Is it safe to ride the train in Europe thru out Europe. We are starting out in France going to Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Norway, and then back to Germany via the train. Just how safe will we be on riding the rail. If we miss a train or get off a wrong spot. We arent able to speak any of the languages other than English, and we are in our early sixties.
Any help would ease our minds.
We are planning and planning this trip but not making any reservations as we want to go and see what ever strikes us at the time.
The trains are quite safe. There isn't really much danger, Paris might be the biggest threat of where you're staying but really it'd be like travelling to any other city - keep valuables safe, wallet in front pockets (rather than at the back), separate cards/large amounts of cash, don't go walking around in secluded areas at night, etc. Also on the trains keep your bags where you can see them.
The Scandinavians probably speak better English than most native English speaking countries so no worries there
Germans generally speak decent English too.
The French don't tend to speak as much English, but greet them with a polite "Bonjour, parle vous Anglais?", and suddenly you might find they know a few words!
In general the trains are fairly easily comprehended, most countries you listed will probably have English translations in common routes.
[ Edit: Edited on 11-Feb-2009, at 15:47 by Erik85 ]
but not making any reservations as we want to go and see what ever strikes us at the time.
Note that 98% of long distance/express trains in France, Sweden and Norway require compulsory reservation. Often you can do this just before you depart, but then if it's full, it is full. Try and book these journeys a couple of days in advance, and if you will be travelling at peak times, more. ((French TGV's - high speed trains - for example are compulsory reservation, and only allow a small percentage of passholders on each train))
Just how safe will we be on riding the rail.
Very safe. Biggest threat will be pickpockets. The last thing you need on your trip is to doze off and to wake up to the fact that all your money, your Eurail tickets, your credit cards and your passports are gone. Take safety measures against this, like using a money belt, distributing things around, having a wallet specifically for small purchases and keeping cash, tickets, credit cards and passports seperate.
If we miss a train or get off a wrong spot.
There is generally another train 1-4 hours later. Only problem might be if you plan to go long-distance. Say you go Paris-Hamburg and when changing in Frankfurt late in the evening you get on the train to Munich, not Hamburg. In a worst case scenario and depending how the schedule works out you might have to spent the night in a hotel in Munich, Nuremberg, Frankfurt or Göttingen, not Hamburg. No harm there, just ask a taxi driver to take you to a cheap hotel and take the right train in the morning.