Avignon TGV or Avignon Centre?

Old Sep 29th, 2013, 09:28 PM
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Avignon TGV or Avignon Centre?

I am traveling by rail from Paris Gare de Lyon to Avignon. The train into the Avignon Centre (which is closest to my hotel) is an hour longer than the one into Avignon TGV. Why is that? Should I go ahead and take the one to the Centre (only one time available at this point) or will I save time going to into TGV and getting some type of cab? (Assuming there are cabs -- I haven't read up on that yet, but I assume they exist just about everywhere, huh?)
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Old Sep 29th, 2013, 09:35 PM
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You don't need to take a cab; there are shuttles. The reason the train to Avignon Centre takes longer is that it's not a TGV; hence the name of the Avignon TGV station. It serves only TGVs, which run on the faster tracks.

What internet site are you looking at for train times and fares? Please don't say Rail Europe. You should be using www.voyages-sncf.com, and I'd be surprised if there were only one train a day from the Gare de Lyon to Avignon Centre (though there may be - I've only taken on train there despite innumerable ones to Avignon TGV). In any case, you should be able to get really cheap PREM fares for either ride by booking 3 months ahead of your travel dates, though probably more likely that you can get a great cheap fare to Avignon TGV.
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Old Sep 29th, 2013, 09:57 PM
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I'm on the voyages website -- it keeps trying to push me over to rail europe, but I keep clicking to stay on voyages.
Any idea how long the drive is from TGV to the Avignon Centre? Just curious if I should go ahead to go into the TGV station and take a shuttle to my hotel (near the Centre) or just take the extra hour on the train. I read that traffic is terrible from the TGV station? (We are going in October, so maybe that's why there is only one train into the Centre...there are plenty to Avignon TGV. Also, I only see trains from Paris Gare de Lyon -- but I'm staying near the Roma Termini station...just can't seem to find anything with that station listed...)
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Old Sep 29th, 2013, 10:00 PM
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Oh duh...please ignore the Roma Termini station. Geez...it's late and I'm tired. That my hotel in Rome. LOL!
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Old Sep 29th, 2013, 10:03 PM
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I'm staying at Renaissance Paris Arc de Triomphe Hotel and need to get to the train station from there.
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Old Sep 30th, 2013, 03:22 AM
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The shuttle from the TGV station takes 20 minutes or so, IIRC. By the way, the sign will say " Navettes".

The shuttle will not likely take you to your hotel. Avignon is a walled city, and the center is a pedestrian only zone. If you can't walk from the bus station to your hotel, you will need to take a taxi.

It's been a while but we took a train to Avignon Centre that ran as a fast train to somewhere like Orange, then as a slow local to Avignon. It was a great scenic trip through classic Provence, but we were whacked from traveling, so it seemed endless. If it is only an hour longer, as your research seems to show, then the net extra time to arrive at the Centre is 40 minutes. Depending on price, that may well work for you, if you are not whacked.
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Old Sep 30th, 2013, 03:56 AM
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I went the other way. We took the TGV from Avignon to Paris.

There's a shuttle right outside the post office building. It's just inside the wall at the gate where the regular train station is located.

The shuttle normally runs a couple of times an hour,
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Old Sep 30th, 2013, 06:09 AM
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To avoid the RailEurope bump, specify Antarctica as the country where you will receive your tickets. No, they won't be sent to a place with no trains nor permanent residents. (As has often been explained here, SNCF is part owner of RailEurope so wants American residents to use its more expensive but less helpful affiliate.)
Service to Avignon centre is slower because the train doesn't run on the high-speed track, or it makes more stops, or both. It's still fairly fast. If routed through the city of Lyon, it will pass closer to the Rhone river south of Lyon with more scenic vistas. The official website, as given by StCirq above, is not clear about this. You will see more alternatives if you click off the "Direct" choice on the order page and type Lyon in the "Via" box.
Google Maps shows your Paris hotel to be at least 10 km from Gare de Lyon. To use public transit, look at http://www.ratp.fr/en/
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Old Sep 30th, 2013, 06:20 AM
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You can also use www.capitainetrain.com and get exactly the same information and prices as on the SNCF site. I've never experienced terrible traffic at the Avignon TGV station, just the usual busy drop-off, pick-up stuff.
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Old Sep 30th, 2013, 07:37 AM
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On the other hand, the 2 times that I traveled TGV Avignon to/from Paris, it was an hour late each way. Then another almost hour by the time everyone got on the Navette and into a cab once we reached our destination.

This could be one of those 6 of one and half a dozen of the other situations. How do the prices compare?
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Old Sep 30th, 2013, 03:14 PM
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I thought the trains to Avignon Centre were just going to the TGV station and then you have to transfer, anyway, on a bus (SNCF will sell this), for the most part.

It's only a few km away, you can take a taxi and it won't cost that much (from the TGV station), it isn't worth the trouble to worry about that or the timing with the shuttle, if you don't want.
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Old Sep 30th, 2013, 03:33 PM
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No, there are two separate stations, the old one that was there before there were TGV (Centre) and the newer (TGV) station. The trains run on different tracks.

There are shuttles between them. You can get tickets from SNCF but you can also buy them at the stations and probably right on the shuttles.
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