/ London - Aviemore night train debauchery potential

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jhw - on 13 Dec 2012
I got the long train from London to Aviemore a couple of times last year because it was the only way I could get up there to climb (not enough leave). It struck me that there was overwhelming potential for general drunken depravity but I was surprised at how civilised the experience was. This is in contrast to the night train I got from Paris to Chamonix a few times where I recall clinking brown bags being passed down the train between strangers, etc. Was I just in the wrong carriage, are these things normally a bit more drink-sodden? The potential seems immense
Trangia - on 13 Dec 2012
In reply to jhw:

On the Caledonian Sleeper there is usually a train guard for each sleeping carriage. I've never witnessed any debauchery when travelling on it.

The same comment goes for the reclining chair carriages. There is a bar on the train but folk tend to down a few bevies then go to sleep.
jhw - on 13 Dec 2012
It must be a cultural thing I suppose. It seems like a missed opportunity.
Doug on 13 Dec 2012
In reply to jhw: Not sure if it still runs, but SNCF used to advertise a night train from Paris to the alps with an on board night club to while away the journey & get into the mood for the après ski to come.
Trangia - on 13 Dec 2012
In reply to Doug:
> (In reply to jhw) Not sure if it still runs, but SNCF used to advertise a night train from Paris to the alps with an on board night club to while away the journey & get into the mood for the après ski to come.

I remember going on that during the 1980's. Interesting things used to happen on the dance floor as the train went round a corner! You could avoid the worst of the drunks by booking a seat in a carriage as far away from the dico car as possible.

Cuthbert on 13 Dec 2012
In reply to Trangia:

There isn't a guard for each sleeping carriage. It would be massively over staffed if there was.

I think price tends to exclude some people who might beer it up but also the sleeper is seen as a slightly exclusive and this reduces idiot behavior.
MG - on 13 Dec 2012
In reply to jhw:
> It must be a cultural thing I suppose. It seems like a missed opportunity.

Missed opportunity to what? Piss of everyone who has paid for a bunk and wants some sleep?
Trangia - on 13 Dec 2012
In reply to Saor Alba:

Maybe it's a guard for every other carriage or so? I have certainly seen them and they show you to your compartment and take your morning tea or coffeee order when you board.

As you say the price may affect the calibre of clientelle, who tend to get quietly and responsibly mellowed on single malts rather than pissed on lager before retiring to their compartments :)
jhw - on 13 Dec 2012
Heh

I remember the Paris-Alps train was quite civilised on the way down, just cheerful mild tipsiness

But the train back to Paris was full of bums and pissheads every time. They'd get turfed out at each stop but the staff couldn't quite control the situation and of course the stops were hundreds of miles apart.
torquil on 13 Dec 2012
In reply to jhw: you should try the overnight ferry from Stockholm to Helsinki...i don't think they come any better/worse than that, just don't plan on sleeping.
florence58 - on 13 Dec 2012
In reply to jhw: Something to do with the Scotrail ban on drinking after 9pm and refusal of travel to drunk and disorderly passengers?
silhouette - on 14 Dec 2012
In reply to florence58: Sleeper trains are a massive anachronism and have to be bailed out by the long-sufferring taxpayer (and I write as someone who is a big supporter of rail development).
Doug on 14 Dec 2012
In reply to silhouette: Never used one in the UK, but have often used them in France, both for work & holidays. They they seem well used, and cheaper than in the UK. Although with the arrival of the TGV there are less of them

Trangia - on 14 Dec 2012
In reply to Doug:
> (In reply to silhouette)

Although with the arrival of the TGV there are less of them

That's an interesting point, although TGV isn't always the best option. When I last went to the Pyranees we went by train. We had the choice of the fast TGV or the overnight sleeper from Paris. Both left at about the same time, but the TGV got us there at 2 am, which would have meant hanging around the station until the car hire office opened in the morning (or finding an hotel), whereas the sleeper arrived at 8 am having given you a comfortable night's sleep.

We chose the sleeper!

Sleepers come into their own for breakfast time arrivals, and if you are sleeping you don't care about the speed or time the journey takes. They also save you the cost of an vernight hotel.

MG - on 14 Dec 2012
In reply to silhouette:
> (In reply to florence58) Sleeper trains are a massive anachronism

I would disagree. They offer and much more pleasant and more sustainable choice than air travel on London-Scotland routes

and have to be bailed out by the long-sufferring taxpayer

True, but so does air-travel. For example by direct subsidies and no tax on air fuel.
Neil Williams - on 14 Dec 2012
In reply to Trangia:

For all I have enjoyed sleeper train trips, I have never had anything you might call a comfortable night's sleep in any kind of moving vehicle.

Neil
ripper - on 14 Dec 2012
In reply to torquil:
> (In reply to jhw) you should try the overnight ferry from Stockholm to Helsinki...i don't think they come any better/worse than that, just don't plan on sleeping.

Haha, yeah I did the overnight boat from Rostock to Tallinn (which then continued on to Helsinki) a few years back. Immense carnage...
jhw - on 14 Dec 2012
Overnight boat from Split, Croatia, to Ancona, Italy is also good for carnage. Full of Italians wanting to finish off their holiday in a drunken fugue albeit that you finish the ride covered in soot. Although you often finish the sleeper train stinking of diesel too, if you buy one of the cheap seats.
nufkin - on 14 Dec 2012
In reply to silhouette:
> (In reply to florence58) Sleeper trains are a massive anachronism

Seems like an enirely sensible solution to me - if it takes 8+hrs to get to Scotland, why not do it overnight, get a decent kip and be able to make full use of the following day?

nufkin - on 14 Dec 2012
In reply to jhw:
> overwhelming potential for general drunken depravity

Were you in the bunks or the seated carriage? It's quite hard to be depraved in those beds, especially with the sheets tucked in so tight



ice.solo - on 14 Dec 2012
In reply to jhw:

got a london to glasgow night bus years back - great vibe. boozey but not vicious.
only trouble with hoodlums was at the highway stops along the way.
jhw - on 14 Dec 2012
Edinburgh nightbus shenanigans:

http://www.legalcheek.com/2012/08/city-lawyer-admits-to-trying-it-on-with-woman-on-edinburgh-london-...

When I got it there was none of this, it was very civilised. I think I passed out at soon as I got on the bus and woke up at London Victoria at about 5am. There was a bit of a struggle to get a taxi as there was only 1 and some Somalis wanted a lift all the way to Harwich for £200 for some reason. I vaguely recall there was some kind of altercation with the taxi driver from which I was the beneficiary. That taxi ride cost £25 whereas the bus itself had been about a tenner. With a full rucksack, a day sack, a large suitcase, a set of skis, and some ski boots - all transported for free.
jhw - on 14 Dec 2012
I am conscious that I sound rather like the Jackass "party guy" in this thread.
JohnnyW - on 14 Dec 2012
In reply to jhw:

Ah, brings back fond memories of night trains when Inter-railing in the early 80's. Party time or what!
deanstonmassif on 14 Dec 2012
In reply to jhw:
It's never quite as romantic as "North by Northwest" (narrower gauge railway carriages, you see), but I always find the whole experience exciting and civilised. Even if, as some have already posted, the sleep experienced is normally broken and unsatisfactory. Perhaps longer spent in the saloon car before retiring would assist?
malky_c - on 14 Dec 2012
In reply to jhw: It is usually pretty quiet thankfully (I use it for work so need the sleep rather than the partying). Noisiest was about a year ago when there was a school group of 14 year olds on it.

The 9pm alcohol ban doesn't apply on the sleeper so you can still have a few drinks to cushion the blow. I found getting to sleep difficult at first but you get used to it after a few trips. Getting up at 5am to get off at Crewe is a real killer though - shame it doesn't stop at more places (like Birmingham for instance).
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Yanchik - on 14 Dec 2012
In reply to malky_c:

Petersburg to Moscow or the reverse journey is another "the train goes slowly, you get a good night's sleep" experience with surprisingly little visible drunkenness...

Helsinki - Tallinn on Finnish National Day has to be a record-breaker. Luckily it's not overnight or there'd need to be a special ward set up...

Y

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