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Old October 13th, 2013, 12:12 PM   #1921
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You can bring as much crap as you like on the plane. You only pay a bit more. Also, the train isn't that much cheaper and takes a hell of a lot longer. Returns from Munich to Moscow or St Petersburg on a plane costs as little as 180€.
You'll pay a lot more if you bring "as much crap as you like" and unlike at train journey's the luggage is handled by some staff that often does note even know what the term "careful treatment" could possibly mean. Moreover, when you are going by train you can keep whatever you like in your hand-luggage.
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Old October 13th, 2013, 12:18 PM   #1922
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I've never used a train service longer than one night, but I imagine it must be incredibly boring to have to spend an entire day in one small room with several other people.
If spending a lot of time with strangers in a small room with strangersis a problem long distance air travel wouldn't exist. True, train travel takes longer, but on a train you usually have more space.
Travelling long distance on night trains for me means spending a long time in one small room with my girlfriend. I usually don't find that boring :-)

That's what we liked so much when we took the night train back from Palermo to Milano: We had a small bubble of space all to ourselves. When we left we had the cabin still in day mode, and had a very nice supper with stuff bought on the market in Palermo. After we were ferried over we went to bed, and woke up the next morning in Milano. The last leg to Switzerland included we were indeed exactly 24 hours underway. We weren't bored. It's mostly a matter of attitude.

One of the things my gf likes about train travel is that with train travel the holiday already starts at the station, and not just when you are finally at your destination.

It's a way of travel however that is disappearing, that is true. There are many factors here. Incompetence of railway management and subsidies for airlines are just a few.
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Old October 13th, 2013, 12:23 PM   #1923
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There is still one coach a day going from Basel to Moscow and one to Minsk.
This coach is going to disappear next year. The Russian railways want to concentrate on their own trains. So we'll see more Russian night trains going to destinations in Europe, but less Russian sleeping cars tacked on to other trains.
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Old October 13th, 2013, 12:41 PM   #1924
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If spending a lot of time with strangers in a small room with strangersis a problem long distance air travel wouldn't exist. True, train travel takes longer, but on a train you usually have more space.
Travelling long distance on night trains for me means spending a long time in one small room with my girlfriend. I usually don't find that boring :-)

That's what we liked so much when we took the night train back from Palermo to Milano: We had a small bubble of space all to ourselves. When we left we had the cabin still in day mode, and had a very nice supper with stuff bought on the market in Palermo. After we were ferried over we went to bed, and woke up the next morning in Milano. The last leg to Switzerland included we were indeed exactly 24 hours underway. We weren't bored. It's mostly a matter of attitude.

One of the things my gf likes about train travel is that with train travel the holiday already starts at the station, and not just when you are finally at your destination.

It's a way of travel however that is disappearing, that is true. There are many factors here. Incompetence of railway management and subsidies for airlines are just a few.
Ok, I've never travelled with my girlfriend this way. Maybe that makes all the difference

All my limited experience with night trains (max ca 14h) has been in the former USSR and in those trains there were four beds in the room not two. As for very long distance flights, I find them also very uncomfortable but there is no other option if I want to get to US or East Asia in a reasonable time frame.
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Old October 13th, 2013, 12:43 PM   #1925
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This coach is going to disappear next year. The Russian railways want to concentrate on their own trains. So we'll see more Russian night trains going to destinations in Europe, but less Russian sleeping cars tacked on to other trains.
I didn't know that. Not likely that they'd want to come here with a full train. In that case Copenhagen will be the only night train left from Basel.
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Old October 13th, 2013, 02:17 PM   #1926
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I didn't know that. Not likely that they'd want to come here with a full train. In that case Copenhagen will be the only night train left from Basel.
The night trains to Amsterdam, Berlin, Praha and Hamburg aren't going away. It's just the direct car to Moskva.

Russian Railways apparently want to concentrate on a few routes, like Moskva - Paris and Moskva - Nice. To Nice they already run their own train.

I wonder, do Russian citizens need a transit visa for Belarus?
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Old October 13th, 2013, 02:18 PM   #1927
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No. There aren't even any border checks as far as I know.
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Old October 13th, 2013, 02:19 PM   #1928
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I wonder, do Russian citizens need a transit visa for Belarus?
No.
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Old October 13th, 2013, 02:21 PM   #1929
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All my limited experience with night trains (max ca 14h) has been in the former USSR and in those trains there were four beds in the room not two.
In Western Europe you generally have two kinds of accommodation: Couchette, with 6 beds per compartment, and "sleeping car" with compartments with three beds. The three bed compartments you can also book with just two persons (in which case just two beds are made up) or even all by yourself. The German railways have some very nice cars where those compartments even have their own private toilet and shower. That is a very stylisch way to travel.

The best night trains however I've experienced in Spain. Those trains have sleeping seats similar to what you find in business class on airplanes, and private compartments with showers. And the best food I've ever had on a train.
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Old October 13th, 2013, 02:36 PM   #1930
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Spanish night trains are a dying breed as new high-speed lines make daytime travel much more appealing than before, slashing travel times.
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Old October 13th, 2013, 03:10 PM   #1931
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I wonder, do Russian citizens need a transit visa for Belarus?
Russians do not need a visa in SNG-countries like UA,BY, KZ but westerners need a transit visa. It can not be issued at the border.

One more advantage with long distance train vs flight:

A flight from Moscow-Paris can only be used by passengers who want to travel between these 2 cities specifically .

A train between Moscow-Paris can be used by passengers heading to several other destinations like Moscow-Minsk, Berlin-Paris and so on.

The train is easilly halted and started making it easy for stops along the route, which is not the case with an airplane.
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Old October 13th, 2013, 04:13 PM   #1932
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That is why you have airline hubs. Since flying (especially short-haul flights) is quick, you can easily afford, time-wise, to make journeys requiring lengthy connections.

I don't like these trains between the European Union and Belarus. I hate that dictatorship installed there and I wish EU imposed some border closure between Belarus and Lithuania and Poland, something that would hurt their regime badly leaving it more disconnected from the rest of Europe. I'm also in favor of extending the travel bans on the elite of Lushakenko's cadre from the current 80 or to so some 1.000-3.000 non-diplomatic high-ish regime employees. But that is another issue.
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Old October 13th, 2013, 04:21 PM   #1933
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Originally Posted by NordikNerd View Post

Russians do not need a visa in SNG-countries like UA,BY, KZ but westerners need a transit visa. It can not be issued at the border.

One more advantage with long distance train vs flight:

A flight from Moscow-Paris can only be used by passengers who want to travel between these 2 cities specifically .

A train between Moscow-Paris can be used by passengers heading to several other destinations like Moscow-Minsk, Berlin-Paris and so on.

The train is easilly halted and started making it easy for stops along the route, which is not the case with an airplane.
You don't fly a lot do you.
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Old October 13th, 2013, 04:53 PM   #1934
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There is a place for buses, trams, railways and airplanes in the comprehensive modern public transportation network. There is some overlap between those modes of transport of course, but fundamentally they serve different market segments. I'm not about to fly to Zurich or take a bus to Moscow...
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Old October 13th, 2013, 06:50 PM   #1935
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I don't like these trains between the European Union and Belarus.
I can't see how cutting them off will change much, to be fair I don't like the regime in Russia either but i'm still happy to travel there. The need for a transit visa for most EU citizens must have cost them a lot of business.
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Old October 13th, 2013, 06:53 PM   #1936
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Well, the pricing of 1520-1435 tends to be just ridiculous, most of the times breaking the ride in several segments are really advantageous.
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Old October 13th, 2013, 06:55 PM   #1937
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I don't like these trains between the European Union and Belarus. I hate that dictatorship installed there and I wish EU imposed some border closure between Belarus and Lithuania and Poland, something that would hurt their regime badly leaving it more disconnected from the rest of Europe. I'm also in favor of extending the travel bans on the elite of Lushakenko's cadre from the current 80 or to so some 1.000-3.000 non-diplomatic high-ish regime employees. But that is another issue.
You realise, that the only way to change political situation in any country - is to show people that there is an alternative that works better than a current political system? Any closures tends only to get people more angry at someone imposing such limits.
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Old October 13th, 2013, 07:13 PM   #1938
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Travelling long distance on night trains for me means spending a long time in one small room with my girlfriend. I usually don't find that boring :-)

That's what we liked so much when we took the night train back from Palermo to Milano: We had a small bubble of space all to ourselves. When we left we had the cabin still in day mode, and had a very nice supper with stuff bought on the market in Palermo. After we were ferried over we went to bed
Bed, or beds?
Trains with double beds do exist:
http://www.southernpoint.co.za/rovos-rail/
and some others - but I have not heard of very many of them in regular service.
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Originally Posted by Sunfuns
All my limited experience with night trains (max ca 14h) has been in the former USSR and in those trains there were four beds in the room not two.
That´s "kupe". The middle class of sleepers.
There are commonly 3 classes of sleeper service in USSR.
Below "kupe", there is "platskartny". It does not have compartment doors - and there are 6 berths per compartment, namely the 4 across the train, and 2 more on the other side of the aisle, along the train.
And above "kupe", there is "spalny". 2 beds per compartment - both lower, omitting the upper berths.

For comparison, the 3 sleeper classes of Chinese railways.
The middle class, 4 berths per compartment, resembles the Russian "kupe" and is called "soft sleeper".
The lower class, termed "hard sleeper", also lacks doors and has 6 berths per compartment - actually not hard, but upholstered, http://cnreviews.com/wp-content/uplo...rd-sleeper.jpg - but they are all across train, and in 3 tiers.
The upper class, termed "deluxe soft sleeper", also has 2 berths per compartment - but unlike Russian railways, they are 1 lower and 1 upper. The opposite side of compartment has chairs.

My impression is that deluxe soft sleeper is rare in China and many trains have soft sleeper but no deluxe soft sleeper accommodation, whereas spalny is more widespread in Russia.

How are the bed choices in Europe?
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Old October 13th, 2013, 07:28 PM   #1939
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That is why you have airline hubs. Since flying (especially short-haul flights) is quick, you can easily afford, time-wise, to make journeys requiring lengthy connections.

I don't like these trains between the European Union and Belarus. I hate that dictatorship installed there and I wish EU imposed some border closure between Belarus and Lithuania and Poland, something that would hurt their regime badly leaving it more disconnected from the rest of Europe. I'm also in favor of extending the travel bans on the elite of Lushakenko's cadre from the current 80 or to so some 1.000-3.000 non-diplomatic high-ish regime employees. But that is another issue.
I don't think the Lithuanian government (and the people for that matter) would agree. Works on electrification of Vilnius-Minsk railway are underway as we speak and the main goal for the next few years is improving the connections and passenger flows between the countries. There are proposals to open inland water route too. If anything the borders between Belarus and the EU need to be more open not closed.
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Old October 13th, 2013, 07:40 PM   #1940
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This December The Berlin-Moscow service will be canceled due to poor demand.
This is actually not due to low demand on the RZD/BC-cars, but because of low demand on the polish cars of the EN Jan Kiepura, which got canceled. The cars from Praha (Vlatava) or Vienna (Chopin) will still run, but from Germany only the Ost-West-Express runs all the way to Moscow.

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Access: You arrive in central Paris/Moscow not 15km outside the city centre.
The Paris-Moscow-Train has convenient times for crossing the EU border at Terespol/Brest, but arrives at the Belorusskiy Vokzal at 00:58. The metro closes at 1 a.m., so you have to rely on taxis or book a hotel near the station.

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Luggage: no check in and you can carry as heavy bags as you're capable of.
There is a 35 kg limit, and any extra baggage has to go to the luggage car, but usually no one cares. The 3-bed-compartments on international RZD cars are not really spacious, though. Three people with 2 trolleys each and it will get very cramped.

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A train between Moscow-Paris can be used by passengers heading to several other destinations like Moscow-Minsk, Berlin-Paris and so on.
Afaik the relation Paris-Berlin is blocked on that train, as the RZD wants to sell their expensive Global-Pricing-Tickets to Russia.

The Paris-Moscow-train is a premium service and considerably expensive. It's cheaper to go to Warsaw and use the "Polonez" to Moscow or, the easier option as you don't need a Belarus transit visa, use the Tisza-Express from Budapest to Moscow. You'll get old rolling stock from the GDR and border checks in the middle of the night, though.
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