Amsterdam-Copenhagen night train trip report

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scarby

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I'd wanted to do this for some time, as it's an overnight service with an early departure and late arrival, allowing for maximum enjoyment of the journey.

In this case, a Saturday departure meant an even later arrival at Copenhagen, 10.54 rather than 10.07 (presumably engineering works somewhere), allowing for an even more leisurely start to the day.

I opted for my usual choice on DB overnight, a single compartment. I have splashed out on a single+toilet/shower before, but it's not really necessary. The compartment contains a sink and an extraordinary array of choices of lighting. You can also assemble a fold-away table which snaps into place in the wall. The door locks automatically and is opened from the outside by means of a personal Ving card.

At EUR 139 advance I count the single compartment as great value, seeing as it is a long journey plus private room and breakfast. Naturally the full range of sleeping options are available - personally I wouldn't entertain a couchette for such a journey, unless I had it wholly with friends/family. To be stuffed into a compartment with 5 strangers I simply would not regard as fun, more like an ordeal.

The above is compounded by the main failing of this service - there is no restaurant/lounge car. There is on the Basel route and this joins the train somewhere in the depths of the night, by which time it is of no use. I heard several passengers asking if there was a bar/bistro, which presumably happens on every single trip, and I can't for the life of me think why there isn't one. Of course this means there is no area to socialise. Drinks and simple snacks are available from the attendant's room. Your best bet is to buy beer/wine/whatever you want at Amsterdam station, where you can buy a bottle of plonk for EU 3.50 or a decent tipple for EUR 6-8.

The attendant from Amsterdam seemed very stressed, which is hardly surprising, as he has to check all the tickets at the start, explain things to passengers, be train guard and supposedly man the kiosk as well.

It was great to leave Amsterdam in daylight and speed through Dutch towns and on into Germany. The line passes right through many town centres, and it's always fascinating to see people heading off for a night out as you speed through. The most fascinating sight, however, was a camel happily grazing in a field. The compartment windows afford a very good view, by the way.

At Emmerich the Dutch loco was uncoupled and replaced by the DB loco. Here German police were in attendance, which I assumed was just some random check, but in fact someone appeared to be removed from the train.

Not long after Cologne and now in pitch darkness I decided it was time for lights out and I slept extremely well in the comfortable bed. At some point somewhere (Hamburg?) in the night, there must be an extended stop with major shunting movements as the train splits for Prague and the Copenhagen section from Basel joins. You awake with the train travelling in the reverse direction from which you headed out.

Breakfast is orange juice (more like orange squash), tea or coffee, a croissant and bread roll with spread, jam and cheese spread, which is certainly fit for purpose.

In the morning the bed coverts to a compartment seat, even though it is a dedicated sleeper coach. All in all a recommended overnighter.
 
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NY Yankee

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Amsterdam is known for debauchery such as prostitution and marijuana being legal. I want to visit (after I visit London and Paris). Copenhagen has a nice Metro system.
 

WestCoast

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Amsterdam is known for debauchery such as prostitution and marijuana being legal. I want to visit (after I visit London and Paris). Copenhagen has a nice Metro system.
Well, yes in designated places, but there's much more to both Amsterdam and Copenhagen than those 'features'. :lol:
 

scarby

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Forgot to mention, the service is 7 days a week, with departure from Amsterdam at 19.01. Naturally it can be done in reverse, though at the moment DB is showing that direction starting at Odense - I don't know why.
 

Greenback

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Well, yes in designated places, but there's much more to both Amsterdam and Copenhagen than those 'features'. :lol:
Indeed. Amsterdam is a beautiful city, and the locals are sometimes ashamed of the seedier side. When I first went in 1985, there were drug pushers everywhere. It was a lot better on my last visit in 2010.

Forgot to mention, the service is 7 days a week, with departure from Amsterdam at 19.01. Naturally it can be done in reverse, though at the moment DB is showing that direction starting at Odense - I don't know why.
I took the night train from Amsterdam to Copenhagen way back in 1985. As far as I can recall, we left at 1945, and the highlight of the trip was the Rodby/Puttgarden train ferry.
 

radamfi

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Nice report on the sleeper. I'm not normally a fan of sleepers but the Amsterdam-Copenhagen one looks interesting at that price.

Amsterdam is known for debauchery such as prostitution and marijuana being legal. I want to visit (after I visit London and Paris). Copenhagen has a nice Metro system.
You now need a Dutch passport to buy marijuana (known as cannabis in the UK) in a Dutch coffee house. As for prostitution, it is legal in almost all of western Europe other than Norway and Sweden. The UK (and especially London) has a particularly highly developed prostitution industry using popular websites. Window prostitution also exists throughout Germany and Belgium. Amsterdam council recently closed a lot of the windows.

I'm a big fan of the Netherlands, but to me the real NL lies outside Amsterdam.
 

gordonthemoron

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I don't think that the Amsterdam-Copenhagen nıght traın goes on the Puttgarden-Rodby traın ferry as the train's too long, the ferry requıres specıal traıns wıth no more than 4 coaches.

As for the CNL traın startıng from Odense, ıt doesn't. However, you can depart Copenhagen 40 mınutes later by changıng at Odense
 

scarby

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I don't think that the Amsterdam-Copenhagen nıght traın goes on the Puttgarden-Rodby traın ferry as the train's too long, the ferry requıres specıal traıns wıth no more than 4 coaches.

As for the CNL traın startıng from Odense, ıt doesn't. However, you can depart Copenhagen 40 mınutes later by changıng at Odense
Ah, so that's why the journey planner is coming up with that.

No, the night train doesn't go on the ship; far too big, as you say. It goes around the long way.
 

jon0844

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You now need a Dutch passport to buy marijuana (known as cannabis in the UK) in a Dutch coffee house.
Hasn't Amsterdam opted out of this, or at least got a delay? Other cities have indeed started to require ID.

I was in Amsterdam in December and it was a lot 'cleaner' than the last time I went. Certainly very few drug pushers on the streets in comparison.
 

Greenback

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I don't think that the Amsterdam-Copenhagen nıght traın goes on the Puttgarden-Rodby traın ferry as the train's too long, the ferry requıres specıal traıns wıth no more than 4 coaches.
Perhaps it did in 1986? Or have I got the ferry mixed up with the passage of time? We were definitely on a boat, we got out of the carriage and went up top! It was about 0430 and light...
 

87015

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Perhaps it did in 1986? Or have I got the ferry mixed up with the passage of time? We were definitely on a boat, we got out of the carriage and went up top! It was about 0430 and light...
Might have been the Great Belt ferry back then if not the Puttgarden crossing?

Been some loco-hauled vice workings on the Puttgarden route recently (ICE-T broken again) but punters required to travel on ferry as foot passengers with a train at each end...
 
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