Norway to London. By Rail. In three days...Maybe.

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There’s a very comfortable overnight ferry from Oslo to Copenhagen, from where the boat train (it splits into multi carriage sections on a rail ferry to cross the femer belt) can get you to Lubeck, Hamburg and then onwards to Amsterdam and Eurostar.

Night 1 on the ferry, night 2 say in Hamburg, final night in Ams or Rdam or Ghent or whichever Benelux city connects you to Eurostar.

Recommend (as others have above) to research rail on Seat 61, get yr rail tkts at Trainline, and find yr ferry tkts at Direct Ferries.

Did the Coph/Oslo ferry trip a number of times in the course of business travel, and rail Coph back to Hmbg as well.

Let’s know how you get on, it’s an interesting and comfortable trip.

DFDS run the Olso/Coph service dep 1500h arr 0900, at least current summer sched. Stena Line run the Gothenberg/Keil service but that’s a few more connections/distance.
 

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There’s a very comfortable overnight ferry from Oslo to Copenhagen, from where the boat train (it splits into multi carriage sections on a rail ferry to cross the femer belt) can get you to Lubeck, Hamburg and then onwards to Amsterdam and Eurostar.

Night 1 on the ferry, night 2 say in Hamburg, final night in Ams or Rdam or Ghent or whichever Benelux city connects you to Eurostar.

Recommend (as others have above) to research rail on Seat 61, get yr rail tkts at Trainline, and find yr ferry tkts at Direct Ferries.

Did the Coph/Oslo ferry trip a number of times in the course of business travel, and rail Coph back to Hmbg as well.

Let’s know how you get on, it’s an interesting and comfortable trip.
Looks like Eurostar is only running from Paris the weekend I'll be doing this. So in way the reduction in choice is a good thing!
 

Forg

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But on the other hand, seeing as my last leg will be Eurotunnel service, there goes half the cost of the Eurail pass there itself!

EDIT: ok maybe not a half, that's overly dramatic, but substantial nonetheless.
Yeah I paid 29 Euro for Ghent to London in 2008, was a localised special & given that fares are normally similar to airfares it's not something I've seen since (and having said that I think I spent similar on Sydney-Brisbane airfares at the same time).
 

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There’s a very comfortable overnight ferry from Oslo to Copenhagen, from where the boat train (it splits into multi carriage sections on a rail ferry to cross the femer belt) can get you to Lubeck, Hamburg and then onwards to Amsterdam and Eurostar.

Night 1 on the ferry, night 2 say in Hamburg, final night in Ams or Rdam or Ghent or whichever Benelux city connects you to Eurostar.

Recommend (as others have above) to research rail on Seat 61, get yr rail tkts at Trainline, and find yr ferry tkts at Direct Ferries.

Did the Coph/Oslo ferry trip a number of times in the course of business travel, and rail Coph back to Hmbg as well.

Let’s know how you get on, it’s an interesting and comfortable trip.
I got all excited because I always wanted to go on a train that went on a ferry - like the ones in the 30s from the UK to Europe.

According to this that ferry stopped in 2019


There are still two other trains that go onto ferries according to this https://www.raileurope.com/en/blog/trains-on-ferries - I have my sites set on the one going to Sicily

The former is one of Europe’s best kept train secrets, the train being shunted onto the ferry at Villa San Giovanni on the mainland then off again at Messina on Sicily. The train will then take you all the way to Sicily’s capital in Palermo, which means that you can travel direct by train from as far as Rome to Palermo which takes around 11 hrs, sometimes for less than the price of dinner out.

The Germany to Sweden ferry train makes up part of the Berlin to Malmö train journey, a sleeper train which only runs in the late spring and summer and which is shunted onto a ferry to cross between Sassnitz in Germany and Trelleborg in Sweden.
 
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OK, so the rail ferry don’t work no more, because they are (still) building a tunnel since I last plied the route?

I don’t know what has replaced the rail ferry, but the tunnel isnt yet finished:

Wikipedia
  • On 3 November 2020, the Bundesverwaltungsgericht ruled that the project could be built, but some reefs would have to be considered. The Naturschutzbund Deutschland described it as a "dark day for the marine environment". Sabine Leidig (Die Linke) commented: "The ecological effects and the burden upon the neighbours of this giant project are much too large, compared to its small utility."[56]
  • On 1 January 2021, works began on the actual tunnel construction, with an official online ceremony.[57]
  • On 18 January 2022, the Federal Administrative Court in Leipzig imposed a construction freeze on the areas near protected reefs.[58]
  • On 12 May 2022, work has begun on the tunnel's northern entrance (Danish side).[59]
  • On 24 May 2022, the dredging work of the tunnel is 50% completed, i.e., 11 km out 18 km has been dredged.[60]

so I don’t know what current rail arrangements to/from Coph are. Presume the rail ferry continues until the tunnel supersedes it ..
 
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SeatBackForward

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So over the weekend a spanner has been thrown in, but perhaps its just an additional challenge! Need to attend a short client visit in Rotterdam on the Friday. This means I'll either have to get from Stavanger to Oslo by overnight train, which is a pity as I really wanted to do this leg during the day to see the scenery, or even fly to Oslo instead.

I'm starting to form a few options that include overnight journeys on trains that offer sleeper, some even with private cabins with showers etc. and remember, the purpose of this journey is *not* sightseeing European cities, but to essentially just see a lot of stuff from a train window!

Day 1 (Thursday)
Oslo to Gotenburg
Gotenburg to Malmo
Malmo to Hamburg (overnight NightJet Train)

Day 2 (Friday)
Hamburg to Rotterdam
Afternoon at Clients
Amsterdam to Zurich (Overnight NightJet Train)

Day 3 (Saturday)
Zurich to Vienna
Vienna to Paris (Overnight NightJet Train)

Day 4 (Sunday)
Paris to London via Eurostar

Also considering going from Rotterdam to Innsbruck instead, this is also overnight, but you wake up in Munich and then the next few hours are along the Alps. and the Sunday looks a bit light, so might see what other options exist for this.

Also talk of many other overnight services coming online, perhaps by the time I'll be there, so who knows!
 

Vic

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I watched a few youtubes in prep for my recent europe train trips.
Man in seat 61 also has a youtube channel, and is starting to post some more content, include amsterdam to londo by eurostar four months ago. https://www.youtube.com/c/seat61

There is also Doc7Austin who has done Hamburg to Sweden, and he mentions the tunnel situation. Basically the train goes via Denmark to Sweden, no ferry needed. The new tunnel will cut the travel time significantly. https://www.youtube.com/user/doc7austin

The recent trip I looked at night trains but couldn't find anything sensible for my needs. I think the nightjet is an austrian train (OBB). The OBB Railjet I took during the day was very nice.
I guess the one question with your trip is when will you have a hotel for a proper shower? for example when meeting the clients.
 

Forg

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With respect to overnight travel in sleeper compartments ... do you sleep like a log in unfamiliar situations and with lots of noise/movement going on around you, and if you're 6' or more, does it affect your sleep if you're jammed-in head to toe?

I'm OK with sleeping in a different hotel each night so long as it's at least a full-sized single bed, but I've taken two sleeper trains & didn't get much sleep either time. The train seemed to accelerate & deceleration a helluva lot than I ever noticed when seated (rolling me around in the bunk), the bunks themselves weren't quite long enough for 6'1" me to get comfortable, and there was just a lot more noise going on in the outside world with random tootings or the sound of trains whooshing past going at 300km/h.

If you've not done it before, I wouldn't rely on being completely rested if working during the day.
 

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The recent trip I looked at night trains but couldn't find anything sensible for my needs. I think the nightjet is an austrian train (OBB). The OBB Railjet I took during the day was very nice.
I guess the one question with your trip is when will you have a hotel for a proper shower? for example when meeting the clients.
There's been a revival of overnight sleeper trains in Europe and NightJet has contributed a lot to this. They are refreshing their interiors but I suspect not in time for my trip. My initial look into these, is that many of the main overnight routes have private sleepers, that includes a bathroom/shower arrangement per berth. Given that my trip avoids paying for a hotel, I think this is worth lashing out on!

iu
 

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With respect to overnight travel in sleeper compartments ... do you sleep like a log in unfamiliar situations and with lots of noise/movement going on around you, and if you're 6' or more, does it affect your sleep if you're jammed-in head to toe?

I'm OK with sleeping in a different hotel each night so long as it's at least a full-sized single bed, but I've taken two sleeper trains & didn't get much sleep either time. The train seemed to accelerate & deceleration a helluva lot than I ever noticed when seated (rolling me around in the bunk), the bunks themselves weren't quite long enough for 6'1" me to get comfortable, and there was just a lot more noise going on in the outside world with random tootings or the sound of trains whooshing past going at 300km/h.

If you've not done it before, I wouldn't rely on being completely rested if working during the day.

Never fear, have done many overnight railway journeys, many of them in India where the noise, rattle and everything else is par for the course. In fact have had many really good sleeps on trains, but I'm not overly tall so don't need much room. Once did 52hrs from Delhi to Bangalore due to domestic pilots strike.

Just thinking about the times I've stirred awake, in the middle of the night, train stopped at some siding, only the sound of insects outside (and others on the train snoring!), wondering where we are, why we've stopped only to hear the thundering noise of the engine coming int he opposite direction, tooting its horn crazy (because all horns must be tooted like crazy in India), then as the train passes, the jolting of the carriages slowly rolling forward again.. Yep can sleep with that easily!

My only real concern is that these modern services, inside a temperature controlled environment, I'm not sure if being "closed in" is actually better for me. that and how to manage baggage on all these, Backpack is the obvious candidate.
 

Vic

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There's been a revival of overnight sleeper trains in Europe and NightJet has contributed a lot to this. They are refreshing their interiors but I suspect not in time for my trip. My initial look into these, is that many of the main overnight routes have private sleepers, that includes a bathroom/shower arrangement per berth. Given that my trip avoids paying for a hotel, I think this is worth lashing out on!

iu
From the videos I've been watching they definitely look better than my previous experiences where there were no working showers on the night train. I've also used those trains in summer, which is another level when it comes to showers etc. In November, I'm going to guess things will be a lot colder. Hence not likely to worry about a day sightseeing in 30 degree temps...
 

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From the videos I've been watching they definitely look better than my previous experiences where there were no working showers on the night train. I've also used those trains in summer, which is another level when it comes to showers etc. In November, I'm going to guess things will be a lot colder. Hence not likely to worry about a day sightseeing in 30 degree temps...

And I'm making that one easier by not doing the sightseeing either!
 

Vic

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And I'm making that one easier by not doing the sightseeing either!
That was my one question, are you doing sightseeing? Seems a shame to visit places and not at least look around.
Looking at the trip above, it looks like you could have half a day in Zurich or Vienna and Paris. Certainly, those would be my pick for sightseeing. Of course Rotterdam, as well. but not much if meeting clients.
I don't know Zurich, but I could imagine having a nice lunch in Vienna, and perhaps the same in Paris, or heading up to a little bar in Montmartre.
Very exciting trip.
 

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That was my one question, are you doing sightseeing? Seems a shame to visit places and not at least look around.
Looking at the trip above, it looks like you could have half a day in Zurich or Vienna and Paris. Certainly, those would be my pick for sightseeing. Of course Rotterdam, as well. but not much if meeting clients.
I don't know Zurich, but I could imagine having a nice lunch in Vienna, and perhaps the same in Paris, or heading up to a little bar in Montmartre.
Very exciting trip.

I agree that its a shame, BUT my reasoning is I couldn't even do one city any justice in a few hour's so stick to the main objective - just travelling around on trains!
 
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reckon you’ll be dead tired by day 3. Quite a lot of travel, tho that’s not necc tiring, but plenty of chasing platforms, intense stuff like Rdam/Ams in anoon peak, odd hour gaps hanging around unfamiliar places, missed meals etc., but yes it will be a buzz.
 
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SeatBackForward

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reckon you’ll be dead tired by day 3. Quite a lot of travel, tho that’s not necc tiring, but plenty of chasing platforms, intense stuff like Rdam/Ams in anoon peak, odd hour gaps hanging around unfamiliar places, missed meals etc., but yes it will be a buzz.
My record so far has been 7 trains to get from Hiroshima to the Northern side of Mt Fuji in one day. But with the Japanese precision on timetabling, this was easily done. But fair point I was also about 15yrs younger then so backpacks and pacing it was far easier.

I tried to do similar in 2018 from Milan to London via Basel and Koln in one day 5 trains. But only after boarding the German ICE train at Bern was I informed that the timings of the trains I had booked had changed, and as a result I'd miss my connection at Manneheim, and the knock on effect of missing the last Eurostar train for that day from Brussels. So I legged it at Basel where there fantastic ticketing staff re-routed me via Strasbourg to get to my original connection - "Oh those Germans" I clearly remember the ticketing lady saying!

I've been using an app called "Train Planner" that's linked to the Eurail pass website, and in this app it lets you set the minimum connection timne, it defaults to 5mins, but I've always been using 30mins minimum.
 

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And does Train Planner give you next-train platform info, or are you just legging it between trains and station info boards like the rest of us ?? Mind you, last time Venice to Geneva via Milan with a short connection, the Swiss train with waiting at the adjacent platform. Those Swiss…
 

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And does Train Planner give you next-train platform info, or are you just legging it between trains and station info boards like the rest of us ?? Mind you, last time Venice to Geneva via Milan with a short connection, the Swiss train with waiting at the adjacent platform. Those Swiss…
Sorry I didn't name the app correctly its correct name is "Rail Planner". And I can't see it telling me about platforms, it may after I've actually booked in a reservation, but not for now.
 
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