Autumn 2021. In theory we could travel to other continents, but destinations we had in mind such as Japan or the United Kingdom were impossible to plan ahead. Instead we organised a rail trip to Eastern Europe, travelling to Berlin, Gdańsk, Wrocław, Karlovy Vary, Pilsen, Bratislava, Poprad, Vienna, Linz and Salzburg. By travelling to Germany, Poland, Czechia, Slovakia and Austria, we explore an area which was in the (not too distant) past bonded together by the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation and by Austria-Hungary.
To travel from Prague to Bratislava, we chose RegioJet and their business class product. Sampling RegioJet is particularly relevant as European Sleeper is joining forces with RegioJet to operate a night train service between Ostend, Brussels, Berlin and Prague.
The Eurofima coach, or European Standard Coach (French: Voiture Standard Européenne), is a passenger car designed for use on international railway routes in Europe. It was commissioned by the European Company for the Financing of Railroad Rolling Stock (French: Société européenne pour le financement de matériel ferroviaire) (Eurofima).
Overall production was 10 prototypes, followed by 500 coaches ordered in 1973 and delivered in 1977.
- Business. Comes with free drinks, a closed coupé and roommates who you expect to behave.
- Relax. Open version of business.
- Standard. Which standard.
- Kids compartment in standard.
- Standard-ASTRA. Standard but with own screens and entertainment.
- Low-cost. Very basic.
- Their sleeper cars.
So we chose business. The compartment has four comfortable seats with power outlets. The seats recline. Obviously there’s a tablet for eating or computing.
There’s ample leg room and space between the seats. So no, we weren’t alone but our roommates did behave. As a matter of fact, it was us who made the most noice and moved about most. Sorry for the disturbance.
A stewardess came regularly to hear if we wanted something. Water, Sekt, juices, tea and coffee were included in the price. Food not, but the stewardess takes your order and brings your food.
The prices are low, especially for cake.
Outside the bubble
Outside our ‘business bubble’ life on board wasn’t as pleasant. Our train departed Prague with four out five toilets out of service. It also seemed the air conditioning wasn’t working in the low-cost coach.
But besides those inconveniences, the ride was smooth and uneventful.
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