Subject: Overnight train from Paris to Milan
Dear Ziners:

My wife and I recently returned from a trip to Europe and wished to report on one important and decidedly unpleasant incident and accompany it with a word of advice.

We booked the night train from Paris to Milan and paid substantially more for a private sleeper compartment, complete with bathroom and shower. We did receive these accommodations. The trip was during the summer heat wave in Europe. We noticed that cool air was not coming out of the air conditioner. We were assured by the steward that it would take a short while coming on. The air conditioning never came on, forcing us to open the windows wide and letting the hot air, noise etc. blow in. We were later told that the entire generator system was not working, so, even though we had lighting, it affect the water for the shower (none) and, to a lesser extent the sing and toilet. There was no breakfast next morning as it could not be heated. All in all, a fairly unpleasant experience.

When I returned home, I called the company to discuss an adjustment and was told that I should have had the steward write on our copies of the tickets or other accompanying document, that the generator was not functioning and then place his signature on it.

It is somewhat embarrassing that I didn't think of it as I am an attorney and should know better, but I had had little sleep and was mostly angry and not thinking too clearly. This would certainly have made my negotiations for a credit easier. We believe it quite possible that the authorities (if not this particular steward) were aware that the generator was not working and told no one about it until the train had embarked on its journey. In the future we will definitely fly or drive, rather than take the overnight train, but if any of you intend doing so and run into problems, please have them attested to by the steward. Don in Los Angeles