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No TGV to LIbourne on Sat. May 21 - Zut alors!

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No TGV to LIbourne on Sat. May 21 - Zut alors!

Old Feb 15th, 2011, 06:13 PM
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No TGV to LIbourne on Sat. May 21 - Zut alors!

I had this all figured out until the SNCF changed their schedules. Now I need some advice as to how to fix it.

Here's the problem - I have eight people staying a week in Sarlat. At the end of that week (Sat. May 21) one person (E) needs to return to Paris to fly home the next day. On the same day I have two other people (C & R) coming in from Paris to join our group (now 9) to spend our second week with us in the Basque area of France near Biarritz.

The original plan was to drive to Libourne to drop off E and collect C & R. There were TGV's in both directions taking a bit over 3 hours. I was planning to have lunch there, let C & R pick up their car and then follow us to the Biarritz area. From there it would be another 2.5 hours or so.

However, it seems that there are now no TGV’s Paris to Libourne on May 21, only slow trains that take 5.5 to 6 hours+ with 1-2 changes. The one I wanted to have E take back to Paris is still there but it doesn’t make sense to drop her off there if I can’t also pick up C & R.

It would work if I do the switcheroo at Bordeaux Saint-Jean but I hate the thought of driving into Bordeaux and then out again with three cars in a caravan. And didn’t I read a post that said picking up a car at Saint-Jean could be difficult?

The only other option I see is doing this at Périgueux but since the slow train from Paris takes about 4.5 hours, C & R would not get there until noon at the earliest, would still have to get their car and we’d need to get something to eat. So I doubt we could leave there until about 1:30-2:00 and that would put us very late getting to our house near Biarritz.

I’ve looked at viamichelin to find the route into the Saint-Jean station and it doesn’t look too complicated but the Google Earth images are downright frightening! Lots of street work going on. I don’t know how current those images are and the work might be finished by May, but maybe not. Does anyone know the current situation there?

I’d appreciate any suggestions you might have.
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Old Feb 15th, 2011, 07:23 PM
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I once picked up a car at the St. Jean station. It was parked about a block and a half in the street in front of the station. Dropping off a car is another matter. One has to get to the other side of the tracks because that is where the drop off points are for the rentals.

I just checked the SNCF site without specifying how I want to get to Libourne. There are no trains going there three days in a row, which leads me to believe that they have not yet posted the new schedule. Your friends could get to Bordeaux and take a local train out to Libourne. That might solve the problem.
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Old Feb 16th, 2011, 03:36 AM
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I'm hoping that you're checking too early. Aren't the tickets available three months ahead? If you try on February 21 for May 21, the situation might be different.
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Old Feb 16th, 2011, 03:44 AM
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I agree, you cant book tgv's earlier than 3 months out so maybe they havent loaded the schedule yet.

We have dropped a car at st jean, and it wasnt too bad. Getting in and out is easy as the main hwy is only a couple turns out of the station.
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Old Feb 16th, 2011, 03:50 AM
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Thanks, Michael. I first thought that it was just a glitch in the system and that the trains I had seen earlier would reappear. But so far that hasn't happened. I even tried to do a mock reservation for May 14 which is now reservable and the TGV's weren't there. It is weird though.

You would think that if there was a local train from Saint-Jean to Libourne, it would show that as a possibility for Paris to Libourne. Maybe if I tried to do that as a separate reservation it would work. That would certainly be the best solution.

If we do need to go into Bordeaux, I was thinking that I might actually head for that parking lot the other side of the railway. We'll need to park 2 cars while we wait and could be there a couple of hours if we have lunch there. Do you remember if it was easy or not to walk to the station from there? Is there a pedestrian passage that goes under or over the railway?

Thanks again. B
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Old Feb 16th, 2011, 03:55 AM
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Jamikins and pavot, I was composing my answer to Michael while you were posting. No, it's not that I'm trying too early. If you only ask for schedules (hit "horaires" instead of "reservez") it should show trains well ahead of the reservable ones. And, as you see above, the problem is still there when I tried May 14.
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Old Feb 16th, 2011, 03:57 AM
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Hmm that is odd.

We have driven into Bordeaux twice and its really not that hard - both times were from Sarlat. The main hwy takes you right in and out.
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Old Feb 16th, 2011, 04:31 AM
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Ooops. See your point, Betty1. I wish I had a solution, but I'll follow your saga with interest.

I suppose the station at Brive is the wrong direction for your party?
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Old Feb 16th, 2011, 04:36 AM
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Those rental cars at the Bordeaux station can be located in several different places. The last time we picked up and dropped off there (Europecar) we finally actually picked up the car in a large lot located behind the station. Getting back TO that lot ended up being a challenge because of the various one-way streets aqnd having a GPS along helped a great deal.

Overall, driving into the city wasn't any issue but that may be because I live in a busy metro area where people drive far more destructively tan anything I have ever seen in Europe...so good luck and am sure it will work out for you.
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Old Feb 16th, 2011, 07:37 AM
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You do realize that all TGVs from Paris to Bordeaux, as far as I know, stop in Libourne, and no conductor is going to penalize you from getting off the train a stop early. Have you checked all the TGVs running from Paris to Bordeaux that day?

Or, as mentioned, it just may be too early.
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Old Feb 16th, 2011, 08:40 AM
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No, St Cirq, I did not know that. There is an IDTGV Paris to Bordeaux (8:10 to 11:21) that would work nicely if I could be sure they could get off in Libourne or could get back to Libourne easily and quickly from Bordeaux. I'm surprised, though, that they don't show Libourne as a stop for that train. How can I be sure? Maybe I need to call.
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Old Feb 16th, 2011, 08:47 AM
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There is a train almost every 20 minutes going from Bordeaux to Libourne, and it takes about 20 minutes to get to Libourne.

http://www.voyages-sncf.com/billet-t...ivants&hid=ASE
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Old Feb 16th, 2011, 08:53 AM
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If you go to the German train site, it does not show ANY no-train-change TGVs going to Bordeaux for 5/21. I would guess that the SNCF people have not fully loaded their summer week-end schedule into the system yet. Is May 21 a French holiday??

Stu Dudley
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Old Feb 16th, 2011, 09:22 AM
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Hey, Stu!

There is definitely something weird about this. I should be able to buy such a ticket in the next few days, Sunday evening to be exact, for May 21. And, as I say, there aren't any TGV's available for Libourne even for May 14. I'm thinking that I'll go ahead and buy, if I can, the IDTGV to Bordeaux and either have them get off in Libourne or get a train back there from Saint-Jean.

AFAIK, May 21 is not a holiday in France. May 8 is and Pentecôte is late this year, into June, I think.
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Old Feb 16th, 2011, 11:04 AM
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They don't have the same schedules all the time, and it isn't just due to holidays. They have different runs in May a lot. They do have a TGV from Paris to Libourne on Saturdays beginning June 4th, but none in May.

May 21st isn't a French holiday, that isn't the reason. They will have to transfer trains somewhere, that's all. That is just a terrible day for trains from Paris to Libourne, there aren't any quick or direct options, it appears. The quickest is close to 7 hrs with only one transfer, but if there are two transfers, it's a little shorter.

SNCF has this really nice function where it will custom make schedules for you on routes by the dates you put it, it shows all your options easily, try it http://www.voyages-sncf.com/services...iches-horaires

There don't seem to even be any direct TGV to Bordeaux that day. There also appear to be TGVs to Bordeaux that don't stop in Libourne.
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Old Feb 16th, 2011, 12:18 PM
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Have them take the 8:10 IDTGV to Bordeaux and then double back to Libourne. They should get there between 12:30 and 1:00 p.m.
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Old Feb 16th, 2011, 12:27 PM
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contact sncf using the contact form http://aide.voyages-sncf.com/contact...t_body_message - write your problem in English and French (use a translation engine, google translate will do)

It's probably a problem with someone putting the train times online. It's happened before, and a couple of days after contacting them it was sorted

(It's always a good idea when dealing with problems like this to contact the company directly first. Look for alternatives if the service provider can't fix the problem)
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Old Feb 16th, 2011, 03:24 PM
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OK. I've emailed the SNCF using wizardofaus' link. Thanks for that, woa. Will let you know if and when I get an answer.

I have 2 pages I copied from the site in November and December, showing the "horaires" for May 21. The first shows 4 TGV's Paris to Libourne leaving at 6:59, 7:45 (2) and 10:50 taking between 3 and 4 hours for the trip. The second shows no less than 9 (not all would suit my schedule). I was prepared for some minor changes, but to see all of these disappear? I find that hard to believe.

Let's hope it is as wizardofaus suggests.
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Old Feb 17th, 2011, 07:04 AM
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Hi B,

The www.bahn.de site shows that you can go Paris --> Perigueux faster than to Bordeaux or Libourne. Same train. You have to change at Limoges.

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Old Feb 17th, 2011, 07:25 AM
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Ira,

Les than 3 hours?

http://www.voyages-sncf.com/billet-t...ltats?hid=19Q3
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