Report on TGV from CDG Paris

Aug 5th, 2002, 03:31 PM
  #1  
Philrodd
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Report on TGV from CDG Paris

My wife and I recently took the TGV from Charles De Gaulle to Avignon…a very nice experience. The TGV station is accessible by bus from all the terminals at Charles De Gaulle..get off the bus at the stop marked GARE. Once into the TGV station, it’s easy to find the track for your train.
Here are some things to consider regarding the TGV. You must have a reservation in addition to a ticket. The ticket just gets you onto the train, the reservation specifies the exact seat you will have. You can make a reservation on the internet for $11, but if you make it in France, it’s much cheaper, only about $3. The website I used to buy seats and to make the TGV reservation didn’t allow you to specify anything about the seat, and when we boarded the train we found that some of the seats faced forward, and some backward. Also, the seating configuration in first class is 2 seats on one side of the aisle, and one seat on the other side. My wife and I were assigned a single seat and one of the double seats, so if you can talk to a human being about your reservation, be sure to specify the details of your desired seat. The other problem we had was figuring out which car our seat was in. Our seats were in car 2, so when the train pulled up, I saw a car with a big number 2 painted on the outside and figured that was the car. No, the 2 meant it was a Second Class car. So, we stumbled through the train dragging our luggage until we found the right seats in the right car, but in all honesty, I still don’t know how to find seats in a particular car from the outside of the train.
There was a small snack bar on the train selling sandwiches, drinks, etc. Nothing to rave about but you won’t starve.

 
Aug 5th, 2002, 03:42 PM
  #2  
Grasshopper
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
There is a small window near the front door of every car that has a placard with the car number (and class) on it. When you learn how to read the signs at most train stations they frequently also give you an indication of where your car will stop on the platform.
 
Aug 5th, 2002, 05:22 PM
  #3  
Mary
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Can anyone tell me if the TGV station at CDG is near where the RER is? Is it closer to Terminal 1 or 2? I think I remember seeing it at one time when I was wondering around lost at the airport, but I don't remember where!
Thanks
 
Aug 5th, 2002, 05:35 PM
  #4  
David
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
This web site gives a very detailed map of CDG: www.adp.fr

Work your way into it and look for terminal maps. It shows the TGV/RER station in Terminal 2 between halls C/D and F. I've not had any problems taking the bus from Terminal 1 to Terminal 2 to catch a train, though the bus can be a bit crowded with everyone and their luggage.
 
Aug 6th, 2002, 04:26 AM
  #5  
Anthony
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Phillrodd:

My wife and I plan to use the TGV from CDG to Avignon in September. Please tell me where you bought your tickets,the cost of first class tickets, the frequency of the train schedule to Avignon, etc.

We travel each year to Provence, this is our first TGV venture.

Thanks!
 
Aug 6th, 2002, 07:48 AM
  #6  
Phil
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
We bought the tickets on the internet at http://www.raileurope.com/us/rail/fares_schedules/index.htm
This web site will also give you the complete schedule.

I believe the 1st class tickets cost something like $117 each
 
Aug 6th, 2002, 09:15 AM
  #7  
Andre
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
I've posted this a zillion times, but here goes again:

RailEurope is a racket!

Book your tickets & prepay for them directly at the French railways' site:
www.sncf.com
and pick them up at any station or "boutique SNCF" when you arrive in France .

The earlier you reserve, the cheaper the ticket (domestic trains can be booked up to 60 days in advance).

Andre
 
Aug 8th, 2002, 06:50 PM
  #8  
melissa
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
RE making reservation for TGV in France. I'll be taking the TGV as well, where or how can I make the reservation for $3? And how far in advance do I have to make it? Also re: Andre's comment I'll have to check this out I was all set to use raileurope. Can you get Eurostar there too? Hope so. Thanks
 
Aug 8th, 2002, 07:01 PM
  #9  
Bob Brown
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
I am fully supportive of the statement that Rail Europe preys on the unaware.
If you want a rail ticket in France, call the SNCF is you don't want to use the web site.

You can get to an English speaking agent by dialing:
011 33 892 35 35 39
I called last night, actually early this morning and made a reservation.

You do need a credit card.

There is a flood of French when the phone is answered. Then a recorded English speaking voice says press 2 for English.
Then there is the usual hold pattern with the French noise until a real person comes on line.

The young man answered in French, but switched to English on request. He had the typical French accent, but we got the job done.
(At least I think we did; I have not gotten to Paris yet to pick up the ticket.)
 
Aug 9th, 2002, 01:16 AM
  #10  
Andre
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Melissa,

Yes, you can book Eurostar tickets through SNCF, but only for journeys originating in France.

Andre
 
Aug 9th, 2002, 01:57 AM
  #11  
Vincent
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Eurostar tickets can be booked on the net, for either end of the journey: www.eurostar.com
 
Aug 9th, 2002, 03:20 AM
  #12  
Gerry K
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
I hope to be in Paris soon and intend to take the TGV also. Can I request a forward-facing single seat??

Many thanks,

Gerry K
 
Aug 9th, 2002, 03:54 AM
  #13  
Andre
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Some more info

For Melissa:

- Reservations on TGV & Eurostar trains are compulsory tickets always include a reservation for a particular train. The only exception is if you have purchased a rail pass, in which case reservations are purchased separately (but this is generally not economical and besides passes aren't valid on Eurostar).

- Unfortunately, Eurostar journeys originating in the UK can only be booked by on eurostar.com if you have a postal address in the UK (they will only hold the tickets at the train station if you're making a last-minute booking, which generally means you can't get a discounted fare anymore). You could try www.travelselect.com (never used them though) or dreaded RailEurope.

For GerryK:

Single seats are only available in 1st class - you can request them when booking on the SNCF site by clicking on the "add services" link near the bottom of the initial reservations page. As far as I know, you can't specify which direction they'll be facing, but you might want to call the number mentioned by Bob.

That said, I've often travelled facing the "wrong way" on the TGV and have NEVER gotten nauseous - which I could say the same about the Cisalpino and other "tilting" trains...

Hope this helps,

Andre
 
Aug 9th, 2002, 03:56 AM
  #14  
Andre
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Oops!

Last sentence should have read:
That said, I've often travelled facing the "wrong way" on the TGV and have NEVER gotten nauseous - *WISH* I could say the same about the Cisalpino and other "tilting" trains...
 
Aug 9th, 2002, 07:06 AM
  #15  
melissa
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Andre,

My trip will be originating in France and I want to take the Eurostar from Paris to London. raileurope has Francepass + Eurostar 2nd class for $367CDN Is this not a good deal? My trip will take me from Paris - Lyon -Avignon - Aix-en-P - Nice - Paris - London. I figured the railpass would be cheaper than individual tickets. Does sncf have passes or do you just buy individual tickets? Thanks, I really apprecitate your advice.

melissa
 
Aug 9th, 2002, 07:58 AM
  #16  
melissa
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Hi
I just visited sncf.com and it says you can't book tickets from North America and to use to raileurope website. What's going on?

And if someone can tell me where/how long before trip I can reserve seats in France I'd appreciate it. I don't want to get there and be told I can't do it or that I should have done it when I bought the pass.

Thanks, melissa
 
Aug 9th, 2002, 07:58 AM
  #17  
Andre
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Melissa,

As I don't know your travel dates or exact itinerary (are you stopping over in all of the places you mentioned or just passing through on the train?) I can't answer your question.

Your best bet is to go over to the SNCF site and just price your journeys yourself.

If you're only travelling round trip from Paris to Nice and going to London on the Eurostar, CDN 367 sounds outrageous.

SNCF only sells tickets - no passes (but lots of different fare types): your 2 alternatives are purchasing a pass through a US company like RailEurope (which is incidentally owned by SNCF, but that's another story) or going straight to the source and buying the same tickets as the locals. In my experience, the latter has always been cheaper, but you should obviously compare.

The english-language SNCF website is at:
http://www.sncf.com/indexe.htm

Hope this helps,
Andre
 
Aug 9th, 2002, 08:39 AM
  #18  
Vincent
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Also don't forget the low cost airline alternative to go to London. You mention a Nice-Paris-London. Are you stopping in Paris only to get the Eurostar? Because you might do just as well taking the plane from Nice to London with Easyjet, and now even BA, both companies operating on a one way basis.
 
Aug 9th, 2002, 08:48 AM
  #19  
melissa
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Actually I plan to stop and stay in all the cities I mentioned which is why I thought the Francepass would be good. sncf.com doesn't allow buying from North America(Canada) and said to book thru raileurope. Other than raileurope then, how else would I get tickets?

Also priced flight from Nice to Toronto with stopover in London at $125 extra. Francepass is $347 so with Eurostar is only $20 more. Unless there is some cheaper alternative to Francepass that I am missing, this seems the cheaper and, I think, more fun option.

I don't mean to sound difficult Andre but I'm not sure how I can buy tickets like the locals, from Canada if sncf tells me to go thru raileurope.

Thanks for your time, melissa
 
Aug 9th, 2002, 08:50 AM
  #20  
Andre
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Good point, Vincent!

BMI (Heathrow) and GO (Stansted) also fly Nice-London. This would DEFINITELY be cheaper, not to mention faster than taking the train!

Websites:
www.easyjet.com
www.britishairways.com
www.flybmi.com
www.gofly.com

Actually, you might also want to check Easyjet regarding flights from Paris to Nice as well - a lot faster and often cheaper than the train as well.

Andre
 

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 03:40 PM.