We took a cab to the station in Hanoi to catch our 7:30 pm train to Hue. We had to check out early so the kids have been waiting for a few hours to check into the train. We arrived at the station in Hanoi. It was quite tiny but busy. We went into the station and almost got duped by some people, who ask for your tickets like they are checking them but then take it and run. So I handed it over and then realised and grabbed it. We walked across to platform 3 which was across a number of tracks...minimal sinage and not alot of light.
We waited for about 10 min before boarding the train. The kids were good as we all had to carry our own luggage... We had a 4 berth compartment numbers 21 to 24. The trains were pretty ordinary but comfortable. Leah and I took the top bunks and Hannah, Karen and Isabel got the bottom bunks. Hannah rolls alot and half a body was off the bunk during the night.
We were chatting and met Jorge - a radio host from Portugal who kept the kids entertained for a while before we left. We slept well until they turned off the AC in the carrage till the morning... The toilet were OK also on the train.
I would recommend the train rather than flying for the experience.
The platforms are at ground level so it was a struggle getting the luggage down but once down we were off to find out taxi and go to our hotel for two days - Hue Queen 1 Hotel.