Overnight train accommodations
What types of sleeping compartments or accommodations are available on overnight trains?
You have three choices of accommodation on overnight trains: Economy, Comfort, and Premier Class.
In Economy Class, you can relax in a reclining seat, a ‘couchette’ that is a shared compartment with up to 6 beds, or an economy compartment with 3 to 4 beds.
In Comfort Class, you’ll share a more relaxing lockage compartment with one or two beds and a wash basin in he compartment.
Lastly, on some trains, you can book a Premier Class ticket for a great night of sleep with private, lockable accommodations for one or two, a private shower and toilet, and include breakfast and on some trans, dinner.
Sleeping accommodations vary by train type and by route. Be sure to read the product details for the overnight train you’re interested in to see what that train offers in each class of service.
Are there shower facilities on board?
Onboard shower facilities vary by car equipment, operating carrier, and the class of service you’re booked in. For more information, be sure to look at the “On Board Services” tab for the train and class of service you’re interested in so you know what to expect.
In addition, there may be shower facilities at the rail stations. Typically, you will need to pay a fee to use these showers.
How are sleeping compartments kept secure?
Overnight trains have conductors on duty throughout the duration of the train ride. In addition, sleeping compartments have locks on the doors that you control.
Is dinner and/or breakfast included with my reservation on an overnight train?
When you travel on an overnight train meal inclusions vary depending on the train you are on, as well as what type of train ticket you have purchased. With the purchase of a Premier class ticket, you will generally get a meal on board the train. This meal is typically breakfast in the morning. Some trains will bring the meal to you in your compartment, while other trains will serve you breakfast in the restaurant car on board the train. The Elipsos train includes both dinner and breakfast with the purchase of a Premier class ticket. Both meals are served fresh to you in the restaurant car. If you purchased a Comfort class ticket, your fare includes breakfast, served in the restaurant car. City Night Line trains offer Premier class ticket holders breakfast included in the ticket price, the breakfast is brought to your compartment. Also included is a welcome drink. For Comfort class ticket holders, you will receive a light boxed breakfast delivered to your compartment, a service included with your train ticket. Thello trains offer those in Comfort class a complementary continental breakfast served either in your compartment or the restaurant car – included with the price of your ticket.
Trenitalia International Night trains offer Comfort and Premier class ticket holders breakfast on routes to and from Austria.
France-Russia overnight trains offer Comfort and Premier class ticket holders breakfast served in their compartment (and requiring confirmation at departure).
On the Scandinavian Night train in Comfort of Premier Class, your ticket includes a Swedish morning newspaper and you can choose between having your complimentary breakfast served on the train you’re on, on the connecting train or at some of the train’s destinations. Your ticket or your seat reservation must be presented to the hotel or train staff to receive breakfast service.
On Spanish Night Trains in Premier or Gran Clase, dinner and breakfast are included with your ticket (except Madrid-Ferrol route).
If you are not traveling in a First Class sleeping compartment, don’t worry, you won’t starve on board! Overnight trains all include a restaurant car, bar car or vending machine services containing hot/cold drinks and snacks. Most restaurant/bar cars are open until at least 1:00am. Additionally, you can purchase food before hopping on board the train and eat as you wish. Though not included with the price of your ticket, you can certainly find something to eat during the ride.
How much luggage can I take on an overnight train?
There are usually no restrictions on the amount of luggage that may be brought on an overnight train, but there is limited space in the compartment to store the luggage. A small luggage rack and any floor or bed space must be shared among all travelers occupying a sleeping compartment or couchette.
Do I need to make a reservation if I’m traveling with a rail pass on an overnight train?
Yes. Even with your rail pass, you will need to make a reservation on any overnight train. Reservations are required for sleeping compartments, couchettes and seats. Depending on where you’re traveling, the guidelines of the specific train and/or the type of rail pass you have, you may be entitled to purchase a reservation in place of a full price ticket.
You can search for overnight reservations directly on our website.
Is it possible to have travelers of different genders in the same sleeping compartment?
For gender specific compartments, men and women must be in separate sleeping compartments. However, if you reserve all beds within a compartment, you may mix genders.
Gender-specific compartments include private double, triple, deluxe double, deluxe triple, and quad sleeping compartments. If your traveling party doesn’t fill the compartment, you will be divided by gender.
What happens if my train crosses an international border during the night?
If you travel in a sleeper compartment, you provide the train attendant with your reservation voucher, rail pass or train ticket, and passport as you board. They can then take care of everything with conductors and customs officials so you can sleep uninterrupted.
If you travel in a regular train that just happens to cross the border at night, customs and border control officers may come directly to you and ask for your passport.
Please note that there will be no passport control (day or night) when traveling between countries that signed the Schengen Treaty. Not all countries belonging to the EU are part of the Schengen Treaty (e.g. Britain). On the flip side, some countries that are not part of the EU are part of the Schengen Treaty (e.g. Switzerland).
Where can I store my luggage on an overnight train?
Luggage can be stored on a small luggage rack and any floor or bed space available. Keep in mind that this space is shared among all travelers occupying the sleeping compartment or couchette.
Can a reservation date on an overnight train be changed?
This is possible in some cases, but with the limited availability of overnight trains, please do it as soon as you can and at least 24-hours before the train’s departure. New reservations will be required when you reschedule. Make sure to check the fare rules for the reservation you’ve purchased so you’re aware of the exchange policies. If you’re already traveling in Europe and need to make a change, you may be subject to local service fees and/or upgrade charges.
Can I ensure that my traveling party will share a compartment on an overnight train?
Our booking system always attempts to book all travelers in the same compartment on overnight trains, as long as you submit your request for your entire traveling party at once.
Our ability to book all travelers in the same compartment ultimately depends on compartment availabilities in the train you’re booking. The earlier you make your reservations, the better the chance that everyone in your travel party will be in the same compartment.
If a compartment can’t be fully filled by the traveling party alone, some trains may need to separate you into gender-specific compartments.
Here’s how it works. Let’s consider a party of two travelers, with a male and a female traveling together. If they choose to book a 3-person sleeping compartment, the rail carrier will make the remaining space available for other travelers. Since an unfilled sleeping compartment can only accommodate travelers of the same gender, the male traveler will be assigned to different 3-person sleeping compartment than the female.
Therefore, if you are a traveling party of mixed gender – the way to ensure that you will be traveling together is to make sure that you book a compartment that you fill entirely.
However, there is a rare exception. The Elipsos train offers special fares with limited availability that is only obtainable through our contact center. These special fares allow you to buy out a full compartment on the Elipsos train, even if your party doesn’t fill it. Please call our contact center at 800-438-7245 for more details and pricing.
If my travel party won’t fill the entire compartment, can we buy it out to travel by ourselves?
We’re only able to sell train tickets/reservations for beds that will be filled by travelers. If you purchase “extra” beds in a compartment to occupy the space, the conductor can fill empty beds if space is needed, even if the whole compartment has been purchased. No refund is given if a conductor fills an “extra” bed.
Will I be sharing my sleeping compartment with strangers?
If you purchase a reservation for a bed in a compartment that can accommodate more people than are in your traveling party, yes, additional people may be in the compartment. It’s also important to note that couchette accommodations are usually not gender specific.