Couchette definition: get a summary, overview, and a better understanding of this rail travel term in the Dauntless Jaunter Travel Glossary.

Updated: 2017-11-26.

A couchette, in railway travel, is a kind of sleeping compartment in a divided train wagon, called a couchette car, if that car is completely of this kind. Usually, the car has rooms all along one side and a narrow corridor along the other with which to access the dozen or so rooms.

Pronunciation: kooh-SHEHT

Each couchette is usually divided into anywhere between 2 through 6 beds, with a triple-height bunk along each wall of the compartment, if it is the six-bunk room. During the day, the upper beds may be folded up against the wall, so that passengers may utilize the couchette compartment as a regular, seated train compartment.

A couchette car is similar to a hostel, as the compartments may be shared. Passengers can often pay a premium to choose a couchette compartment with less beds, which gives the occupants within more room and comfort.

Couchette compartments may be booked in their entirety, for maximum privacy. However, if just one bed is reserved, one usually books it according to their gender (they are gender segregated).

Another sleeping arrangement, usually for compartments with space for four people or less, may utilize a trundle bed which is stored by rolling it under the bench or another bed. When it is time to sleep, the trundle bed may be pulled out for an additional sleeping area.

Categories: Rail Travel Terms
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