Rail Question - Barcelona to Avignon

Old Oct 9th, 2009, 08:46 AM
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Rail Question - Barcelona to Avignon

We plan to travel in late June, flying to Barcelona, training to Avignon then later training to Paris.

We would like to go from Barcelona to Avignon by rail. The last time I checked there was only limited service between Barcelona and Montpelier.

Could some kind soul let me know exactly what is available between Barcelona and Avignon, time schedules, connections, cost.

Since rail travel is being constantly upgraded in Europe, unlike America, I was hopeful that there might be a train going from Barcelona to the TGV station in Avignon rather than to the old station, etc. but I will gladly appreciate news on whatever is available.

Thanks in advance.

Anthony
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Old Oct 9th, 2009, 09:46 AM
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This is a very useful site

http://www.seat61.com/
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Old Oct 9th, 2009, 09:50 AM
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You aren't going to find any train between those cities that is direct, anyway, so you can go to Avignon any way you want from some city in France that has a train to Barcelona. Even then there might be a change, but of course you can get to Avignon TGV some way, but you will have to transfer. There aren't that many TGVs from Montpellier to Avignon, that's true, so you are limited and the problem is it takes a long time to get from Barcelona to MOntpellier to begin with, so you are limited to a certain time of day.

I think it would take up more time to transfer around to get to the TGV station than getting to Avignon the best schedule for you and then taking a taxi or whatever transfer you want to the TGV.

You could go from Barcelona to Nimes, for example, and there are a few TGVs from there to Avignon but it might not suit your timing. There are lots of TGVS from Nimes to Valence and from Valence to Avignon, however. But to get to Nimes, I think you have to trasnfer at Cerbere, first (from Barcelona).

There are lots of ways to do this, but they take up a lot of time, that's the problem. You can check www.bahn.de to see combos
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Old Oct 9th, 2009, 10:47 AM
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As Christina has recommended, try looking on the Bahn site www.bahn.de...there is an English version

I am honestly not sure what your own definition of "limited" is but there are numerous timings..some go through Montpellier and some require an additional change in Girona

Most, if not all, of these leave from the Sants (as opposed to the Franca, i.e., "France" station)
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Old Oct 9th, 2009, 12:13 PM
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there have been only two daily direct trains between Barcelona and any town in France besides Cerbere, the border station - for the simple reason that train tracks in Spain are wide than those in France so physically trains can not go thru - except these few Talgo trains that have moveable wheel bases - yup crank the wheels apart or closer together at the border station. so until the new Pyreness rail tunnel and high-speed line are finished in several years, which will allow French trains to go right to Barcelona you either always have to change at the border - and yes there are numerous connections on each side like Dukey says but you do have to change.

Except on the Day Talgos (there is also a night Talgo Barcelona to Paris-Austerlitz. so why are there not more Talgos - i suspect because of the new Pyrenees Tunnel that will make that type of techonology obsolete in a few years.

Since there are only two, i think, direct Talgos Barcelona to Montpellier - one around 8:45am and one in the afternoon they can book up quickly - but the other route changing at the border you can always do - but these trains to and from the border IME are some of the worst in either country and it will take significantly longer so the Talgo is optimal - TGVs connect with the Talgo at Montpellier.
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Old Oct 10th, 2009, 09:54 AM
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Thank you all for the great advice!!
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Old Oct 11th, 2009, 07:18 AM
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If you live in North America, try www.raileurope.com. The rates often are better and you can buy tickets 60 days in advance and have them mailed to your home.
Currently there's an 8:45 a.m. from the Franca station through Montpelier, arriving in Avignon at 3:42. We took the same train but only to Perpignan where we picked up a car. It isn't fast and the cars are not new, but if you spring for first class - not much more expense - it's comfortable.
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Old Oct 11th, 2009, 09:25 AM
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For anyone using Raileurope ticketing - and yes they can be competitive on some runs - i would always advise calling Byron at BETS 800-441-2387 and get personal service that many Fodorites have said was great and they don't charge RE's $18 mailing fee for orders under $450 as this would be. The alternative is to try www.renfe.es - spanish rail online and that site seems to be very very fickle - if you will be in Spain some days before hand you could probably book but these few Talgo trains can be very very in high demand since the alternatives - changing at border is a hassle and takes much longer.
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