Suggestions, train transfer in Paris?

Dec 27th, 2000, 01:07 PM
Trish Paton
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Suggestions, train transfer in Paris?

We (2 adults only) are taking the Eurostar from London to Paris in January and then picking up the TGV to Avignon. In between, though, we need to get from Gare de Nord to Gare de Lyon. I have a "quote" of about 15 minutes transfer between stations, but we get in at 2:17 pm (theoretically? how on-time is the Chunnel train? I hear horror stories of British trains and London tube...) and it would be nice to catch the 3:18 pm to Avignon. Am I dreaming that this would work mid-week, mid-January? Should we try to connect with train, or should we taxi between stations?

thanks all!
Dec 27th, 2000, 01:35 PM
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The train to Avignon won't leave early; it is possible the Eurostar will be late. If it arrives by 2:45, you'll make the 3:18, if you take a taxi. There's no direct metro (you have to change once); there is a direct RER (line D) that takes 20 minutes, add to that the 15 mins it takes to get off the Eurostar to the D line, then another 10 minutes to get off the D line and on the TGV...TAKE A TAXI!
Dec 27th, 2000, 01:43 PM
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...Particularly if you are carrying anything heavier than a newspaper!
Dec 27th, 2000, 02:01 PM
Bob Brown
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OK, so your train is scheduled to get in at Gare du Nord at 14:17 and leave from Gare de Lyon at 15:18. The two stations by street are about 5 K apart.
On paper, your schedule gives you about an hour to make the station commute.
I looked at the RER diagram and it shows that you can get from Gare du Nord to Gare de Lyon on RER. It looks like the connecting line is D1. BUT BUT BUT I am not positive about that! So do not try that route without verification!!

If I were making the same transfer, and had my normal load of luggage, I would take a taxi. The RER and the Metros are not friendly to people who have heavy luggage. There are long tunnels, lots of steps, and few escalators.

But if you are lightly loaded, then the RER might be the best way because there will be no delays other than waiting on the platform for the train. Notice that the RER is not the same as the Metro. Some of the stations inter connect, but there are two separate sets of tracks.

As for the taxi, at that time of the afternoon in Paris, traffic should not be terrible.
I have ridden buses around Paris. The streets were not empty at 15:00, but we got there.

I hope someone who knows the RER system better than I will tell us if RER Line D1 goes from Gare du Nord to Gare de Lyon.
Dec 27th, 2000, 03:19 PM
Ben Haines
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Dear Ms Paton,

I expect that you're now stuck with your train out of Waterloo at 1023, and the transit of Paris. Other readers, and you on your next trip, may like to know that you need not cross Paris. If you change at Lille Europe you just walk between platforms, I think with trolleys and lifts, inside the station. The choice is two hours earlier or two hours later than your timings.

Waterloo 0827, Lille 1129 to 1217, Avignon 1638
Or Waterloo 1227, Lille 1529 to 1610, Avignon 2055.

I wish all travel agents knew their job. Please write if I can help further.

Ben Haines, London

Dec 27th, 2000, 04:04 PM
Bob Brown
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As usual, Ben Haines is right on target with his information.
Trish, if you can rewrite your ticket, the Lille option described by Ben makes all the sense in the world!

You have an easy transfer rather than a hectic one where the situation is to some extent out of your control. I did not add in my first response that Gare de Lyon can be confusing. It has been to me! So you can avoid TWO big stations.

By the way, for all of us and for future reference, the German national rail site
came up with the same information as Ben when I queried it just now. This site can be reached in its English version at:

I have long been convinced that if you ask everything on this board first before buying, you almost always will take a better trip because of the informed folks who contribute. I fell in the trap of not knowing the connections, too!! And just assumed that the Paris Two Step was the only alternative. It is NOT the only way to go, as Ben so accurately told us.

The Thomas Cook international timetables are very helpful. Unfortunately they are not always readily available in the US of A.
Dec 28th, 2000, 05:15 AM
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Just to complete the picture, there's a 3rd option that may be considered:

Waterloo 0927, Marne le Val 13:29 to 14:19, Avignon 17:55

No idea where it's easier to change, if in Lille or Marne le Val!

Dec 28th, 2000, 05:33 AM
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But the above train appears to run only on Fridays ...
Dec 28th, 2000, 05:15 PM
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Agree with Mr. Haines, if at all possible to transfer at Lille. Gard du Nord to Gare de Lyon by public transport is not fun and by taxi lines at Gare du Nord can take a loooooong time, especially if several Eurostars and TGVs arrive at the same time--which is often the case. I was in London-Paris the last 2 weeks and Eurostars are still running (30 mins.) late due to recent dreadful weather in England.
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