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Author Topic: European Night Trains
TwinStarRocket
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Interesting piece from Town and Country Magazine.

http://www.townandcountrymag.com/leisure/travel-guide/news/g3125/best-european-night-trains/

I have always been of the opinion that the best train rides include an overnight.

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yukon11
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I agree, TwinStar. Overnight in a sleeper is a great experience. Your article is interesting and I would really like to take some of the overnight trains listed, especially the "Nightjet Italy".

Looking out a the night sky, in your sleeper, is something I always enjoy (assuming the windows aren't so dirty you can't see the night sky). Morning sunlight at Klamath Falls and the lower Cascades, on the northbound CS, is great. Entering Glacier Park, eastbound on the Builder, is something really memorable.

I thought, upon retirement, of taking Amtrak around the periphery of the US. However, a sleeper would cost mucho $$$$$$$$$$$ for such a trip. I've always wondered if Amtrak would consider adding sleeper accommodations to its Rail Pass plan. I know it would be costly, but perhaps reasonable if part of a rail pass package.

Richard

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Gilbert B Norman
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I trust it is noted that the article addresses European routes in regions where there is no HSR services. Notice how the article gives scant coverage of services within France and Germany - both of which have HSR systems. By contrast, Austria only has "HigherSpeed" - many incremental improvements, but still the same system from "Murder on the Orent Express" days.

The article carefully notes that European Sleepers are a dying breed and that those outlined are specialty services. There is certainly the inference of "ride 'em while you still can."

As I've learned, the Austrian OBB acquired the German equipment "on the cheap" and put "lipstick on the pig". Their routes, branded NightJet, of course traverse Austria, but somehow, should I go back there again in this life, I somehow doubt if I'd be down at Salzburg Hbf to watch, let alone ride, a NightJet train leaving at 1A.

Finally, be sure to investigate the links at each article. Many are in English, but unfortunately that provided for the Austrian NightJet is broken. Here is a link that includes a download of a NightJet brochure. It's in German, but you need not "Specht Deutsch" in order to read timetables or check fares.

www.oebb.at/en/angebote-ermaessigungen/nightjet

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palmland
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Interesting link, TSR. Europe is very fortunate to have such a healthy passenger rail network. But then it's more like a string of NEC high density lines very unlike our wide open spaces. Perhaps with the new administration, for both the U.S. and Amtrak, robust development can begin on our emerging corridors.

I'm expecting next week my European Rail Timetable (a successor to the famous Cooks TT) for planning our trip this summer. Almost as good as the Official Guide of the Railways pre-amtrak.

Night trains definitely have a romantic allure. We've ridden several on earlier trips but would still like to do the Night Riviera to Penzance. But on this trip, a daytime trip in the Alps is more appealing.

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Gilbert B Norman
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http://edition.cnn.com/travel/article/european-night-sleeper-trains/index.html

Here's another article I located, but even if only written three years ago, much has negatively changed.

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Gilbert B Norman
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While non commercial, here is quite the advertisment for OBB NightJet:

https://youtu.be/GTHRvENCd1o

Incidentally, the One-way fare, Single Compartment, Salzburg to Rome during August is €229. Should you wish to book, the NightJet site redirects you to the site of the road on which your journey will originate.

I'm "on the fence" if I'm going over this year. I bought a relatively cheap airline ticket, but I just might "cut losses" and use it up on other United flights over the next year. At the moment, I'm just not all that enthused to do so; I think that's called aging.

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palmland
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Good video, GBN. Thanks. We took the reverse route on the ‘grand tour’ with our boys in ‘89. It was a memorable ride, especially waking up as we wound through the mountains.

I know railfans don’t want to hear this, but it makes a lot of sense for an overnight trip and I think exactly what Anderson has in mind for the upcoming ‘experiment’. Give us a hot dinner option and with the sleeper lounge/ table car for eating I think it could be an improvement over the faux full service meals often with indifferent service and assigned diner seating.

Now for a 2 night 48 hour Transcon trip, something more is required.

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mgt
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I think it is this year that the Caledonian Sleeper is being fully re-equipped. I do not know if that also applies to the service from London to Penzance. Both are daily services in both directions, apart from Saturday nights.
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David
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The Scottish sleepers look very comfortable, with a choice of the usual cabins without en suite facilities, cabins with facilities and "suites" with a double bed. Rooms can be locked when the passengers go to the club car. The cabins with facilities look very much like those on the Renaissance sleepers used by VIA Rail on the Montreal-Halifax "Ocean."

http://newtrains.sleeper.scot/

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palmland
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Interesting, David. Glad to see this service get new equipment. It looks perfect for a relatively short (by U.S, standards) overnight trip. I suspect the cafe/lounge car is something that might work for Anderson’s plans and is certainly nicer than an AmCafe.

However, the Amtrak roomettes seem roomier and their bigger windows is certainly preferable - especially on a longer trip. Let’s hope the Cornwall service gets a simiar makeover.

This route is certainly something that showcases the joys of train travel. I remember going to sleep in bustling London and waking up with sheep grazing on the rolling hills in an environment far different than London. You don’t get that sense of place on a one hour plane flight.

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Gilbert B Norman
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I remember during '71, or back when I was into "train riding marathons", it was quite the experience to open the shades, somewhere near St. Austell, Cornwall on the "Night Riviera" - and be looking at Palm Trees.

Palm Trees on the island of Great Britain? Never knew that before.

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