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25 replies
City night light over night train question
trankt
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I am looking at one over night train from Prague to zurich on 1/6.  There is one night train that start at 20.05 from Prague.  I want to buy the second class rail pass and use for this segment, but this city night light train have a note say that second class only seat accomodation?  is that mean they don’t offer couches or beds for second class on this over night train ? We definetely don’t want to sit up all night .. should I upgrade the pass to 1st class?

oldlady
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Prague to Zurich via ??? I’m not sure what train you’re finding.  Bahn.de doesn’t show a 20:05 from Prague on Sundays (or any other day).  I don’t see any direct overnight trains on this route, so you have a connection someplace.

Looking at the 17:23 train via Dresden, I see two explanations.  1).  There are only seats on the portion from Prague to Dresden.  You arrive in Dresden at 20:23 — so you don’t really need a berth for that portion of the trip. 2)  Also, It appears from the wording

Quote:
EuroNight Special offer Spar-Night, 2nd class only seated accommodation, Global price or ticket plus supplement, Sleeping-car, Couchettes, snacks and beverages available from sleeping-car/couchette-car attenda
that the seats only applies to the Spar-Night special pricing —which won’t be an issue if you’re using a railpass.

trankt
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sorry , it is actually 20.25 leaving Prague, via Dresden at 22.56 , via Fulda..It looks like I have change train three times at night. will not be a good night. We want to go from Prague to Zurich over night train.. do you have any recomendation of better way to go to Zurich overnight.  We have German rail pass and will buy the portion on Prague to the border.

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First, I’d look for a cheap flight for this leg. German Wings flys this route.

If you don’t find that, I’d take the 17:23 train from Prague.  It has a single connection in Dresden at 20:23 — plenty of time to get a good night’s sleep between 8:00 PM and 9:00 AM the next morning.

trankt
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yeah, I did the cheap fly search, but they are not so cheap any more..We are family travel in group of four, so it’s expensive to fly.  Any way, I tried to do a search for your connection from Prague at 17.25 to Zurich at 9am.  Not thing come up on 1/6/08.  But there is one at 12.25 thru Dresden then to Zurich at 12 noon.  I think that one has one train change in Basel at 11am.  I think it should be ok.  By the way with the 2nd class tickets, we should be able to get a berth.  We just worry that they would put us on seat only accomodation. thanks much.

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Duh — I finally looked this up using your date of January 6 and found the train you’re talking about.  It does seem to imply that only seats are available in 2nd class, but if you follow the purchase process on bahn.de it ultimately asks what kind of sleeping accomodations you want with a 2nd class ticket, so I think the “seats only” applies to the special Spar night pricing.

trankt
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thanks for the information.  btw, the railpass day start from 12am to 12am the next day.. is that mean we have unlimited travel on that day? train, bus, metro on that day?  thanks

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Your rail pass is good on as many trains as you can take from midnight to midnight.  That includes local trains and commuter light rail (S-bahn in German cities, parts of the RER in Paris, at least parts of DART in Dublin) and occasionally buses that are provided by the national rail company in lieu of a train.  It does not usually include traditional city transportation (metro, trams, buses, U-bahn in German cities) or intercity buses that aren’t operated by the national rail company.

For overnight trains the “7:00 PM rule” applies.  If your direct (no connections before midnight) train leaves after 7:00 PM you only count 1 day on your railpass — arrival day.

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thanks you very much for the information

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Oldlady,   Do you know if the train have power electrical outlet? since we may want to use the laptop on the train. thanks again.

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The trains are generally electric — either running off electric lines or diesel engines that generate electricity to run the train, however finding an outlet can be tricky.  I’m not sure how you’d know what trains had available outlets and where they were.   Specialty trains and 1st class coaches are sometimes set-up for laptops, etc. and sometimes have pictograms that indicate power is available.    

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I notice one of my train connection is only 5 minutes between arrival and depart on another train .  Will it be enought time to change the train?  how easy is it to change train connection?   or should I avoid that connection.. ? thanks,

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Unless you’re going to someplace pretty obscure — or you’re overloaded with luggage — 5 minutes should be adequate.  Trains are almost always on time and stops are often only for a minute or two.  Connections are usually pretty easy.  For example, in Germany if the routing is one that shows on a search at bahn.de, the trains are usually on adjacent platforms.  You just get off the train and walk across the platform to your waiting connection.  Also, there are thousands of trains every day.  If you miss a connection there will be another train to your destination — often in less than an hour.  I would not worry about a routing that comes from one of the national rail websites.

What’s the specific routing (cities, date, time) you’re concerned about???

Also — everybody in your party must be able to easily carry (wheels might not be helpful in this situation) all of their own luggage — you’ll never make a five minute connection (or board a train that only makes a one minute stop) if you’re looking for a luggage cart, or having a problem hoisting a suitcase up into the train car.    

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We are travelling with children so they may be a little slow. The train that I am checking now is on Jan 5 , 08 at 14.55 Leaving Krakow to Berlin , but change train in Warsaw arriving at 17.50, and depart Warsaw at 17.55 to Berlin.. I hope the platform are close to each other.  Can you tell from the information if the platform will be next to each other or far apart?  some time I saw that the change&nbsplatform from 5 to 7 ..?? thanks 

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I can’t find your train on the Polish rail website http://rozklad.pkp.p… I think that’s because the schedules on the website aren’t up to date,  Bahn.de doesn’t show the platforms in Poland.  

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I was wondering why some route show the train platform and this one I am looking at doesn’t show the train platform in Poland..I am not familiar with train station.. this is the first time we use train with rail pass.  I have a general question on the train, the train name change two time.. for example like EN346 then to CNL337  is that mean we can just stay on that train as long as it going there or we have to make sure they didn’t separate the original train by two, then the head going some where, and the end going some where with a different names? 

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Quote:
ORIGINAL: trankt

but change train in Warsaw arriving at 17.50, and depart Warsaw at 17.55 to Berlin.

Not sure why you really want to chance it. Yes, trains in Europe are usually punctual, but 5 minutes delay isn’t something abnormal. Moreover, 5 minutes connection may be enough for a small station where long distance trains would usually stop across the same platform from one another, but not for a major one like Warszawa Centralna.

Missing that train in Warsaw would result in a major headache for your family. Why don’t you take another IC train from Krakow that leaves one hour earlier?

Quote:
ORIGINAL: oldlady

Bahn.de doesn’t show the platforms in Poland. 

Well, either because German Railways don’t know, or Polish Railways don’t know.

Quote:
ORIGINAL: trankt

the train name change two time.. for example like EN346 then to CNL337  is that mean we can just stay on that train as long as it going there or we have to make sure they didn’t separate the original train by two

Yes and no. When DB shows two train numbers it simply means that for whatever reason one and the same train operates under different numbers on different parts of the route. However there are a two things to watch for:

1. Some cars may get separated and either left behind or attached to a different train.
2. Two trains (operating under different numbers) may be linked together for a part of the route, then split up and go to two different destinations.

Therefore whenever you board a train car look for a small plaque (or electronic display in newer cars) that shows where this particular car is going, and make sure it’s going to take you to your destination. (Whenever this happens this sort of information would typically be announced both outside and on board the train, but possibly in the local language only.)

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yes, the link to the Poland website doesn’t provide the information for Jan 08.  The Bahn.de link provide the information thought.  Is the bahn.de link information about the connection reliable?  right now , we relly on these information to plan the trip or do we need to check again when we get there.. ?  We actually need to go from Krakow  back to Zurich to catch the fly on the 8th.  We have the German and Poland pass.  In the beginning , we plan to stop by Prague, then to Zurich.  But decided against it, since we don’t want to stop by for a short time and pay addition ticket thru CZ Republic.  So the final plan is to take the path from Krakow thru Berlin, stop there , then continue from Berlin to Zurich the next day..   We checked on Jan 5, 08, there are two path from Krakow to Zurich.  One is from Krakow/Warsaw/Berlin/ Basel/ Zurich from 14.50 arriving Zurich at around 10am next day about 20 hour , most will be over night on the second section.  They say that we only need to change connection one time in Warsaw, then direct overnight from warsaw to Basel.  But looking at the train numbers, they are so confusing because the train number change several times on the route.  If we get a berth, then we want to stick to it until destination reached.  I hope there will be some English speaking people can help us when we board the train, but chances are probably not.  So I am seeking your expertise on train connection.  thanks so much,

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Bahn.de is generally very reliable.  I’ve experienced 2 “issues.”  1) New, express train service was in operation in Ukraine for nearly a month before it showed up on bahn.de schedules.  2) Platform numbers seemed wrong for trains between Schipol airport and Amsterdam Centrale but there are SO many trains that it might have been that a standard search on bahn.de didn’t show all of the local trains.

Quote:
So the final plan is to take the path from Krakow thru Berlin, stop there , then continue from Berlin to Zurich the next day..   We checked on Jan 5, 08, there are two path from Krakow to Zurich.
   You could do the same thing via Vienna — there are a couple of direct trains between Vienna and Zurich each day, but the trains from Berlin all require at least one connection.


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Quote:
ORIGINAL: trankt

there are two path from Krakow to Zurich.  One is from Krakow/Warsaw/Berlin/ Basel/ Zurich from 14.50 arriving Zurich at around 10am next day about 20 hour , most will be over night on the second section.  They say that we only need to change connection one time in Warsaw, then direct overnight from warsaw to Basel.  But looking at the train numbers, they are so confusing because the train number change several times on the route.  If we get a berth, then we want to stick to it until destination reached.

All right, trying to stay on the subject. It seems that you are mixing up two different routes, one via Berlin and one direct to Basel.

I do see a connection from Krakow to Zurich that involves direct train from Warsaw to Basel. If you are OK arriving to Zurich at 12:00 noon on the 6th, I suggest you stick to that one, b/c you’d only have to change trains twice and you won’t be making any connections between 6pm and 10:30am the following day.

Clarification. The word Kurswagen in the train description refers to exactly the situation I’ve mentioned in the prior post. The whole train, in fact, originates in Moscow, but different cars end up going to different destinations. You need not worry about that. Once you get your reservation it will indicate which berths in which car are yours, so you won’t have to make any changes until you get to Basel. (The Runs as EN 346 up to Hannover Hbf, then as CNL 483 up to Fulda, then as CNL 352 simply describes how train numbers change.) Sleeper car attendant on this train should have at least rudimentary ability to converse in English.

5 minute connection in Warsaw is definitely not acceptable on this route. I have great deal of respect for HAFAS (engineering firm behind DB site) programmers but that is something they did not get right. You are much better off taking 13:55 train from Krakow to Warsaw instead of 14:55 one. Keep in mind that either one must be reserved so be sure to indicate your choice when you make your seat/sleeper reservation.

One other thing. Quite likely there is only one or two cars going from Warsaw to Basel. When you get to Europe there may be not be four berth left in the same compartment. Have a back-up plan. Also given cost and time of train travel take a look at budget flight alternative. Budget flight plus one night in a hotel could be cheaper then four night train supplements.

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thanks for your explanation, since I wasn’t sure and definitely don’t want to stuck at the train in the winter with kids.  We will take the direct train from warsaw to Basel.  So as your recommendation, we should take the early train out off Krakow at 13.55 so we have more time to change train in Warsaw.  Another question, so every time we change  the train, we have to make the new reservation on the new train?  In this case, we have to make reservation from Krakow for seat only ( probably not that expensive), then at Warsaw  reservation one more time? but this will be for berths.  This can be expensive for four.  We have German + Poland rail pass, so we don’t have to worry about the ticket?  just have to worry about reservation for compartment of four?  I check the web site on the train supplement for compartment of four is about 20 euro&nbsper couches, so for four people should be around 80 euro supplement for the whole route to from Warsaw to Basel.    Am I close?  If not let me know please.  I read on the rail book that they say hotel train can be very expensive..night train we just pay for the couches..?  I thought they are the same, unless you want to book for 1st class compartment..  thanks so much for your reply.

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Your price sounds about right.  This site http://ourworld.comp… indicates 23 euros per berth on most overnight trains in Poland.  If you decide you need to make your reservations in advance, try the links from that site.  They charge the exact cost of the reservation plus a flat fee of $35.00 for ALL the reservations you book at one time — since you’ll be dealing with 4 reservations for each train you could make a large number of reservations at once.  That’s a significant savings over most railpass websites which charge an inflated fee for the reservation plus a handling fee (often for each reservation) plus shipping.

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Quote:
ORIGINAL: trankt
so every time we change  the train, we have to make the new reservation on the new train?  In this case, we have to make reservation from Krakow for seat only ( probably not that expensive), then at Warsaw  reservation one more time? but this will be for berths.

You can make one reservation to cover the whole trip, this way you may even save a few Euro versus two separate bookings.

Quote:
ORIGINAL: trankt
should take the early train out off Krakow at 13.55 so we have more time to change train in Warsaw.

You’ll also have time to feed your kids, since you’ll be stuck with dining car food for the next 14 hours.

Quote:
ORIGINAL: trankt
We have German + Poland rail pass, so we don’t have to worry about the ticket?  just have to worry about reservation for compartment of four?  I check the web site on the train supplement for compartment of four is about 20 euro&nbsper couches, so for four people should be around 80 euro supplement for the whole route to from Warsaw to Basel.

I’m not sure how to find out the exact price of the supplement upfront, perhaps you can call Deutsche Bahn and ask. My best estimate is that you are looking at
2 – 5 [=”-1”]€ reservation per person from Krakow to Warsaw (may be absorbed into more expensive berth reservation);
20 – 30 [/][=”-1”]€ berth supplement per person (are there children discounts? – no idea);
3 – 5 [/][=”-1”]€ for the very last few minutes of the trip to Basel unless Basel counts as a border city for German railpass. (Does it, OL?)[/]

Here is my suggestion: go to Bahn.de one more time, enter your dates, Krakov and Zurich as departure/arrival points and click on “via.” Enter Warsaw as via station and set duration of the stopover to anything from 10 min to 1 hour, to make 13:55 train show up instead of 14:55 one. Print connection details for this routing. Go to a ticket window once you get to Zurich, show the printout (and your passes) and tell the agent that you want to pay for your booking plus whatever is not covered by the pass, including the price of Basel to Zurich portion. By doing so you (1) better your chances of getting the couchettes together in the same compartment, (2) make sure you have your return trip taken care of, (3) perhaps save a little bit by making one booking instead of three.

One final thought, not to scare you away. I don’t know exact details, but there is a slow-going strike of German train drivers. It seems doubtful that your very train is going to be affected, but perhaps you should monitor the situation as the time of your trip approaches.

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thanks for your suggestion about putting the delay time at the connection.  It give me the route with early time show up.    I hope that Jan 5 is after the holidays, so hopefully the train will not be full.. still we will try to make reservation asap when we get to europe.  Again, thanks so much for all your help, and hope that we will not meet the Germat train strike.. I thought the strike is going on in France only..

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I am thinking about backpacking with 5 other friends through Europe in the summer of 2009. We are thinking about arriving at London, and then taking the Eurostar to Paris, then Amsterdam, Berlin, Prague, Vienna, Munich, Venice, Pisa, Florence, Rome, and then Greece as our last destination, in that order, but that can be chaged.
Also we were thinking about flying from Berlin to Moscow, and back. Is Berlin the right place to take the flight to Moscow or any other city would be better?
Do any of you know a way to make this trip less expensive? And if you can give me any suggestions about trains or airlines? Also hostels, or hotels? Any suggestion will do!!

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Use www.whichbudget.com to see which budget airlines fly which routes.

You really should enter this as a new post. You may not get much response to these unrelated questions on this very old post.