How can I travel with my pass on train from Madrid to Paris & Milan to Barcelona overnight & not lose day time?

Hello,Im travelling with my family of 6 to Europe for about 15 days.We are doing the following itinerary Madrid-paris-rome-milan-barcelona-madridIn order not to lose any day we wanted to do the most traveling part at night. But we cannot find any direct overnight train that goes from Madrid-Paris or Milan-Barcelona. All the options that we found where or spending a whole day in the train or sleeping at the train station that my husband is not willing to do. Anybody know any good alternative that doesn’t include spending more than the eurail and not spending any day traveling? Thank you.
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  • Jeff (Official Rep) January 08, 2018 18:43
    Hi Allegra,

    There are no overnight trains from Madrid to Paris or Milan to Barcelona.

    Madrid to Paris

    The Elipsos night train between Madrid and Paris stopped running several years ago. These days, the only feasible overnight connection from Madrid to Paris would have you first taking a high-speed AVE train over to Barcelona, where you would connect to an R3 'Rodalies de Catalunya' train up to the village of Latour de Carol just across the border in France. In Latour de Carol, you would connect to an 'Intercités de Nuit' overnight train will take you up to Paris.

    With this connection, the AVE and Rodalies trains are day trains. Only the segment from Latour de Carol to Paris would be on an actual overnight train. Also, the Rodalies trains from Barcelona to Latour de Carol are not covered by any rail pass, and the tickets are only able to be purchased locally when you're there. I believe the Rodalies are pretty inexpensive, but you might want to try doing a search online to verify. If you'd like to inquire about Rodalies schedules, so that you can piece together the rest of your connection, please call us. We can be reached at 1-800-622-8600. Our current hours are 8:00 AM to 6:30 PM CT Monday to Friday.

    In the meantime, you can check passholder reservation costs for trains from Madrid to Barcelona and the overnight train from Latour de Carol to Paris by clicking the 'Seat Reservations' tab on our homepage (www.raileurope.com), entering the route, and indicating the type of rail pass with which you'll be traveling. You would do one search from Madrid to Barcelona and then a separate search from Latour de Carol to Paris. The trains from Madrid to Barcelona and the night train from Latour de Carol to Paris both do require reservations as a supplement to a rail pass.

    When you pull up the results of your 'Latour de Carol to Paris' search and you've located the overnight train, you would check the type of sleeping compartments offered by clicking the 'View' button for the fares that display.

    Generally, the trains from Madrid to Barcelona and Latour de Carol to Paris can be booked once within 90 days of an intended date of departure.

    Milan to Barcelona

    The Elipsos night train from Milan to Barcelona also stopped running several years ago. These days, an overnight connection from Milan to Barcelona would take about 17.5 hours in duration and involve 2 train changes along the way; once in Dijon and then once in Montpellier.

    The segment from Milan to Dijon is on the 'Thello' night train. From Dijon to Montpellier, you would take a high-speed 'TGV' train. From Montpellier to Barcelona, you would take a 'France-Spain High Speed' train.

    Technically, the Thello night train is not covered by rail passes, but any pass including Italy does enable a 20% discount on its tickets. TGV and France-Spain High Speed trains are covered but will just require reservations as a supplement.

    Once again, for travel with a rail pass, you would purchase reservations by clicking the 'Seat Reservations' tab on our homepage (www.raileurope.com), entering a route, and indicating the type of rail pass with which you'll be traveling. You would even follow this same procedure to book/check the passholder discounted tickets on the Thello night train.

    For a trip from Milan to Barcelona, you would just have to piece together the connection by doing a separate search for each segment. Therefore, you would do one search to access the night train from Milan to Dijon, another search for connecting trains from Dijon to Montpellier the following morning, and then another search for connecting trains from Montpellier to Barcelona.

    Generally, the Thello night train and the France-Spain High Speed can be booked once within 120 days of an intended departure, while TGV trains can be booked within 90-120 days of a departure.
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