especially if you're over 6ft tall). Getting a good night's sleep is almost impossible in a chair for me.

The only time I'd take a couchette is if the other option would to stay in an expensive city where the hostel would be significantly more.
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