Luggage on TGV

May 11th, 2003, 08:54 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 36
Luggage on TGV

Can anyone tell me how luggage (both carry on and large, checked style luggage) is handled on the TGV? Do you haul it on yourself and try to find a place for it in the overhead? compartments, or do they take it from you and put it in a secure locked area? Does it differ in first class and second class? The rail web sites do not discuss this luggage issue. I will have one carry on and one larger checked style piece with me. I am concerned regarding safety of the luggage ,and mainly, what the heck I do with it. Please help, going shortly.
lauren45 is offline  
May 11th, 2003, 09:48 PM
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Yes, you haul it yourself. There is no one to help you lug it up the steps nor bring it down. Of course, we did not know this on our first time traveling by TGV. My husband had a heck of a time getting our suitcase up and down the steps almost hurting his back. You just have to dump your luggage in the compartment to hold it. And they also provide a place if you want to secure it with a lock that's provided.

The best advice is to travel light.
francophile03 is offline  
May 11th, 2003, 09:50 PM
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Even in first class on the TGV I have hauled my own suitcases on board, and my wife has hauled hers. I usually am the one to supply the muscle to put them in the overhead rack because they are a little heavy for her. I am not sure what I do when age catches up with me and I can no longer do it.

If you cannot heft your luggage into the overhead rack, better start weight training, or practice looking helpless, or old like I do. I cannot help but get amused at Americans who take the kitchen sink with them, and then act shocked with they have to pick it up themselves.
I guess you could always put it on the floor and use it as a foot rest.

As for safeguarding it, the only danger might come when the train stops. But I have yet to see a suitcase thief in operation. I suppose they are around.

We have usually not gone at the same time to the dining car, so that way one of us is there to keep an eye on things. I have not worried so much about it, but my wife does.
bob_brown is offline  
May 11th, 2003, 11:30 PM
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I'm always a bit paranoid when I take my luggage onto the TGV, so I try to stow it as near to my seat as possible. Often, between pairs of seats facing in opposite directions, there will be a gap large enough to slide suitcases in. I think this is a less conspicuous option, and it's easier to keep an eye on the luggage. The overhead racks aren't really designed to take large bags or cases, just hand luggage.
Mind you, i've left my luggage in the end of compartment racks countless times and never had any problems.
I *believe* that there is slightly more space for luggage in 1st class coaches.
hanl is offline  
May 12th, 2003, 12:05 AM
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Here are some pictures from the TGV Atlantic. You can get an idea of just how much space you have over the seats in the first and the second class. Other TGVs are similar.

first class:

second class:

Other pictures including "compartment"
greg is offline  
May 12th, 2003, 02:09 AM
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Some possible "relief" comes as follows:

If you are boarding a TGV, or any train for that matter, at the originatging station, get there early enough so that you aren't boarding last or along with everyone you more time to stow the luggage.

In terms of security, I have never had anything stolen when on a European train but if you have any doubts than I suggest investing in a bicycle locking cable (the kind with the built-in combination lock that you can keys to worry about losing) secure your luggage. Of course, this will not keep anyone from getting into soft-sided luggage but that's one reason I never travel with that kind. But my partner and I never have to worry about our luggage when we both dine together in the restaurant car or snack bar, either. Just some suggestions.
May 12th, 2003, 05:26 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 801
Two other minor points--If you are going non-stop, say between Avignon and the Gare de Lyon there is little problem in leaving your luggage in the space near the doors. You just have to be careful right before arrival that someone does not lift it then. For multi-stop trips the between seats location is the best option.

We use a great porter service that we discovered in Avignon. Not only did they help us with the unloading but for our return trip to Paris they called ahead and arranged to have a porter from their company meet our specific railroad car.

The admonition "travel light", however, is the best advice for any traveler.
Powell is offline  
May 12th, 2003, 11:19 AM
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I've taken the TGV several times, both first and second class, with luggage 22-25" (it sounds like you are called "check" type anything other than a carryon tote bag) and never had a problem with it or handling it myself. IN addition to the area near the doors at the end of the car there are sopme spaces in the middle of cars inbetween seats, as Hanl says -- there are meant for luggage, and aren't overhead racks. I don't think I've ever put a 22-25" on an overhead rack in a TGV, actually, as I never needed to. There was always plenty of space elsewhere, as least in first class.
Christina is offline  
May 12th, 2003, 11:29 AM
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I have taken the TGV from Lausanne to Dijon and Dijon to Paris. I travelled first class and yes, you have to carry and stow your own luggage. However, you can find a porter who will do it for you if you tip him well.
ThinGorjus is offline  
May 12th, 2003, 12:36 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
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I second the motion on the bicycle cable. I carry it in one of the outside pockets of my suitcase, put the suitcase in one of the compartments at either end of the TGV car, and secure it. This gives me great piece of mind, since I USED TO walk back there and eyeball my luggage whenever the train was in a station.

There were stories once of thieves running on board at the stations, grabbing a suitcase, and then disappearing. Now, however, security seems pretty good about checking to make sure everyone has a valid ticket prior to getting to the boarding platform.

Dont forget to "composter" or punch your ticket prior to boarding the train. If you forget, this is a major source of irritation.

I am sure someone has told you of this.

Good luck, hope this helps, and have a great trip.

claudechev is offline  

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