SNCF/TGV--trains in France

Old Jan 17th, 2002, 02:58 PM
  #1  
julie
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SNCF/TGV--trains in France

I hope some of you experts can help me with this one because I can't seem to find any answers on my own. We are thinking of taking the TGV to southern France and want to take the 1st possible train after we land at CDG. When I get on the SNCF web site it only states the time that the train leaves from the main city station. I have read that the TGV now stops at Charles de Gaulle. Is this true because that would certainly seem to be a lot more time efficient than taking the RER (which is what I understand we need to do) into the city and then getting to the train station to get on the train. Part 2 of the question. I am thinking of buying a rail pass here in the US, but when I look at the SNCF site it tells me I have to reserve a seat for the TGV, and I can't figure out how to do that without having bought a ticket. I did find that the rail pass web-site will reserve a seat for you for a charge of $12-$18 per person for each journey. This seems pretty steep to me. Does it cost that much to reserve a seat on a train in France? If it is a lot cheaper there is there anyway I can reserve from the US? Obviously since we want to take a train that leaves 2 hours after we get to France, I can't wait until I get there to reserve seats? Finally, some of the trains have a statement that says "possible to sit in direction of travel" or some such thing. What does this mean, and is there a disadvantage to sitting the other way? Thanks much if you can help me out.
 
Old Jan 17th, 2002, 03:12 PM
  #2  
jahoulih
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For your point of departure, use "aeroport cdg 2 tgv". Actually, you probably can wait until you get to France to make your reservation--assuming there are seats left on the train, you can reserve up until a few minutes before the train leaves. Making the reservation in France will only cost you a few Euros. As for sitting in the direction of travel, some people have a preference; for me, it doesn't make much difference.
 
Old Jan 17th, 2002, 03:25 PM
  #3  
Christina
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well, I'm sorry I can't tell you how to reserve a seat with a railpass from US, as I haven't done it, but I can tell you that it doesn't cost that much in France. It's around 40F as I recall for a reservation, or $5-7, the last time I bought one separately in France, but maybe someone whose done it recently can verify that. I've never seen that line about possible to sit in direction of travel, but that's just a personal preference thing, some people like to see where they're going rather than where they've been, I suppose that's what it is talking about. I do prefer to sit in direction of travel myself but it's not a big thing to me. As for the trains, I think the trains that leave from CDG to go south are always completely different ones than leave from Gare de Lyon, so you'd have to specifically search the schedule for departures from CDG. For tomorrow, for example, the TGV trains in the morning going south leave from CDG at 9:45 and 10:11, whereas they leave from central Paris at 9:34, 10:44 and 11:20. YOu shouldn't have any trouble finding one from CDG soon after you arrive. Put "aeroport CDG" in the search box for departure, rather than Paris.
 
Old Jan 17th, 2002, 03:29 PM
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julie
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WOW! Thanks so much. This must be a new record--2 replies in a half an hour.
 
Old Jan 17th, 2002, 06:30 PM
  #5  
julie
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Sorry to be a pest. It's me again. I think Christina must be right that these are different trains. We want to go to Perpignan and when I tried to go from CDG there, I got the message that the trip involves 2 changes so I should just book the legs separately. Then i tried CDG TGV to Gare de Lyon and still got the same message. So it looks as though we'll have to figure out some other way to get to the Gare de Lyon rom the airport. Our plane gets in at 12:10 (assuming it isn't late) and the train we want to take leaves the Gare du Lyon at 13:24. Is this doable since we will have to get our luggage, go through customs and then find transportation to the Gare du Lyon. Thanks so much for helping someone you don't even know.
 
Old Jan 17th, 2002, 07:46 PM
  #6  
jahoulih
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Julie, there's a train leaving Charles de Gaulle every day at 13:11 that gets to Perpignan at 18:46.
 
Old Jan 17th, 2002, 07:52 PM
  #7  
Patrick
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Well, Jahoulih just beat me to it. I use the www.eurorail.com/railsked.htm
website and you can click on for itinerary pass which gives full details of the changes.
But that 13:11 daily is TGV with no changes to Perpignan. That's certainly your best bet if you can trust one hour to be enough to catch it -- I'm not the expert for that. The connections in Paris, I think, are just awful -- changing between two stations and fighting traffic. Your next best bet is a 16:04 TGV with one change in Nimes that arrives in Perpignan at 22:55. On that web site you can also email to ask about the reservation and the supplement, etc. Good luck.
 

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