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Need specific info, riding Eurostar London-Paris

Need specific info, riding Eurostar London-Paris

Old Oct 2nd, 2002, 01:26 PM
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Need specific info, riding Eurostar London-Paris

Greetings - it looks like the gimpy Senior Mom, my sister and I will be going to England and France as hoped. I've not been able to find out specifically how to ride the Eurostar - I can't even get a layout of Waterloo Station. In any event, some questions: How early to arrive before boarding, considering check-in and crowds? Are seats reserved in second class or is it grab what you can? Where does luggage go - Same car or baggage car? Is there a luggage search now like airlines? Is there a dining car or seat service? Please tell me there's no smoking. Does the train always leave from the same track and what number is that? Is it easy to find your way around Waterloo Station? Also, we'll be catching a cab from King's Cross Station to Waterloo on a Sunday morning. Will cabs be plentiful? Oh, man, I feel faint - this is too stressful. But I can't leave much to chance since Mom doesn't move too fast. Any other insights will be appreciated. Many thanks for all the help.
Old Oct 2nd, 2002, 01:43 PM
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Our coach seats were reserved. We were in non-smoking. There was a dining car, but I recommend eating before getting on, the food was disappointing, to say the least. You didn't ask, but, you can change pounds to euros at the train station, but not dollars to euros. The station was modern, clean, well marked, easy to get around. I recall taking an escalator up to the trains, but there must have been an elevator around somewhere.
Old Oct 2nd, 2002, 02:43 PM
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your baggage goes in a baggage area or the overheads in your coach, no baggage cars. Last year there was a security checkpoint going from Lille to London, don't know about London to Paris..but will in Oct!while your ticket says checkin 30 mins. prior to departure I'd allow more especially on busy days like a saturday.
Pack a lunch or breakfast snack the food in first class is bad enough , standard class is awful! Oh for the days when this service started up , food in forst then was lovely!

Seats are reserved, book early,

Just how gimpy is Mom? If she is bad enough maybe you could get the wheelchair and wheelchair companion rate !
Old Oct 2nd, 2002, 03:28 PM
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Don't worry!

The Eurostar trains leave from their own area in Waterloo Station - follow signs for Eurostar. Provided you have your tickets already, you need to allow 30 min for check-in and security. Once through check in, you will be in an airport-type lounge where you wait until your train is ready for boarding (video screens and announcements tell you what is going on). Your seats are reserved. Apart from the fact that you keep your luggage with you and put it in the racks at the end of the car, the whole experience is more like boarding a flight than a regular train (luggage is X-rayed and may be searched). An attendant in your carriage, or on the platform, will direct you to your seats. Some Eurostar trains go to Brussels - don't get on one of these!

Tickets are generally cheaper if booked more than 14 (business) days in advance via the website (www.eurostar.com). I would certainly advise this.
Old Oct 2nd, 2002, 04:22 PM
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Ruth pretty much covered it. Eurostar leaves from Waterloo International - not Waterloo Mainline. The stations are right next to each other but are different places and a bit of a walk if you go mainline by mistake. I assume you will arrive by taxi since you say Mom is a bit gimpy. if so, be SURE to tell the driver Waterloo INTERNATIONAL -

There is a trolly that goes through 2nd class with snacks and drinks or you can got to the lounge car - but again it is really only snacks at stand-up tables. You won't starve but you won't get a full meal either.

After you check in and are waiting in the departure lounge you can buy the Paris museum pass at the info desk.
Old Oct 2nd, 2002, 04:38 PM
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Only thing I would add is if you take a taxi to the station, which we did, be sure to specify that you want the Eurostar terminal (or whatever the terminology is). Everything else is pretty much a breeze. Arrive at least 30 minutes before you are to board.
Old Oct 2nd, 2002, 07:52 PM
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I too have made this same trip with Grumpy slightly handicapped Mom. You can arrange for porter service to help if mom needs wheelchair, they charge 5 pounds and escort you all the way from pre check in to loading bags on train. Our seats were assigned and when traveling with elderly it halps to tell them this when making reservations or on check-in as they you can request a table seating arrangement.
The food is terrible and also sometime a long walk. The smoking car is terrible , even walking thru it makes you stink like smoke. The uk/paris part of the trip is well organized if you nee dassistance with your mom.
The arrival I Paris is not so good, we were left on the tracks waiting for handicapped assistance for more then an hour. I couldn't even have gotten a luggage cart as they were all broken. Once I finally got a porter they were very nice and helpful. Even giving us his cell phone number so I could call on our departure. He arranged a person to meet us on check-in.
If you need more info please email me
Old Oct 3rd, 2002, 12:39 PM
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Thanks all. Your suggestions are very useful, especially about the station being Wateloo International and not getting on the Brussels train! I picked up the tickets yesterday and see that we do indeed have reserved seats in a non-smoking carriage. I hope to get to the station early enough to eat. Also thanks about not changing dollars to euros - hadn't thought about that, but probably would have found myself wanting to. I really don't know how well Mom gets around these days (1,000 miles between); she'd hurt her back earlier and couldn't go far; but she's better, she tells me, so we're hoping we won't need wheelchairs. I'm arranging for them anyway at airports. Thanks again.
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