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11
It's something I've never experienced, so it's a must do for me :)
Having no doors indeed looks and feels a bit weird at first, however this type of carriage is way more spacious than usual 6 berth couchettes somewhere in Europe, passenger can easily seat on the lower berth, bigger distance between the opposite berths, huge table, lots of space for luggage, etc. So in some sense, and especially if the journey is more than standard 7-8 hours overnight, platskartnyj might be more comfortable than 2nd class couchette.
Think I will just book the Chisinau - Iasi train when I get to Moldova. To be honest, I can't see how to book it only to Iasi, but it seems like I won't need to, anyway,
It's only two weeks in advance sale (i.e. today it's max June 15) and in the "Destinație" section you need to select blue "Iasi" & not "Iasi-Socola", then it's relatively straight forward (i.e. on the next page you enter name & passport #, while next comes the bank card details info)
12
Great, thank you!

I figured that there might be some tricks re. the Lviv to Odessa train, but I booked first class anyway and I am happy to do that - at least I will be well rested and ready to enjoy Odessa, even if I do miss out on the experience.

I'm hoping to travel in 3rd class in winter / next year. I read that Russia is phasing out platzkarti, but I hope the process will be slow, and even slower in Ukraine. It's something I've never experienced, so it's a must do for me :)

Think I will just book the Chisinau - Iasi train when I get to Moldova. To be honest, I can't see how to book it only to Iasi, but it seems like I won't need to, anyway,

Only two trains left to book now! (Iasi - Timisoara, and Timisoara - Budapest / Bratislava). Thanks for all your help! 
13
I hope you don't mind me making this into a super-thread for my trip? But I have some questions about the Moldova and Romania leg, if I may?
Sure, why not )))

I would like to travel by train from Chisinau to Iasi, on a Thursday. How accurate is the Moldovan Railways site? It states that a train runs every day (105, the Chisinau to Bucharest train), from 16:56 - 22:21. Do you have any feeling if this info is right, or more or less right at least? :D
It looks a bit weird indeed, but if one knows how to use it, then it's possible to extract all the necessary info. Regarding the overnighter Chisinau-Iasi-Bucharest info is correct, it's basically a flagship train for Moldova Railways.
I assume that I will be able to buy some sort of ticket a day or two before?
Actually it's possible to purchase ticket even online on their website (however the interface is either in Moldavian/Romanian or Russian). Since this train is kind of expensive option for locals (frequent minibuses & buses are much cheaper) you hardly will have any problems buying your ticket at the counter already in Chisinau.
And do you know if the train has the classic Eastern Europe set-up (every carriage a sleeper)?
Yep, it's pretty short & only sleepers (i.e. 2nd class 4 bed compartment ("kupe") or 1st class 2 bed (SV/Lux)), you can see the price difference yourself (see link above).
I think this train goes to Iasi station proper, and the weekend train only goes to Iasi Socola - am I right?
Yes, it's related to the fact that weekend DMU runs on wide gauge, while with 105 they change the bogies to 1435



the link for Moldovan Rail schedule on the main page is broken (no problem to click through from the main site though) just FYI and maintenance.
Thanks for pointing it out, fixed it
I know you said that the Lviv to Odesa route sold out quickly in summer, but ALL the decent (i.e. not aisle) 3rd class berths sold out by 9 am on the day of sale. Crazy!
Well, that's what happens when you have super cheap rail tickets & summer peak season. Which date you are looking for? There might be a few tricks in order not to hunt for a good tickets right after the sale starts
14
Hello again :)

I hope you don't mind me making this into a super-thread for my trip? But I have some questions about the Moldova and Romania leg, if I may?

I would like to travel by train from Chisinau to Iasi, on a Thursday. How accurate is the Moldovan Railways site? It states that a train runs every day (105, the Chisinau to Bucharest train), from 16:56 - 22:21. Do you have any feeling if this info is right, or more or less right at least? :D

I assume that I will be able to buy some sort of ticket a day or two before? And do you know if the train has the classic Eastern Europe set-up (every carriage a sleeper)? I think this train goes to Iasi station proper, and the weekend train only goes to Iasi Socola - am I right?

Thank you in advance!

And two pieces of info for you guys:

1. the link for Moldovan Rail schedule on the main page is broken (no problem to click through from the main site though) just FYI and maintenance.

2. I know you said that the Lviv to Odesa route sold out quickly in summer, but ALL the decent (i.e. not aisle) 3rd class berths sold out by 9 am on the day of sale. Crazy!
15
Thanks!

16
When booking via the official site, which are the bottom bunks in 3rd class? I think it is probably 1 and 3 etc. (with the line under the number). Am I right?
Yep, odd numbers designate bottom beds in both 2nd class (kupe) and 3rd class (platskarnyj) carriages, in 1st class (SV/Lux) it's only bottom ones, no upper beds at all
17
One more quick question. When booking via the official site, which are the bottom bunks in 3rd class? I think it is probably 1 and 3 etc. (with the line under the number). Am I right?
18
Travel plans, routes and timetables / Re: Australian Newbie with Itinerary
« Last post by tUt on May 18, 2018, 09:33:23 pm »
...it is invaluable to us Aussies as even travel agents are unable to assist inless you are booking a tour with them.
Well, most travel agents only know how to sell you the most expensive option anyhow :) So I don't think you lost much by not doing your bookings via agencies, maybe besides your time, but in this case point-to-point tickets bought from the actual operating rail companies would save you a lot of money, so your time=savings ;)

Depart London for Brussells (we will not be doing Amsterdam now)
This one is very easy, just make sure you purchase your tickets either via Belgium railways (NMBS/SNCB) or Eurostar websites, since the agencies (like Rail Europe) tend to overcharge unexperienced travelers on routes like this.
Brussells to Heidelberg
Again, Belgium railways (NMBS/SNCB) website is your choice here, otherwise it won't be much different from buying Amsterdam-Heildeberg from the Dutch railways
Vienna to Salzburg   (is there a scenic route for this or for
Salzburg to Lucerne
Vienna-Salzburg... not really, however with Salzburg-Lucerne both routes (or via Bavaria or via Innsbuck/Western Austria) are rather scenic scenic, with the later its a lot of mountains, while with the former you'll get to see a bit of Lake Constance and some mountains
Is there a train from Veroma to Ljubljana?  Or do we do a bus?
No direct trains, but direct buses (e.g. FlixBus) are available (4:30-6 hours depending on connection/bus company)

Most places we are staying 2 nights and some 3 nights.  I have tried to work out so travelling in day time only and arriving before dark.  So may mean early wake up.  The accomodation booked is near the train station for conveince...your ideas are again welcome and whether this is too much or doable.
Sure, especially with your plan to have roughly 2-3 days stopovers without traveling, making a day long trip afterward won't be very tiring. Plus it's not like you'll be doing 10+ hours journeys or something like it, your longest trip would be <7 hours, which is ok on more or less decent trains

I hear and read about strikes on the rails.   Will any of my itinerary effected?
Well, big paralyzing strikes are more a thing for Romance-speaking Europe (i.e. France, Spain, Italy), while with Germanic speaking countries (e.g. Germany, Switzerland, Austria) and nearest neighbours it's not very likely, especially with fancy international connections. Imho, don't think with your itinerary you should worry much ;)

As we are travelling between 24th November in UK to 23rd December through Belguim, Germany, Hungary, Austria, Switzerland to Slovenia is the snow something that can delay trains?
It might, but essential delays happen only in the extraordinary snow situations, so you should get very lucky to end up in one of those. With shorter weather related delays you shouldn't really worry much, it won't be a problem, since it will be railways' job to exchange your ticket, get you as soon as possible to your destination and so on.

What other things do we have to be aware off?
In the touristic cities it's mostly about rip-off money exchange points (i.e. make sure you know the correct exchange rate), unworthy expensive city tours/restaurants on the main squares or the walking steets and, in some countries (e.g. Italy), pickpocketing, so just be careful with your wallet, passports & cellphones
19
Travel plans, routes and timetables / Re: Australian Newbie with Itinerary
« Last post by MAKSAUST on May 18, 2018, 01:05:32 pm »
I hear and read about strikes on the rails.   Will any of my itinerary effected? As we are travelling between 24th November in UK to 23rd December through Belguim, Germany, Hungary, Austria, Switzerland to Slovenia is the snow something that can delay trains? What other things do we have to be aware off?  The itinerary is made without incidents along the way 😁
20
Travel plans, routes and timetables / Re: Australian Newbie with Itinerary
« Last post by MAKSAUST on May 18, 2018, 12:40:58 pm »
Hi ...thankyou for your help so far ...it is invaluable to us Aussies as even travel agents are unable to assist inless you are booking a tour with them.
I have hopefully finalised my itinerary and due to Edihad cancelling our flights...we now fly Emirates and go to London...
Depart Perth 24th November 6am
Arrive London 24th November midday 😂😂😂
Depart London for Brussells (we will not be doing Amsterdam now)
Brussells to Heidelberg
Heidelberg to Nuremberg
Nuremberg to Prague
Prague to Budapest (your idea and have been able to make changes to accomodation booking at no charge)
Budapest to Vienna
Vienna to Salzburg   (is there a scenic route for this or for
Salzburg to Lucerne
Lucerne to Chur
Chur to Tirano 
Tirano to Veroma (looked at your suggestion ended up half way between)
Veroma to Ljubljana
Is there a train from Veroma to Ljubljana?  Or do we do a bus?
Most places we are staying 2 nights and some 3 nights.  I have tried to work out so travelling in day time only and arriving before dark.  So may mean early wake up.  The accomodation booked is near the train station for conveince...your ideas are again welcome and whether this is too much or doable.  We are both mid 60's. TIA
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