Deutsche Bahn Nachtzug, German Night Train Sleeper Cabin Review.

Posted on 30 June 2010 by

I took the train down to Munich today to meet up, or rather, Tweet-up, with Intel. It was a great evening and there’s more to that part of the story but it’s the night train back that I want to tell you about now. I have 6 hours until I arrive at Bonn so let me tell you a little bit about a single cabin on the night train from Munich.

The Boy Scout in me did it. Rather than book a hotel I wanted to test the night train so I booked a single sleeping cabin for about 120 Euros (normally about 150 Euros but I have a 25% discount card) on the 22:43 from Munich to Amsterdam. I didn’t know what to expect although I had high hopes. German high-speed and long distance trains by Deutsche Bahn are normally excellent and I’ve had nothing but good experiences with them so although I knew I wouldn’t get the Orient Express, I was definitely expecting some good German engineering and possibly, some sleep.

I feel like a kid. Really. I’ve been telling everyone about my ‘nachtzug’ and looking forward to checking it out but the wind got taken out of my sails at the meeting this evening where I heard nothing but nightmares. ‘Murder on the DB Express’ said one. ‘You’ll feel like you’ve been beaten up’ said another. Oh boy.

Mobile Office (DB NachtZug)

Tada! Viola! Uberaschung! What a pleasant surprise.

This is turning out to be quite the fun experience. Here I am sitting on the side of my bed with a Mifi serving internet, a friendly conductor, a wake-up call and take-away breakfast planned for 0500 (20 minutes before we arrive,) power, a relatively smooth ride (I’m a baby, I love sleeping in moving vehicles) and a cold German beer. I’ve been shown around my room, given a demo of the multi-option lighting, checked out the built-in wash basin and even have a card-key to lock my door when I go to the toilet or shower. Yes, on-board (although shared) shower! I’m so excited that I’m not sure that I need to sleep tonight.

[Pause as we stop at Guenzburg station and I take a picture of my ever-changing window scene.]

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So let me show you round the place…

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Mobile Office (DB NachtZug) StitchFrom above. This isn’t exactly a huge room but I feel sure I’ve had smaller ones in hotels in Holland. I can nearly touch both walls lengthways and we’re only talking about a width of about 200cm. There’s no en-suite toilet and the walls are thin. Ear plugs recommended! This is an extremely small room.

The room is engineered with three fold-down beds on top of each other. (Pic, left.) With three people, this isn’t going to be the most roomy of experiences and bear in mind that if you book one bed in a three-bed room, you won’t know who you’re sleeping with. Scary! I’ve got the single option here and having walked along the wagon, I think I’m the only one (although apparently there’s a first-class option somewhere!)

The room has controllable air-conditioning and has a range of lighting options from blue night-light to reading light, spot-lights and a full-flood light. There’s a stow-able table that extends right out to the bed where I’m sitting and working right now. The corner area houses a basin with soap, warm water, fresh towels, a shaver power socket and a lighted mirror.

Everything is clean, everything works, nothing is broken (as far as I know) and everything is solidly built. There’s hardly a squeak or rattle to be heard. German engineering folks!

See page 2…

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  • Ah, that looks nice. Is it as clean as pictured? The railway station blew me away. No litter or graffiti? Just yesterday I was reading again about tiny houses and this was even smaller than those!
    http://mikecane.tumblr.com/post/747262866/wee-houses-notes-1

    Let us know how you slept! And breakfast picture too maybe?

  • Claudia

    Thanks for sharing – I quite like travelling by train and enjoy hearing about other people’s experiences! It sound much nicer than staying in a boring hotel, IMO :-)

    • chippy

      Good morning! I slept well. Had to take earplugs out for fear of sleeping through alarm.

      Woke up to this. Breakfast bag served and i just steped off the train. http://yfrog.com/j7kl1rj

      • The Other Man

        Dude where you really a Boy Scout? My troop just crapped out this year.

        • Yes. I was a cub scout too! Learnt a lot from it. Shame that troops are dropping like flies.

      • Benny

        I love Scouting and I have been with my troop since I was 6. To late for me to make Eagle but at least I have skills.

  • Wow, would love to travel like that too.

  • BloNo

    sounds like its right out of a Bond movie, now all you need is some close quarters hand-to-hand combat or gun battle.

    but im an American, i dont like small spaces even traveling. i like big homes, big SUV’s, & lots of space between my neighbors.

  • kiz

    great write up chippy
    i was also in the DB last moonth from Salzburg to Munich, did you use your own mifi or the one on the train

    • chippy

      I had my own mifi and it worked better than it did on the high speed ICE on the way down.

      • kiz

        and you are not limited to T Mobile as on the ICE

  • Hey, not bad at all! Next time I will try that :)

  • animatio

    i love these trains. i used them to travel from zurich to berlin oder dresden. you enter in the evining at home and you are there in the morning. fresh, clean, ready for take off. doing your business during the whole day. snapping some impressions from the cities themselfes. then you re-enter and the other morning your back at home. fresh, relaxed, ready for take off. always experienced friendly and competent service.

  • anon

    Night trains are the best. You have to sleep sometime anyway and what could be better than already arriving when you wake up, instead of just departing on a trip taking hours and hours?

  • Checking my stats for the week, it seems a lot of you are interested in trains! [sleeper-cabin review: http://bit.ly/bUbo5i ]

  • gammer

    I had the same good experience, years ago, Berlin-Munich. Additionally there was a (tiny!) shower in my room, for me alone. I also recommend the Nachtzug!

  • Sheldon

    My wife and I took the night train from Como to Koblenz last October, had a great time. The room was a bit tight, but not unduly so. The porter was friendly (all of them were), the ride was smooth and quiet, despite adjacent rooms with far too many occupants, the wine and breakfast were good, and we slept quite well. The shower was a surprise! It was bigger than the showers we had in any of the pensionen we stayed in!

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