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How are the trains in Europe?

Travel Forums Europe How are the trains in Europe?

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1. Posted by techie1983 (Budding Member 40 posts) 7y

Hi Everyone!
First of all, wish you all a very Happy and Prosperous New Year!
I wanted to know that how are the trains here in Europe? I mean are all of them chair cars or do they have bunks to sleep in as weel for the night journey? Also can anyone tell me the meanings of "SparNight", "Ligplaats", "Zitplaats", "Bedplaats", etc. I found these on the nshispeed website and am not sure if they have something to do with the type of seating that is provided in the trains.
Please do let me know what they stand for.
Regards.
Travellingtechie!

2. Posted by techie1983 (Budding Member 40 posts) 7y

Also does "couchette" means couches to sleep on?

3. Posted by Sander (Moderator 4810 posts) 7y

Quoting techie1983

I wanted to know that how are the trains here in Europe? I mean are all of them chair cars or do they have bunks to sleep in as weel for the night journey?

International night trains have bunk beds; other trains are regular seats only.

Also can anyone tell me the meanings of "SparNight", "Ligplaats", "Zitplaats", "Bedplaats", etc. I found these on the nshispeed website and am not sure if they have something to do with the type of seating that is provided in the trains.

I have no idea about "SparNight" - it isn't Dutch. Googling however tells me that it's German, meaning as much as "night saver", available both for regular seats and for "sleeper berths".
"Zitplaats" is just a regular seat.
"Slaapstoel" is a reclining seat.
"Ligplaats" is a bunk bed (either 6 or 4 people (or sometimes 2, I think?) to a cabin). If you change the language to English with the select box in the upper right corner, it's translated as "couchette". (Which, to answer your second post, is French and means as much as "bunk" or "berth".)
"Bedplaats" is a bed, and due to them adding "1 pers." behind it (plus the higher price), I think that might be a private cabin. The English translation they give themselves is "Sleeper".

(And yes, the nshispeed website sucks.) :)

Ah, here's the page on the website which explains the different classes!

[ Edit: Edited on Jan 2, 2009, at 3:22 AM by Sander ]

4. Posted by techie1983 (Budding Member 40 posts) 7y

Thank you so much for the info! It is really helpful in decoding the variousoptions available. And can you tell me any other website where I can find cheap train tickets apart from the nshispeed????? This will help me in comparing the prices and the facilities being provided.
Thanks again!
Travellingtechie!

5. Posted by Sander (Moderator 4810 posts) 7y

I don't have any experience with booking train tickets online, unfortunately. (The few times that I took international trains I needed to book in advance, I did so in person at a train station.)
bahn.de is the site of the German railways and generally the most useful one for train travel information through large parts of Europe (as in, they seem to have the largest database for times of trains across the border). That website in turn points to nachtzugreise.com as their equivalent of nshispeed.

[ Edit: Edited on Jan 2, 2009, at 3:36 AM by Sander ]

6. Posted by techie1983 (Budding Member 40 posts) 7y

thanks for the website....can I book the train tickets in person also at the railway station????? and for the same prices?????? I am currently staying in Amsterdam and I have been to one train station where I could pick up tickets from the vending machine.....for international travel will I get the tickets from similar ticket-vending machines or do I need to go to a counter and book them there?????
Thanks.
Travellingtechie!

7. Posted by Sander (Moderator 4810 posts) 7y

Quoting techie1983

thanks for the website....can I book the train tickets in person also at the railway station????? and for the same prices?????? I am currently staying in Amsterdam and I have been to one train station where I could pick up tickets from the vending machine.....for international travel will I get the tickets from similar ticket-vending machines or do I need to go to a counter and book them there?????

For short distances into Germany and Belgium (up to Brussels) you can buy a ticket at the same vending machine. For longer distances (and all night trains) you can go to the international ticket office at the Amsterdam Central Station (not all stations have these, but the large ones like Amsterdam CS do). The ticket office is located a floor above the main entrance hall, reached by going up the stairs to (from memory) platform 1/2. Be prepared for a wait of up to half an hour before you'll be helped (there's often quite a crowd), and they charge a couple of euros (I have a vague memory saying six, but I don't know how reliable that is) above the ticket price for helping you.

8. Posted by techie1983 (Budding Member 40 posts) 7y

also one more thing.....will the charges be the same as mentioned on the websites if I book the tickets in person at the train station???? will the promotional fares still hold if the tickets are booked at the train station????
Thanks.
Travellingtechie!

9. Posted by Sander (Moderator 4810 posts) 7y

Yes, they should be able to book the promotional fares for you at the ticket office, too. (It's good to be aware of their existence though (hint: write down train numbers and times), as the interface used by people at the ticket office is drastically different from that on the website, and they might not always see the same fares. (Although in general I'd trust their information more than what's presented on the website.))

10. Posted by techie1983 (Budding Member 40 posts) 7y

thanks so much for the info! it is really of big help!
Thanks again!
Travellingtechie!