We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

I never knew abt this forum! Train Questions!

Las Vegas, Nevada
Level Contributor
57 posts
7 reviews
Save Topic
I never knew abt this forum! Train Questions!

I am looking to take the Thello Night train from Paris to Venice

Paris to Venice 1/11

Venice to Florence 1/13

Florence to Rome 1/17

I have taken the inner Italy trains many times but since I am taking the Thello is there a particular package or deal I should be looking to purchase?

I have 9/12 toggled on my computer to buy Thello tickets as it is 4 months and 1 day out but when I look at what the prices are for early Jan…none are available. I think I do not understand something I should be understanding.

Any advice?

Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
8,484 posts
29 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: I never knew abt this forum! Train Questions!

There is a Europe wide timetable change on Dec 14th, as a result, no timetables/booking beyond that date until about mid Oct.

See also

https:/…index.html

Please also be aware of the negative review of this Thello service, which you can search easily on this forum

Nashville, TN
Level Contributor
5,648 posts
10 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: I never knew abt this forum! Train Questions!

As noted, there are some negatic=ve reviews on the Thelio so be sure to research before you purchase.

FYI, the Thelio can now be booked at www.capitainetrain.com

Las Vegas, Nevada
Level Contributor
57 posts
7 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: I never knew abt this forum! Train Questions!

All these neg reviews are almost depressing. I was planning to get a 2 person sleeper and bring some wine and food on board and just have a fun evening. I knew it was not the Orient Express but many ppl seem to have started out with my attitude and ended up feeling tortured.

What sort of timetable change are ppl expecting?

Can one book a 4 person couchette for 2 ppl?

Albufeira, Portugal
Destination Expert
for Algarve, Faro
Level Contributor
44,903 posts
28 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: I never knew abt this forum! Train Questions!

"What sort of timetable change are ppl expecting?"

This varies from country to country but it is co-ordinated for international journeys. For example, German Railways are cancelling many of their international overnight trains as from that date as they are unprofitable. At least they announce this in advance!

On the other hand new train routes may be introduced as new high speed lines open.

As said above, the normal reservation window is 90 days but that tends to be a little less prior to the two dates (mid June and mid December) reserved for major changes.

I have not read anything specific about the Thello operation.

I think you can book a 4 person cabin for two but you have to pay all four fares.

Quainton, United...
Level Contributor
7,624 posts
4 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: I never knew abt this forum! Train Questions!

Thello can be fun if you buy a cheap 35-55 euro ticket for a couchette and bring a bottle of wine and picnic. It gets poor reviews from those who pay a lot for a sleeper and have high expectations.

A higher-quality way to go from Paris to Venice is the TGV Paris-Milan from €29 (€46 in first class) booked at www.capitainetrain.com then Milan-Venice from €19 booked at www.trenitalia.com.

You can catch a morning TGV, say 10:41, enjoy the ride through the Alps, change in Milan, and arrive Venice the same evening.

Or you could have lunch at the wonderful Train Bleu restaurant inside the Gare de Lyon in Paris, then stroll across the concourse and board the 14:41 TGV to Turin, arriving around 20:15, stay overnight and perhaps have a look round next morning, then take a train from Turin to Venice Santa Lucia station.

Bromsgrove, United...
Level Contributor
9 posts
38 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: I never knew abt this forum! Train Questions!

It's said that those with high expectations are those that are generally disappointed with Thello. We've just returned from Milan to Paris with another couple. Our only expectations were that we would have a restful, quiet journey in a comfortable cabin arriving rested on our arrival in Paris the following morning.

Nothing could be further from the truth. We lurched through three countries throughout the night. The noise within the carriage ensured that no sleep would be possible. Watching the track pass by through the bottom of the toilet bowel would ordinarily have been joke except that the toilet appeared to be doubling as a loud speaker, amplifying the sound of the rolling stock beneath.

This was simply the worsed rail journey we have ever had. The train should have been retired 30 years ago.

My recommendation would be to travel by TGV during the day. In contrast, for about 250 euro less, we travelled first class to Milan in a carriage that was almost as silent as it was smooth.

Don't care about the cost? Check the flights out, arrive there quicker and probably cheaper...

Las Vegas, Nevada
Level Contributor
57 posts
7 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: I never knew abt this forum! Train Questions!

Ugh. I did buy a 2 person Thello cabin a decent distance from the bathroom. Now I am thinking 1 bottle of wine will not be enough!!!!

Wales, United...
Destination Expert
for Bargain Travel, Cruises
Level Contributor
44,941 posts
427 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: I never knew abt this forum! Train Questions!

In my experience of night trains, though not Thello, the ride quality can be variable. It is worse if your cabin is over the wheels, where you know when you are travelling on a rough section of track or through junctions.

If you aren't over the wheels, the ride can be better, but is naturally very much subject to the condition of the track.

Frankly, I wouldn't have any expectations of comfort or a great sleep on a night train. The only expectation I would have is that the company will get me to my destination. I feel the same way about air and coach travel. I don't enjoy it, I don't expect it to be comfortable but it's a necessity that has to be endured sometimes to get me to where I want to go.

I do find this attitude very helpful as I have hardly ever experienced high levels of disappointment with any form of transportation.

Bromsgrove, United...
Level Contributor
9 posts
38 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: I never knew abt this forum! Train Questions!

Yup, if you have low expectations you are less likely to be disappointed and less to complain about. Trouble is, the approach doesn't drive change for improvement.

In the Thello case, my expectations were raised by the cost of the ticket, if it was to be commensurate with the service, it should have been less than the TGV on the outbound which was only €40 each in 1st class. The Thello ride from Milan is simply overpriced and over rated, somewhere in the region of €160 per person by my reckoning.

Your advice about position in the car however is interesting. A dedicated rail forum that advises the pitfalls and any positive advice prior to booking managing potential passenger expectations in the same way TripAdvisor does for hotels etc would be a useful service improvement I its own right. What you reckon?

Wales, United...
Destination Expert
for Bargain Travel, Cruises
Level Contributor
44,941 posts
427 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: I never knew abt this forum! Train Questions!

Yes, you are right about a dedicated rail forum. We have several here in the UK, one that provides excellent advice on UK rail fares is the UK Rail Forums site which also has an International section.

http://www.railforums.co.uk/index.php

Other sites are available as I say, but that one appears to be the most active at the moment.

As you know, I agree about Thello and wouldn't consider using the overnight trains myself. But the economics of ticket pricing are complicated. There are many layers of fares available to those wanting to travel by TGV, and the 40 euro fare is outstanding value but limited in availablity. I wouldn't use it as any sort of comparison with other fares, any more than I would use the cheapest book ahead fare from my local station to London as a comparison with any other journey!

One of the most basic things about the economics of running night trains is that the stock used can only run one service a day, as opposed to day trains like the TGV which can make several journeys. Utilisation of night trains are therefore much lower, which means that ultimately, they are more expensive to run and so require higher fares in order to cover their indirect costs. This why such services have been and continue to be cut back across the continent. Faster day trains have combined with low cost flights to heavily reduce the traditional market for sleeper services, those that are left are fighting a continued battle to cut costs and increase revenue to stay in business.

The effect of this, IMHO, is that the only sustainable way to continue overnight rains is for them to either be luxury hotel standard accommodation or cheapo budget style couchettes that appeal to backpackers, and even then it may be a struggle for them to survive.

I don't think Thello is luxurious enough to appeal to the higher end of the market, especially with its old stock and poor ride quality. The problem is that these services probably can't justify a substantial amount of investment in the current climate of uncertainty and economic difficulty. At the moment those like yourself who expect a premier product for a premier price are being disappointed, and this too does not augur well for the future of the service.

The only thing I would suggest for Thello is that they abandon the sleeping cabins and go instead to an all seated/couchette service. But I have no idea how the economics of that would work out!

I do hope I haven't waffled on too much, but overnight trains and sleeper services have been a specific interest of mine for many years!