Does anybody know what differences there are in first class for food choices. What food is included in first class? Is there a restaurant? Is it worth eating on train or waiting until your destination? What does it cost to buy food on the train?
Didnt mean to ascribe our feelings about UK trains to you,Swan. Just stating our belief that English trains are twice as expensive as Eurotrains and about half as good by any measure
First Class is not worth the extra cost, in my opinion. Dining cars are a thing of the past and have been replaced with snack cars, which are in the middle of the train and serve 1st and 2nd class equally. You stand in line to be served. Sandwiches, drinks, cookies, and other light refreshments are usually available--at a somewhat elevated price. I usually take my own food, purchased before boarding the train, if it is going to be over three hours. On a long train ride I usually lurch back to the snack car just for the exercise and change of scenery, and maybe to buy a coffee. Most train stations all over Europe have shops where you can purchase sandwiches, etc, for your trip.
Swan is right. English trains are a disaster, very unlike most European trains, which have more amenities. Altho we usually use 2d class, we have often been on trains in Europe where there is a sit-down dining car w waiters and the whole shebang. This is barely conceivable in UK
You misquoted me. I do not think British trains are a disaster; I just think you don't need to spend extra money for 1st class. In Italy, when it is available, first class is often a better choice because it is less crowded and seats are roomier. As described in my previous posting, in my experience the trains in France and Italy are similar to those in Britain. Overnight trains may have amenities such as a dining car, but I have no personal experience regarding this.
We travel 1st class on BritRail. We enjoy the extra space (I sketch and my husband is a techno geek- lots of 'stuff') and the quiet. Very little food is included. Some (but not all)routes include free cookies (biscuts) or chips (crisps) or other snacks like pastries, fruit or nuts, and most include free water, coffe, tea and some have free soft drinks. I'd suggest NOT planning on meals on the train, unless you bring your own. Train food is WAY TOO EXPENSIVE!
Hello Jackie. Trains are different in the different regions in England. From my experience of traveling in passenger train from Chester north to Penrith, and from Penrith to Edinburgh in Scotland, in June of 2003, I think being in a First Class train car is a wise choice. The Price difference was 15 British Pounds. In First Class, the passengers were served a good dinner, at no extra cost. The food looked good, and the aroma from it was good. The people there appeared to be comfortable and satisfied. The First Class cars were much better. In the Second class train car, there was NO FOOD. No air conditioning. Very crowded with people. Not enough seats for all the people. Some people stood in aisle, close to me. A baby was crying, close to me. A baby vomited, close to me. A female conductor, talking in a loud voice that sounded irritating (very annoying to me) was trying to get people seated. Added to the noise, a man's voice from a loud speaker was saying Bingo numbers. ...
... In the Second Class train car, the air quality was not good. There was much noise and chaos and pandemonium. The people there suffered from stress. I walked into a First Class car. It was totally different. Better air (air conditioning). Not crowded. No noise. No babies. The cloth of the seats was a more pleasant color and material. The passengers there were being served a good warm cooked meal. The people there appeared to be content, not stressed. A train conductor there told me I should have bought a First Class ticket. I agree with him. The previous day, traveling in trains from Coventry to Chester, I was in a Second Class car. It was an unpleasant experience. A rude and hyper girl at the seat directly in back of my seat was talking constantly : she was obnoxious and annoying, intentionally. Her mother told her to "Shut up". The girl said to her mother : "You shut up !". In the First Class train car, the environment was much more pleasant : quiet and polite people.
I think one needs to be very careful about taking one experience five years ago and suggesting that it is common today and to all trains. In our 15+ years of travel in Europe, have never experienced anything close to what was described by previous poster. I would agree with P&S that the English rail today is a disaster as the Brit have moved to privatize their railroad system. And the general quality of rail throughout Europe has declined more in some places than others. However, it is a convenient and generally economical for distances of 6 to 8 hours. And, again, we have found little differences between first and second class that justifies the cost difference.