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22 replies
Night Train Routes?
Feicht
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Okay… I just got my pass in the mail [] I was wondering if there were any sites online where I could see a map or chart of night train routes. I have lots of maps of the railways themselves, but nothing specifically for night travel, and I know not all lines run at all hours…

I am traveling for 51 days
Bath, Haltwhistle, London, Füssen, Freiburg, Stuttgart, Speyer, Nördlingen, Salzburg, Hallstatt, Salzburg, Rome, Ostia Antica, Athens, Delphi, Athens
nivid
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oldlady
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Night trains sometimes follow different routes from day trains.  The direct overnight trains often leave from different stations or the overnight trains have different connections than the day trains.  You can use the Deutche Bahn site that Nivid recommends for all schedules.  There is also good information about the most popular overnight trains (particularly if you are using a railpass) at:  http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/euraide/train000.htm

Feicht
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OKay, thanks. That’s what I was curious about; it’s one thing to know where the tracks are, but quite another to know where a specific train is going Smile Now, I know this kind of thing gets asked all the time (I’ve probably even asked myself) but how far ahead would be wise to reserve? If I’m landing in Barcelona on the 16th of July and wanted to leave via night train the night of the 17th, say, is that typically far enough in advance?
 
 
EDIT: Also, is any train between cities after say 8PM technically a “night train?” i.e. one where you wouldn’t have to get off the train and switch to another one? Sorry if that’s a retarded question too; I’ve only been on two long-haul train rides, and the night one was an 11 hour straight shot, whereas the day one we had to switch (btwn Copenhagen and Stockholm.) Just curious.

I am traveling for 51 days
Bath, Haltwhistle, London, Füssen, Freiburg, Stuttgart, Speyer, Nördlingen, Salzburg, Hallstatt, Salzburg, Rome, Ostia Antica, Athens, Delphi, Athens
oldlady
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Most “night trains” don’t leave until about 10:00 PM.  They often have special names like “intercity night” or “hotel train” or something like that.  In Germany there’s often an “N” in the abreviation of the train name.  A train leaving at 8:00 PM is often just an ordinary day train unless it’s on a special long distance overnight route.

Feicht
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Alright, I just picked an arbitrary time hehe []

But in your vast experience, would the 16th be too soon to reserve a night train to Geneva (or Zurich… or Basel… or Brussels… etc) on the night of the 17th?

I am traveling for 51 days
Bath, Haltwhistle, London, Füssen, Freiburg, Stuttgart, Speyer, Nördlingen, Salzburg, Hallstatt, Salzburg, Rome, Ostia Antica, Athens, Delphi, Athens
nivid
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The 16th would probably be getting too late, if you planned on traveling on the 17th.  I guess it’s not as bad in low season, but if you really want on the train, 2-3 days before is probably best.

Feicht
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Damn! That sucks… guess I’ll have to do some more interary re-arranging…

I am traveling for 51 days
Bath, Haltwhistle, London, Füssen, Freiburg, Stuttgart, Speyer, Nördlingen, Salzburg, Hallstatt, Salzburg, Rome, Ostia Antica, Athens, Delphi, Athens
apyf
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Also watch out for night trains on Friday nights, Sunday nights, and before or after miscellaneou local holidays that you might not have ever heard of.  Even in low season they sell out.

oldlady
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Nivid and Aspf have good advice, but you can often find a less popular train — older cars, a connection, leaves from a different station — that has some sort of seats or accomodations available.  Talk to someone in the reservations office or the special office for night train reservations.  They’ll usually try to find you something…

Feicht
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Alrighty, thanks again guys Smile

I am traveling for 51 days
Bath, Haltwhistle, London, Füssen, Freiburg, Stuttgart, Speyer, Nördlingen, Salzburg, Hallstatt, Salzburg, Rome, Ostia Antica, Athens, Delphi, Athens
Feicht
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How about this: is there any way I can contact someone before I leave and make a reservation? I checked the Deutsche Bahn website and apparently you can’t reserve this route over the internet; but do you think there is someone I can email to set it up perhaps?

I am traveling for 51 days
Bath, Haltwhistle, London, Füssen, Freiburg, Stuttgart, Speyer, Nördlingen, Salzburg, Hallstatt, Salzburg, Rome, Ostia Antica, Athens, Delphi, Athens
oldlady
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Quote:
is there any way I can contact someone before I leave and make a reservation?
  Any of the sites that sell railpasses sell reservations.  Try “rail” at the top of the page or www.railpass.com  Unfortunately, with inflated prices, shipping and handling (often well-hidden small print) it will cost about double the price to buy the same reservation in the train station in Europe.  Cost comparisons between sites are hard because some of them don’t tell you about the handling fee until after you’ve entered your credit card number.

Seva
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From DB website:

Quote:
Call Centre
You may also book your ticket and make seat reservations via our Call Centre. The ticket will be send to you by mail or you may be picked up at any of the ticket vending machines with touch screen at the stations. Timetable information is also available.
Dial + 49 1805 – 996633 from outside Germany (phone charges apply) and speak to our friendly service staff.

Feicht
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Hmm… do they take into account that you hold a railpass? Because if they can’t see it don’t they just have to sort of take your word for it?

I am traveling for 51 days
Bath, Haltwhistle, London, Füssen, Freiburg, Stuttgart, Speyer, Nördlingen, Salzburg, Hallstatt, Salzburg, Rome, Ostia Antica, Athens, Delphi, Athens
oldlady
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You can’t use the reservation unless you have either a ticket or a railpass to go with it, so I’m sure the “honor system” will work.

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If the train is to/from Germany you might be able to book a reservation through DB night train site.
 
http://www.nachtzug.de/site/nachtzugreise/en/start.html
 
It’s under Booking and then it launches another window.
 
Under What is Required:
Select: the option for Accomodation Surchage Only (Ticket Exists)

Feicht
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Drats, the night train I need goes from Barcelona to Zurich….

I am traveling for 51 days
Bath, Haltwhistle, London, Füssen, Freiburg, Stuttgart, Speyer, Nördlingen, Salzburg, Hallstatt, Salzburg, Rome, Ostia Antica, Athens, Delphi, Athens
Seva
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Then you need to call Spain reservations, to see if you can pay now and pick up the actual thingy when you get there.

Feicht
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Okay, are there any other websites I can try for reservations? railpass.com seems to only do it for you if you buy a pass from them, and I couldn’t find a link to actually make reservations on eurotrip.com (only general info about them). I’m getting pretty frustrated here; I just got totally hosed on a Walmart “international phone card” trying to call to make reservations over there. I don’t mind paying a bit extra to do it online, but I need somewhere that I can actually do it!

EDIT: Okay, I found it under “point to point tickets” or whatever… but I can’t find the route I need. It exists, it’s in the timetable I got with my pass, and on two seperate sites oneline (db.de and railpass.com)…  I found a similar train between Barcelona and Zurich, but it leaves 4 hours earlier and there’s a layover and whatnot. I was hoping for just the straight shot night train that leaves at 20:15. Is it possible that it’s all booked up already (for the 17th of July?)
 
EDIT II: Also, I can’t seem to get ANY routes that leave Barcelona Franca, even though I hear that station is sort of the hub for international trains. Any time I enter Franca as the origin, it connects me to Sants station then all over the place with multiple changes…..

I am traveling for 51 days
Bath, Haltwhistle, London, Füssen, Freiburg, Stuttgart, Speyer, Nördlingen, Salzburg, Hallstatt, Salzburg, Rome, Ostia Antica, Athens, Delphi, Athens
oldlady
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You could try “EurAide”  They charge a flat $35 plus the cost of the reservations for all the reservations you book with them at one time — not a bad deal if you’re making a bunch of reservations, either several trains or several people….  http://ourworld.comp…

Feicht
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I’m just wondering why everywhere is telling me this route exists, but freakin railpass.com (and all its railkey buddies…who look really chincey, btw) aren’t. For some routes it’ll say “sorry train full or something” but not this…. argh!!!

I am traveling for 51 days
Bath, Haltwhistle, London, Füssen, Freiburg, Stuttgart, Speyer, Nördlingen, Salzburg, Hallstatt, Salzburg, Rome, Ostia Antica, Athens, Delphi, Athens
Feicht
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Alright. I went ahead and did the Euraide route. Whole thing feels really shady though. I know they’re an established agency and all, but I dunno… when I called the number it felt like I was talking to some dude sitting in front of a tv that didn’t know much about train travel… And even though I gave up my credit card number, and emailed the guy which tickets I needed, it still feels really up in the air, as if they’ll reserve something I didn’t want without double checking first… ugh. I hope I’m just overreacting…

I am traveling for 51 days
Bath, Haltwhistle, London, Füssen, Freiburg, Stuttgart, Speyer, Nördlingen, Salzburg, Hallstatt, Salzburg, Rome, Ostia Antica, Athens, Delphi, Athens