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25 replies
polish nighttrains
rbrettg
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is it really that crucial that we dont take any of these? i had planned my trip around having taking two night trains in here. berlin to warsaw, and then krakow to vienna. i just read recently in lets go that they dont recommend it but has anyone actualy taken these and if so what has it been like and is there a way to prevent bad things happening to you?

Keleti
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I took one – it was a little weird. In the middle of the trip army guys boarded the train. In my compartment one dropped his bag off and went onto the roof. After some stomping around… they got off at the next stop. Other than that it was just a little uncomfortable as there were no sleeper cars on the train, so you had to sleep in regular seats. Not much help in the advise department, sorry.

edit note – I seem to always miss the e at the end of one in my posts…. hmm….

luv_the_beach
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Quote:
ORIGINAL: rbrettg

 is there a way to prevent bad things happening to you?

 
What sort of bad things are you anticipating?  Does Let’s Go provide a reason why they don’t recommend the night trains?  I can’t imagine a reason to avoid them other than the seats/couchettes being uncomfortable.


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rbrettg
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i have heard about gassings

luv_the_beach
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Quote:
ORIGINAL: rbrettg

i have heard about gassings


Are you fuckin kidding me dude?  Gas on the night train is a silly urban legend and it has been discussed (and made fun of) several times in the Eurotrip forums. Although, this is the first time I’ve heard it for Poland.
 
Why did you originally say that Let’s Go recommended avoiding&nbspolish night trains?


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rbrettg
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lets go did not provide a reason. just discouraged it in BIG BOLD LETTERS!

luv_the_beach
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I find it odd that they don’t explain why why advise us to avoid Polish night trains. 
 
Can you please cite that entire excerpt from Let’s Go, and provide which book it is (Let’s Go Poland? Let’s Go Europe? Let’s Go Warsaw?) and which edition?  I think I may have to write to them.
 
The night gassings, by the way, are still an urban myth.  This doesn’t change.


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rbrettg
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Lets Go Europe 2007 on a budget.
Page 774. Quote as follows..
Do not take night trains, as theft and crime are very common.”

luv_the_beach
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Okay, so Let’s Go does provide a reason, when you originally said it doesn’t.  And no where does it say about gassings.
 
I didn’t find the same kind of warning at Frommer’s (www.frommers.com), about the night trains, but they do mention the high prevalence of pickpockets under the “safety/security” section.  This is probably what Let’s Go is referring to.
 
Night gassings remain an urban legend.  This doesn’t change.


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rbrettg
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so your saying that reports from people who have actually experienced it & reported this are lying?

http://www.lonelypla…

Just because you have not experienced it, does not mean they dont happen

K3NN3TH
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Quote:
ORIGINAL: rbrettg

so your saying that reports from people who have actually experienced it & reported this are lying?

http://www.lonelyplanet.com/letters/eur/pol_pc.htm

Just because you have not experienced it, does not mean they dont happen


Oh snap.

andyns
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I used to post here for years, but quit because the same questions get asked every week. I can’t believe this Krakow-Berlin night train gas fable is still being run!

It is absolute bollocks. That guy on LP is full of shit.

Please just put this story to bed.

luv_the_beach
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rbettg,

I really don’t see why you came here to ask us a question that you answered for yourself. 

Gassing on a night train remains a word-of-mouth story that circulates around the backpacker circuit; and that’s exactly how you got it.  You didn’t get the story from a guidebook.  You were initially vague about what Let’s Go actually says.  When I questioned you about that, you gave the link a the Lonely Planet forum, where someone posted his night gassing story.

I’m not necessarily saying that this can’t possibly happen, but your poster on LP doesn’t confirm the common urban legend about entire cars being gassed by robbers.

Guidebooks only mention certain scams and crimes if they receive relatively frequent reports about them.  While your guidebook certianly mentions theft, the part about night gassings was a word-of-mouth story you threw in there yourself, and it just might be a stretch. 

If you are still ambivalent to take the night train from Berlin to Krakow, then just don’t do it.

This is the first time I’ve heard it for Poland. I think I’ve heard it for every European country now.

But as always, be protective of your belongings and exercize caution no matter where you are.

Cheers


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Keleti
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I think it is natural to be nervous when traveling on trains for the first time, especially at night. Urban legends, tall talls and isolated incidents don’t to calm the fears of a first time traveler.

What I think is important to remember is that crimes, problems and accidents happen everywhere in the world. Certain people are better targets – as a foreigner you stick out. As it has been said, be alert and cautious. Avoid situations that you think are UNsafe.

I heard the gassing stories on my first trip to Europe too. Do I think they happen? Can’t say I’ve given it much thought. I think you’d be at risk of other crimes more than something as risky as someone trying to gas a train or train car.

Quote:
  Just because you have not experienced it, does not mean they dont happen


I agree. Car accidents happen everyday on the way to work. I have not been in one, but they happen. I am a safe and alert driver, I know the risk when I get in my car – that other people are not always as safe. I get in my car anyway.

Travelling is the same. There is risk.  It’s good that you are trying to find out what the risks are. Be a critical reader – don’t believe everything you read but find a variety of sources.

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Contrary to popular belief, the Polish trains do not go in reverse.

I am leaving from EWR with $4000 for 9 days

MunichBeerBoy

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Check this out, its from 1992 so its a bit out of date but sounds here like nightrains are really unsafe or have a particularly unsafe history…
http://www.travel-library.com/europe/romania/trip.garforth.html
 
thats the first page of this guys account if u read on a bit on next pages he recounts his trip from Warsaw to Krakow on the nighttrain

rob_co2
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you could buy a gas mask and wear it while on the train. 

auher
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Ok, so I got a couple chuckles out of this thread for various reasons, but in all seriousness….let’s get to business…
 
Night train “gassings” are a myth. This is not a problem you have to worry about in Europe. Could you get stuff stolen if you are a moron and leave a purse or other valuables out at night – SURE! Has it happened to someone I travel with – YES – but the reason was that she left it in PLAIN view and fell asleep. Granted we were a bit drunk on wine when this happened, but that will happen on night trains too.
 
So the deal is this – the only caution you need to apply to night trains is you must THINK. Don’t leave stuff in your compartment and leave the compartment unless you trust the people you are with to watch it. Don’t leave valuables around when you sleep – I always like to get the top bunk and put my stuff in the little nook that usually is present at the top, so someone would have to actually remove me to get to it.
 
Have a great trip.

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Maybe bring along a smoke/carbon monoxide alarm? 

heavydrinker
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I was gassed several times on a Polish train from Warsaw-Krakow by a drunken Polish soldier in my compartment

Jennifer&Chester
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No doubt when ‘heavydrinker’ says he was gassed several times, he means the ‘WIND’ type gass

luv_the_beach
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So as you see, rbettg, I’m not the only who says it’s a myth.  It’s a myth that circulates around backpacker circles; I have never heard it from natives nor from the local media.  All we know is that theft can occur on night trains (shock!), and then we heard a story about gassing.

Quote:
ORIGINAL: rbrettg

so your saying that reports from people who have actually experienced it & reported this are lying?



Yep.  

Although I did somewhat try to give him the benefit of the doubt.  His experience sounds plausible, so if you’re still iffy just put masking tape all around the door, or just don’t take the night train. [Smile]

Quote:
ORIGINAL: Jennifer&Chester

No doubt when ‘heavydrinker’ says he was gassed several times, he means the ‘WIND’ type gass


[]


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heavydrinker
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ORIGINAL: Jennifer&Chester

No doubt when ‘heavydrinker’ says he was gassed several times, he means the ‘WIND’ type gass

 
yes of course, isn’t that what we’re talking about here? []

lothario
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Quote:
ORIGINAL: luv_the_beach

Are you fuckin kidding me dude?  Gas on the night train is a silly urban legend and it has been discussed (and made fun of) several times in the Eurotrip forums. Although, this is the first time I’ve heard it for Poland.


I just joined this forum, and have opened two threads. It does not appear there is anything of sufficient value to dare ask without someone coming unglued. The flaming is out of control, and the site seems to have been hijacked by a few pompus airbags. Are there no moderators? 

luv_the_beach
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Quote:
ORIGINAL: lothario

I just joined this forum, and have opened two threads. It does not appear there is anything of sufficient value to dare ask without someone coming unglued. The flaming is out of control, and the site seems to have been hijacked by a few pompus airbags. Are there no moderators? 


Relax, dude. 

The purpose of these forums is casual talk, like having an informal conversation with your buddies.

This isn’t the UN.


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To get back to the original issue.  IMO, Lonely Planet is years out of date when it comes to rail travel in the former Soviet Block.  The “don’t take the train” issues in places like Poland were sorted out in the mid-1990’s, but Lonely Planet still acts like it’s 1989.  I use Lonely Planet for some things, but I never pay any attention to anything they say about rail travel in Eastern Europe.  Use Let’s Go if you want better, more current information about trains.

Lothario:  Maybe we do get a little pompous around here, and newbies occasionally get slammed, but for the most part, I think the old timers are really good about providing information — even to newbies who don’t follow the common courtesy practices of using the search button and looking through some old posts before posting the same, tired question.