Sleeper Trains

  • 29 February 2024
  • 1 reply
  • 116 views

Hi Guys, 

 

Can anyone give me the low down, or share your experiences of the sleeper trains. 
 

We are a family of four. No set destinations yet but it must include sleeper trains, according to my son. 
 

What are the differences? 
 

Best sleeper trains you have used? 
 

Any Pros and Cons? 
 

Pictures would also be amazing! 
 

Thanks guys!!! 


1 reply

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For pictures I always refer to this website: https://www.seat61.com/european-train-travel.htm . As it is a real goldmine of information and pictures. Look for overnight or sleeper trains in the train specific chapter on the page I sent.

For destinations, this is a handy map: https://back-on-track.eu/night-train-map/

I took nighttrains in Norway and the Nightjet (ÖBB, the biggest network). Soon trying European sleeper. I really like the sleeper trains in the North, as they are a bit wider than anywhere else, quite modern and have excellent facilities upon arrival (shower in a hotel close by the arrival/terminus station).

From others I’ve heard European sleeper feels a bit old, but it has a handy route. Arrival in Berlin is a bit early though.

  • Rule n°1, don’t get seats. It’s really not a nice way to spend the night.
  • Rule n°2, don’t plan tight connections with night trains on the arrival day. But have some buffer, especially when travelling through Germany. Delays are very frequent there, even of a couple of hours.

For a family of four a couchette is a perfect way of travelling, usually 4 berths.

Nighttrains are getting only recently a revival. But there has been a lack of investment in the last 20 years, because of low cost flights. Slowly new orders and renovations are getting under the way.

So the trains and carriages are usually a bit older, but well maintained and usually clean, but there can be some minor nuisances like broken toilets and suboptimal A/C. On average, there’s often not a lot of plugs or things like wifi present. Make sure to bring a power bank!

Sometimes there’s an on train shower, sometimes just a sink.

Staff is usually very friendly and helpful, and I really like the catering on Nightjet and Nighttrains in the North (proper bar car). I’m a bit of a difficult sleeper, so I find it hard to fall asleep on the train. So I need to make myself really tired before boarding ;)

But otherwise, very nice, adventurous and fun experience, and very time and cost efficient. You save a night you need accomodation, you travel while sleeping and cover great distances while dreaming. Although you miss good scenery sometimes, which is a bit sad when crossing the alps or any other mountain range or interesting landscape :)

Book early to get good prices for the nightjet!

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