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Which trains are gassed & robbed? (didn't find this in the Eurail brochure)

I try to prepare for the worst. Though I know self-defense, this sort of cheap shot would really put me in danger.

Do certain routes, days & areas have a bad reputation? Eurail's too busy posting glossy photos & mentioning legroom to be real.

Any info is much appreciated.

Posted by
334 posts

I think it's mostly scary stories. I've not heard of much problem where you can use Eurail. There have been stories in former eastern europe areas, but from posts on other sites, this doesn't really seem to be a problem. We traveled quite a bit on night trains in Ukraine with absolutely no problem - as always, be aware of surroundings and watch your back - you should be fine. If you want more responses and information, check Lonelyplanet.com Thorntree. It has slightly different clients than Rick Steves, so between the two you have a pretty broad information base.

Posted by
683 posts

This "gassed & robbed " bit is mostly fantasy. While you should be careful, the odds of your luggage being stolen are not high.Likewise, tho train stations are centers for scammers and thieves, this is so all over the world (the US is no exceptionj, except that HERE, it's airports).There is much hysteria expressed on this site as to crime in Europe. Judging by our experience during more than 9 months of travel thru Europe, we would say that you are much liklier to experience violent crime in the US and no more likely to be robbed.

Posted by
2619 posts

Do you realize that you are living in the most violent country in the world? Talking about mugging, stabbings, killings with guns, etc. There has been several reports regarding this in the past year. If you go over to Europe with an attitude that something is going to happen to you, then you won't enjoy it to the fullest. Just relax, chill out and stop thinking negative. It is so much safer over there. If you go back and read posts here, so many people say that they feel a lot safer there then they do in their hometown here in the US.

Posted by
223 posts

Can someone post some news links to the "gassed and robbed" stories please?

I read multiple newspapers per day - NYT, Washington Post, Seattle Times, etc., including online BBC and Le Monde (in French) - and I don't remember seeing anything about trains being "gassed and robbed."

I'm having a hard time believing this is a big deal, if it has happened, but I'd like to see some credible news stories about it just in case.

Posted by
138 posts

Actually, this is funny. The guy lives where? - in Oakland, of all places - and he is worried about "gassed and robbed" in Western Europe?! Hysteria, indeed.

Posted by
138 posts

"You'll hear stories of entire train cars being gassed and robbed in Italy and Spain. It happens — but I wouldn't lose sleep over it" - this is how Rick puts it. Sounds more like a crazy rumor to me, rather than reliable information. No how, who, where, when.

Posted by
12 posts

Jeffrey, I agree with you. No, I don't live in a dangerous city but I'm a little hesitant about traveling to a foreign country (or several). My best friend and I are going to Europe in September and our husbands share many of the same issues concerning safety. While getting "gassed & robbed" may be a myth or highly unlikely to happen, it is smart to be prepared for the worst. I appreciate your open and honest questions b/c for first time travelers like myself, they're questions that I've wanted to ask but haven't. Thanks again!

Posted by
1589 posts

I heard from a guy, who heard from another guy that one time in band camp.............

Posted by
20 posts

Thanks for the replies.

Yes, I live in the 8th-most dangerous city in the US.
Which is why I'm careful about public transit at night.

I'm not dead yet. Still working.

Which is why I was asking. Because I didn't know.
I'd never been to Europe. And others on the 'net had.

I did Easy Jet. It may have been cheaper. Did a train from Venice to Rome. It kind of sucked.

Europe was great, but if I travel again, it'll be Asia (someplace new).

Posted by
160 posts

I'd file the "gassed and robbed" story in the "four guys go camping in the hills and run into dangerous rednecks" category. It's conceivable, but improbable.

Much more common are simple thefts due to carelessness (leaving bags unattended or unlocked, carrying valuables in easily picked pockets/purses) or being taken by scams (like the "golden ring" boondoggle that Rick has mentioned).

Bottom line, be alert, but go and have fun. If you're a prisoner of the worst case scenario, you'll never see or do anything cool. It's only through risk that reward is gained...:-)

Posted by
45 posts

I've traveled to Europe 5 times now and have had virtually no problems, but I was "gassed & robbed" one time. It's been about 10 years so I don't even remember where we were when it happened. We lost some cash, but it wasn't the end of the world. We later heard from some locals that a good way to prevent this is to leave the train window down a few inches and then the gas can't actually stay in the compartment.

Posted by
21155 posts

Come on, Amy. If I was gassed and robbed I would remember exactly when and where. I have heard this story over and over, I think it is an urban legend.

Posted by
223 posts

Don't worry Amy - I believe you. I wouldn't know where along any given route something happened either, especially if it was a long route.

Was the event scary or did everyone just take it in stride? What did they use to "gas" the train car?

Did your European friends or traveling companions seem fazed by it or did they just take it in stride?

Posted by
59 posts

Do you really think that in the last 20 years of 24/7 CNN news coverage a story like this would get missed???

Come on we know when Paris Hilton breaks a nail.

Let's just kill this URBAN LEDGEND all ready!!

Posted by
45 posts

Sorry I don't keep notes as to the location of when I was gassed and robbed. It was 10 years ago! Yes, it happened. Sorry if you don't believe me.

To be honest, it wasn't that big of a deal. We were more upset about losing film that already had pictures on it than the actual cash.

Posted by
342 posts

Do you mean that Eurail didn't publish which trains are gassed???? How unprofessional! I certainly wouldn't do business with a company that doesn't make these things known. As a consumer, I deserve to know which trains are gassed and which ones are not. That way, I can plan my route to avoid the gassing or know when to pack a gas mask. I mean, this is Trip Planning 101...or is it Trip Planning for Dummies???

Posted by
20 posts

Dude, I've been back from the trip for over a month.

No need for sarcasm. You can treat others as you'd want to be treated, even when behind a monitor & not face to face-

I was suspicious of a company rolling in $ trying not sharing all the pertinant info. To make their $.

It's cool.

Posted by
342 posts

Hey, Dude! Sorry - wasn't trying to be pissy. Sorry for the sarcasm - nothing personal. Just gets annoying (not you) when people spread these things around and get everyone gets all paranoid.

Hope your trip was a gas! (kidding)

Posted by
658 posts

If you are travelling on any Midland Mainline train going north from St. Pancras in London it is not uncommon for an attendant to offer you a complimentary cup of what they call coffee. Beware ! Do not drink that beverage. If you get a choice ask to be gassed and robbed instead. It's a lot less unpleasant than drinking Midland Mainline coffee.