Seat question on TGV trains

Old May 9th, 2017, 08:37 PM
  #1  
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Seat question on TGV trains

I have been on various sites to book a ticket from Paris to Annecy. The SNCF, loco2 and train line sites give options if I want the upper or lower deck, an aisle, window or side by side table seats.
None of the options that I see indicate whether a seat is forward facing.
I assume two of each table seats face backwards, so my question is whether all window and aisle seats face forward, and if not is there anyway to tell?
Thanks
giro is offline  
Old May 9th, 2017, 09:22 PM
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The SNCF site has a box to click to request a seat facing forward.
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Old May 10th, 2017, 02:27 AM
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> whether all window and aisle seats face forward, and if not is there anyway to tell?

No to both question from my experience.

> The SNCF site has a box to click to request a seat facing forward.

I have never noticed that bofore. Checked on voyages-sncf.com, on both 1st and 2nd class. "CHOISIR MA PLACE" does not give that choice. I am curious.
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Old May 10th, 2017, 04:54 AM
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I just checked again and apparently that option only appears for some of the trains. When it is possible, the box appears to the right of the seat selection proposals ans says "voyager dans le sens de la marche."

In any case, for people who are unfamiliar with European trains, since the cars go back and forth generally without being turned around, half of the seats are always facing the "wrong" way.

And for people who don't like to walk the entire length of the train, you should also know that when you travel from terminus stations to other terminus stations (meaning stations where the track end) like any of the main line stations in Paris, Saint Pancras in London, Marseille, Zürich... or whatever, if you are at the front of the train when you leave, you'll be at the back of the train when you arrive, so there will always be just as much distance to walk. In "through" stations like Brussels or Amsterdam, you generally want to be at the middle of the train.
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Old May 10th, 2017, 05:33 AM
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It would be impossible for seats to all face the same direction all the time on any train, and cars can be connected on different trains in various ways so they always have half going one way and half another. Now I think I was on some train somewhere where you could actually flip the seat direction, it was very clever, but I can't recall where that was.

I don't know when they have that option on SNCF and when they don't, but recently I was booking a TGV train from CDG to Lyon and you did not have that option, but a TGV train from TOurs to Paris did have that option.
Christina is offline  
Old May 10th, 2017, 06:20 AM
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> Now I think I was on some train somewhere where you could actually flip the seat direction, it was very clever, but I can't recall where that was.

Shinkansen in Japan is that. Never seen it in any Eropean train.
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Old May 11th, 2017, 04:34 PM
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Thanks, Kerouac, I have often been perplexed by seat selection. It seems to be the luck of the craw, as to direction at least. Travelling backward at 120+ kilometres is no less dizzying than facing front. And I have learned over the years to always look backwards anyhow or miss half the landscape.
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Old May 12th, 2017, 10:39 AM
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Shinkansen in Japan is that. Never seen it in any Eropean train.>>

Well, I've never been to Japan so I know it was on some European train.

Here are the TGV car layouts
http://inforail.fr/SNCF/pdf/Places%20TGV.pdf

I really don't like facing backward as I think it does make me a little nauseous sometimes. In theory, you'd think it shouldn't but I think what you are viewing can affect your stomach if there is a disconnect.

The good news is I just booked 2 tickets on www.voyages-sncf.com and everything went perfectly, no problems, even with an American credit card. Yes, I told my bank I would be using it online for France, but last year I did that and it still didn't work (and my bank claimed the charge had never been tried). So maybe they've improved their online sales software somehow.
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Old May 16th, 2017, 12:36 AM
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Have received a news letter from voyage-sncf.com for promotional rates and just checked a TGV on Geneva - Marseille and this time it did give the choice "voyager dans le sens de la marche".
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