Train from CDG to Rennes Questions

Apr 3rd, 2011, 01:20 PM
  #1  
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Train from CDG to Rennes Questions

Hello
My husband and I are arriving in Paris on May 14 at CDG Airport/Roissy. We will spend a week in Brittany and then come back to spend a week in Paris, where we will be staying in the 17th Arrond. We'd like to take the train to Rennes and rent a car there. I'm a little confused about how best to do this. I've been on the voyagessncf website and this has only increased my confusion!

1. Is it possible/recommended to take a train one way from CDG Roissy to Rennes, and then one way from Rennes to a train stop closer to the 17th? We came across a station called CDG Etoile, which seems close to the 17th, but are not sure. Easier is better, even if a little more expensive. On the other hand, if it is really easy to get from CDG Roissy to another train station, and a round trip will be much cheaper, that's also fine. Just looking for what an expert would recommend to two tired travelers -- the train will be only the second leg of the journey (then rent a car, then go to hotel).

2. Do we need a reservation or can we just buy our tickets when we arrive? I know we will likely pay more if we buy on the day, but we don't want to stress if our plane is late, long lines at immigration, etc.

3. We'd like to travel direct if possible.

Thank you for any help!!
hikergirl11 is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2011, 02:01 PM
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Are you renting a car? Could be a nice driving trip--pick up at CDG and return there or to Orly.
Gretchen is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2011, 02:23 PM
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CDG Etoile is, I think, a métro stop. Paris has a number of what are essentially main-line stations, such as the Gare St-Lazare, Gare du Nord, Gar de l'Est, Gare de Lyon, and so on. The stations vary depending on which line leaves there for which area of France. So you won't necessarily be able to find a train station near where you are staying.
Underhill is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2011, 04:03 PM
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I don't understand what you are talking about, but I think the metro and you mean rue de Rennes?

YOu can't pick and choose regular train stations as an endpoint of a train trip, you have to go to the one where your train goes, period. There is usually no choice, but occasionally there might be two stations from a city, one generally a TGV and one not. So you can't decide where your train goes, find the train you want and where it ends.

YOu are mixing up metro (tube/Subway) stations with train stations.

If you are coming from the city Rennes in Brittany into Paris, it most likely will go into a station in the west, ie, Montparnasse. That's a major rail hub, so should be no problem getting a metro line from there to wherever you want to go.

Train tickets are not cheaper to buy roundtrip, it makes no difference. There really isn't such a thing, train tickets are one-way. Even if you buy one RT, you just will be given two separate one-way tickets. And there is no discount for doing that.
Christina is online now  
Apr 3rd, 2011, 04:49 PM
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Assuming you are talking about the city of Rennes in Brittany (and not an address in Paris), there are a number of direct trains from Roissy to Rennes on the 14th. If you buy the PREMs online now you can save half the cost (about 60 euros for 2 people as opposed to 120 euros). If you wait to buy them on the spot, you're likely to pay the highest price.

Etoile is a métro stop, not a train station. Anyway, you don't get to choose a train station to end your trip - arrivals and departures of all trains are organized by geography. All trains from Rennes to Paris arrive at the Gare Montparnasse. The SNCF site isn't showing any PREM fares for trains on the 21st, but the regular fare 2nd class for 2 people is only 44 euros.
StCirq is online now  
Apr 4th, 2011, 06:42 AM
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Hi -- thanks everyone. I'm sorry if I wasn't clear. When I went on the SNCF site and plugged in Charles de Gaulle, it gave me two options to choose -- Roissey (the Airport, I think) and Etoile. So, that's why I got confused.

We want to go from the Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris to Rennes in Brittany on May 14. We are going to rent a car in Rennes. Then, a week later, we want to go from Rennes in Brittany to whatever train station makes it easiest to get to the 17th in Paris (I guess Montparnasse?).

I think what I am hearing is that we don't need to buy a "round trip" and return to the Airport on our return trip. Correct? We can buy a one way from CDG Airport to Rennes Brittany and then buy another ticket in Rennes when we wish to return?

One question is: from the Airport to Rennes is a TGV train. I have read that you must have a reservation on the TGV -- you cannot buy your ticket at the airport when you land. I am hoping this is not true. Can someone confirm?

I think StCirq is saying that while we will pay more if we buy at the station, we will still be able to get on the train. Correct?

Thanks so much!
hikergirl11 is offline  
Apr 4th, 2011, 06:55 AM
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I think the SNCF website lists a lot of stations because it may plan a trip including a train and the metro in its itinerary, not sure, or its software just loads metro station names.

In any case, not only don't you need to buy a roundtrip, there isn't such a thing. So, yes, you can buy a ticket from CDG Roissy to Rennes and then buy one in Rennes to go back to Paris.

What you heard about TGV trains is wrong. Yes, you do need a reservation on them, but that certainly does not mean you have to buy it far in advance -- there or anywhere. Train stations sell tickets on a train until they are sold out and/or the train leaves. Now I suppose there is a time period they cut off sales shortly before it leaves, just because they need people on board, but you certainly can buy a ticket on any train at a train station. There is a ticket clerk window at CDG rail station, as there is at any rail station, so why someone told you that you can't buy train tickets there, I have no idea.

YOu will pay more just because you couldn't get any advanced purchase discount fare, that's all. Kind of like an airline. Only train discount fares like that are nonrefundable anyway, usually, so you lose the ticket if you don't take that exact train.
Christina is online now  
Apr 5th, 2011, 04:16 AM
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Thanks, Christina, very helpful. I had a couple of additional questions if people don't mind.

1. If I buy tickets ahead, but do not buy a PREM (because I want the flexibility in case our flight is late etc), how are the other train tickets delivered on the SNCF site? For the life of me, I can't figure out how you tell whether a ticket is downloadable or what. I have heard that the PREM tix can be printed at home but not the others. We do not have a "chip" credit card, by the way.

2. When we rent the car in Rennes, will the car be at or near the train? Again, have heard that if you book car & train through SNCF you can have the car waiting for you at the train station, whereas if you book the car separately they will charge you to get to the car. Is booking car/train through SNCF the more affordable option or doesn't it matter how/when we rent the car?

3. We are considering staying in Paris on our first night and then taking the train from Montparnasse to Rennes on Sunday. But have heard that car rentals are closed in Rennes on Sunday. True? How late do they stay open on Sat?

Thanks again, Kathy
hikergirl11 is offline  
Apr 5th, 2011, 05:50 AM
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There is a direct TGV from CDG to Rennes that departs at 10:28 and arrives at 13:27. You can also take a nine-minute ride on a TGV from CDG to Marne-la-Valee and connect there to a TGV going directly to Rennes. Leave CDG at 11:00 and arrive in Rennes at 14:10. For all other departure times you'll need to get from CDG to Gare Montparnasse by one of several means (RER & Metro, Air France bus, taxi) and take a TGV from there to Rennes.

The Auto Europe site shows car rental service at the Rennes train station. I expect that all the car rental agencies have outlets there. Auto Europe's hours are 08:00-15:00 on Saturdays and 16:30-21:00 on Sundays.

tgv-europe.com is a multi-language SNCF (French National Rail) site. To keep the site in English and to avoid being bumped to the Rail Europe site whose prices are higher, choose Great Britain as your country of residence. You can book your CDG-Rennes tickets there. If you aren't given the option of printing them yourselves, choose to either pick them up at any SNCF station or to retrieve them from a ticket machine. (Note: Your credit card won't work in the machine, but going to a ticket window where the agent will swipe your card is always an option, even if it isn't listed.)

If you book your Rennes-Paris tickets now, you can get cheap Prem's fares and print your own tickets.

For Rennes-Paris you will arrive at Gare Montparnasse. You will need to take the Metro or a taxi from there to your hotel in the 17th.
TimS is offline  
Apr 5th, 2011, 07:21 AM
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ONLY the PREM tickers are downloadable. For any other tickets you will need to specify France as your pickup spot, then go to the ticket window at the station and pick them up (have the same cc with you that you used online to purchase them).

I've never rented a car through the SNCF site, but it seems pretty obvious that car pickups would be at train stations since SNCF is the national railway. Anyway, I would always opt to rent through an American company to have the kind of backup assistance I might need in case of a problem. That's why I always book through AutoEurope - and hyes, the car rental offices are always right there at the tráin station, or at least around the corner.

As far as having to have a reservation on a TGV train, technically you must have a ticket in hand at least 5 minutes before the train departs. It's not as though you have to book now for a trip this summer. Still, you'll save a boatload of money by purchasing PREMS now.
StCirq is online now  
Apr 5th, 2011, 07:42 AM
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SNCF now allows self-ptinting other kinds of fares (like Loisir and Standard) if they are on trains that require seat reservations. You cannot print tickets for regional trains.
TimS is offline  
Apr 5th, 2011, 07:51 AM
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The car rental offices in Rennes are adjacent to the train station. We've picked up & returned cars there several times.

If you use the AutoEurope or Kemwel (which is probably less expensive) site & put in your Sunday date & pick-up time, you will be able to tell if there are any offices open on Sunday.

Stu Dudley
StuDudley is online now  

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