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Rail Journeys

Travel Forums Europe Rail Journeys

1. Posted by DBusby (Budding Member 17 posts) 11y

I'm leaving at the end of the month for a 2 month tour of Europe, and was just thinking about all the travelling I will be doing. Those with experience, please can you give me a feel for what it's like.

What is it like being on the train for hour after hour? Do the journeys seem to drag on, or is it comfortable and even relaxing? Can you get a feel for the country from looking out the windows?

I'm planning on staying 3 or 4 nights in most places (and taking advntage of overnight trains). Will I be sick of trains by the end of the 2 months?

Thanks for your help.

2. Posted by Travel100 (Travel Guru 1556 posts) 11y

Quoting DBusby

What is it like being on the train for hour after hour? Do the journeys seem to drag on, or is it comfortable and even relaxing? Can you get a feel for the country from looking out the windows?

I'd say all of the above. It can drag on hour after hour, but you can definitely enjoy looking out the window at the countryside. However, by taking night trains you'll miss that.

3. Posted by sekib2003 (Budding Member 14 posts) 11y

I've got a car...if you want to go on a road trip instead?!?! or is it to late have you already bought the rail pass.

4. Posted by Mikey B (Respected Member 181 posts) 11y

Travelling by train in Europe is a great way to get around. In fact I would put train travel above most other forms of transport. You really feel like you're travelling somewhere (rather than just arriving as you do on a plane), you can get up walk around, chill out with a beer in the restaurant car, spread you feet out and get some sleep etc etc.

The distances aren't really that great in Europe compared to some places and the scenery changes quickly. Sleeper trains are comfortable and efficient and a great way to meet people on longer journeys.

Worth booking ahead on some more popular, longer journeys. I remember taking the night train from Brindisi in Southern Italy all the way through to Paris. I didn't book and spent the whole night trying to get some sleep in the carriage corridor!

5. Posted by DBusby (Budding Member 17 posts) 11y

Sounds good. Anyone else?

6. Posted by nickla (Respected Member 223 posts) 11y

Personally the train jounreys are the worst part of my travelling experiences. I have done many different jounrey lengths, from the short, 40 minutes, to the long,12 hours to the never do again overnight in a normal carriage!

I find that the journeys really do seem to drag on and the day kind ofblends into this endless cycle. Most of the time, the scenery is not all that great anyway, and you can spend 10 hours staring at blank fields. A pack of cards is always useful and any other travel games u can fit in. Also make sure to take plenty of food and drink. When travellingf with a rucksack, i dont like to leave it alone in the carriage, and so dont tend to go to the restaurant car, plus it can be expensive.

This is just my view, but if i could afford trains and just use plans i would. I think my last month long trip around europe i spent a totalt of about 72 hours on the train. Suffice to say i havent been on once since my return, 8 months ago!!!

Nicola

7. Posted by Gelli (Travel Guru 2457 posts) 11y

think my last month long trip around europe i spent a totalt of about 72 hours on the train

I've spent longer on some single journeys than that!!

I'm planning on staying 3 or 4 nights in most places (and taking advntage of overnight trains). Will I be sick of trains by the end of the 2 months?

It depends on yourself and how you view them - i essentially live on trains as i work all over the place. I do loads of Night journeys, and don't have a problem sleeping/relaxing in even seated accom. I find that i can relax/drink/work/sleep/watch the world go by as i choose, and especially on overnight trains, there's almost always other travellers or nationals to talk to. I've met allsorts of amazing people that way, including some i'm still very friendly with years later.

I think it's a mental thing - if you look at the train as a way from (a) to (b), you almost certainly will get sick of them. If you look at it as part of the adventure/chance to see/meet people and save money/time in hostels etc, then your much less likely to get sick of them. A little planning/thinking also helps - for exapmple try not to cross the alps early/late/night, as you miss out on some amazing scenery, which can be as (or more) impressive in places than the places you visit at each end.

Good luck