Getting to Gare de Lyon to Catch TGV

Jun 26th, 2008, 06:34 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 651
Getting to Gare de Lyon to Catch TGV

hello fodorites!

on tuesday, september 30th, i'm planning to catch the TGV from gare de lyon to avignon. i'm hoping to buy my tickets this sunday night (EST time zone makes it early morning on june 30th in paris).

i'm staying on ile de la cite and plan to reserve a taxi through G7 taxis while in paris.

right now, i'm hoping there are PREMs available for either the 8:04 am or 9:16 am.

i have two questions regarding this journey:

1. how long will it take from ile de la cite to gare de lyon by taxi at this time of day? (online maps show that my apartment is 2.5 km to gare de lyon)

2. how early do you need to arrive at the train station before the scheduled departure? from where the taxi drops me off, is it a huge hike down to the tracks? (i.e. do i have to allot an additional 10 minutes to get trackside?)

right now, i'm planning to leave the apartment 1 hour before the train departure time. i'd just like to know if this is enough time.

thank you!!!
lilaki is offline  
Jun 27th, 2008, 04:25 AM
Join Date: Oct 2004
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I generally plan to be at the station 30min before departure. The Gare de Lyon is quite large and the TGV leave often leave from a separate section that can be a bit of a hike if your taxi doesn't let you off in the right place. The trains are very long, and if your car is at the far end it can take several minutes to walk there.

The departure track is posted 20 min in advance, which will give you an idea of how much time to leave yourself. I'd say leaving your apartment an hour before your train is about right and will give you a little leeway for traffic, etc.
Louie_LI is offline  
Jun 27th, 2008, 04:52 AM
Join Date: Dec 2007
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LouieLI...we took a train recently from Gare de Lyon to Avignon. The track was posted 20 minutes prior. We were quite confused as we didn't see our corresponding track number. We asked a gentlemen that worked at the train station but could not understand his English. I then realized that there must be another departure area. You are is a fair trek and since we had booked ITGV tickets we were the second last car on the train.

lilaki...there are tracks in the main part of the station that are letters...and in the second part of the station the tracks are numbers.
The numbered tracks you exit left into the area where the assisted ticket sales are located and continue to the far door corridor.

It's not much use getting to the station more than 30 minutes prior as you won't know which track until 20 minutes prior. They have several good places to purchase food but the better ones aren't open for the 8:04am train.

Good luck with your ticket purchase.
crazyfortravel is offline  
Jun 27th, 2008, 04:52 AM
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hi louie,

thanks for the info!

is it possible to have the taxi drop us off closer to the TGV section? where should i tell the taxi to drop us off?

thanks again!

lilaki is offline  
Jun 27th, 2008, 06:35 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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No, the taxi will just drop you off in front of the station - there's no special place a taxi can drop you that's closer to the TGV lines. It's really not a complicated station. Look for signs that say Grandes Lignes. And look for the quais with the actual TGV trains parked in them - they're pretty different looking from regular trains, so it should be easy. There's a huge billboard that shows every departing train, with the originating location, the destination, the number of the train, the time of departure, and the number of the quai that it departs from. Pretty logical. A half-hour ahead of departure time gives you plenty of time. Some TGVs have as many as 20 cars, so you do need to leave yourself time to walk the distance. My seats always seem to be in Car 20.
StCirq is online now  
Jun 27th, 2008, 07:30 AM
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hi st. cirq - thanks for the info. i'll stick with the original plan of leaving 1 hr before we're to depart ... sounds like that should give us enough time.
lilaki is offline  
Jun 27th, 2008, 08:10 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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The track number is not displayed until about 20 minutes before departure but before that, the indicators show which part of the station: there are numbered tracks and lettered tracks, which are distinguished by blue or yellow signs on the departure screens (I can't remember which is blue and which is yellow). If you know which part of the station, you can head that way before the track number or letter is displayed.
GeoffHamer is offline  
Jun 27th, 2008, 08:50 AM
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 20,281
Once you get to the right track, look for signs with train diagrams. They show the order of the cars, and that will tell you where to wait for yours.
Underhill is offline  
Jun 27th, 2008, 08:51 AM
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geoff/underhill ... thanks for the extra info! i'm feeling much more confident now!!!

lilaki is offline  
Jun 27th, 2008, 01:56 PM
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One last tip: pick up a baguette sandwich from the vendor in the station if you're travelling around mealtimes. Ditto for water.
Underhill is offline  
Jun 27th, 2008, 02:52 PM
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hi underhill,

tks for the food/snack tip! i have a feeling we'll be lugging all of our leftovers from our apartment fridge with us too! we are notorious over-shoppers - esp. when we're in a foreign country and everything is so 'new' in a grocery store!
lilaki is offline  
Jun 27th, 2008, 04:52 PM
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At that time of day the transit should be no more than 10-15 minutes, so leaving an hour before departure should be fine and allow you plenty of time to locate and get to your train, with a little cushion built in in case traffic is slow.
Seamus is offline  
Jun 28th, 2008, 10:46 AM
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Beware! We were told the same thing by our hotel and others-even that morning when I had tried to "up" the time of our planned taxi. I had planned over an hour to get by taxi from St. Germain to give us some cushion....but it turns out their was emergency work being done on the Montparnasse Station that morning and there wasn't a taxi to be had-they were all already in use/full.

When our taxi finally arrived we had already missed our train for the prem tickets and the next two trains to our destination were booked full. We had to wait for the 3 rd train to Rennes-and they only had full priced 1st class tickets! Next time, I'll either stay very close to the station I'm leaving from or leave earlier and have breakfast at the station.
klondike is offline  

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