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Paucie Apr 21st, 2006 07:21 AM

Train from Lyon to CDG: Can we make our flight?
Our flight leaves CDG at 2:40. Can we take the train from Lyon straight into CDG that day and make the flight? What time do we need to leave?

The only sites I've found for trains are in French. Does anyone know of a site that will give me TGV schedules (and any others I might need) to figure this out?

Robespierre Apr 21st, 2006 07:35 AM

1) No (at least, I wouldn't count on it).

2) The previous day.


CharlesIII Apr 21st, 2006 07:36 AM

Dear Paucie:

The German Rail Website does an excellent job of providing information for all trains in Europe:

and here is the French Rail Website in English:

Could you tell me the date and/or day of the week your train trip is to take place?


PalQ Apr 21st, 2006 07:42 AM

Several trains you could take that will get you there in plenty of time - 6:20, 7:56, 9:22 - trains take 1.5 hours and arrive in CDG terminal 2 - if your flight leaves from terminal 1 as many do to the States, you have to take the free navette (shuttle bus) from terminal 2 to terminal 1, taking about 20 minutes. check schedules at the excellent German rail site mentioned above.
I still always advise folks to arrive in their airport departure city a day early - France has had their share of train strikes recently and though most are announced some just pop up and there goes your non-refundable flight. Consider taking the train to the airport and staying in hotel the night before and then either relaxing or going into Paris for the morning.

grandmere Apr 21st, 2006 07:56 AM

Several years ago I did what you're attempting to do with an even earlier flight from CDG, and it worked ok. However, I would probably be hesitant to do it today, when your air ticket is worth nada after your plane leaves the ground without you.

It probably would be just fine, but if it's not . . . :-(

Michel_Paris Apr 21st, 2006 08:51 AM

In October 2005,on a Wednesday, I had a 11AM flight from terminal 2E. I left Lyon Part Dieu at 6:20 AM and arrived at CDG at 8:34,exactly on time, and had plenty of time to leisurely walk from TGV terminal to my gate. You can catch a snack in Lyon at Paul bakery in the station, it's open at that hour.

Hope this helps,


PalQ Apr 21st, 2006 09:00 AM

I was in Strasbourg at a time when there were strikes affecting parts of the SNCF system and they were 'previsioned' in the usual way - posted days ahead of time in the stations.
On the train from Colmar to Strasbourg i asked the conductor if there were any strikes previsioned for the next day - he rather indignantly retorted no and something about we're not always on strike - assuring me there would be none.
Low and behold the next morning as i arrived at Strasbourg station to hop the train to Paris there were "Greve" (strike) signs in place and many trains were supprime - suppressed. It seems some hooligan had attacked a conductor and a wildcat strike ensued only affecting this region but halting most trains for the day. I didn't have to catch a plane but if i did it i would have been crying in my wine over losing my unrefundable air fare. Always arrive in the departure city a day before is my mantra!

StuDudley Apr 21st, 2006 09:25 AM

Three times I've taken trains directly to CDG from far away (Dijon, Beaune, Chambery) the day of departure - no problems at all. I'm doing it again in Sept.

I've encountered sevaral blockades on the roads in Paris & other places which would have caused me to miss a flight, if I was going to the airport. On one of our most recent trips, the taxi was 40 mins late taking us to the train station (made it OK, however).

Stu Dudley

CRAZY4TRAVEL Apr 21st, 2006 09:37 AM

I would be a nervous wreck!! I don't like to live on the edge like that but if you're a gambler...go for it. I never gamble more than I can afford to lose which isn't much. Oneway airfare or at the very least a hefy change fee?...your judgement call.

Robespierre Apr 21st, 2006 09:51 AM

It doesn't matter how many people have pulled it off - the only case that matters to <u>you</u> is <i>yours</i>.

If you feel like gambling with a $1000 air ticket for no better reason than because some guys on a web forum got lucky, go for it.

Michel_Paris Apr 21st, 2006 10:00 AM

Perhaps a topic for another thread is...What is your experience with TGV's schedule?..that way we can judge whether SNCF is habitually late...or on time. This may sway this decision one way or another.

PalQ Apr 21st, 2006 10:04 AM

I think the TGV's reliability is fairly good by my many TGV journeys and unlikely to be very late - so that i think is irrelevant - it's the strikes or train accidents that block a line or strikers like the students a few weeks ago that physically blocked TGV tracks at Gare de Lyon - that's what would cause you to miss a flight and unfortunately in France today strikes both by rail workers and protesters, like farmers and lorry drivers who have also blocked TGV lines is what you worry about.

PalQ Apr 21st, 2006 10:20 AM

And there's some law that says these 'pertubations' as they call it in France will happen when it's most important for you to get somewhere.
Even in your departure city leave a lot of time to get to the airport - like one above post says traffic can be clogged so even if going by taxi it can be stop and go.
In December i rode commuter trains all over London and regular trains all over the UK and never was one really late (and rarely really on time) but it was on my way to Heathrow, on a train going into Charing Cross where i would hop the bus to Paddington and get the Heathrow Express to Heathrow that it first struck - the train ground to a halt and the driver came on the PA and said there was some kind of signalling problem ahead (a common occurence in UK trains) and that we may be sitting here for some time - some vague time period and i began to glance at my watch - 45 minutes later still glancing at my watch but more fertively, the train started to creep forward and i finally got to Heathrow in good order - but if i hadn't left very early i could have had problems. You may not only lose the flight money but once when i checked in at Gatwick an hour early they told me i had lost my seat assignment because i was late.
Another year going to Heathrow on the tube i was fine but the next day the whole tube system crashed down in a power failure stranding passengers up to hours - i was thinking that a day later and i may have been stuck.
So even in the city as much time to get to the airport as possible then relax there in the cafes and do shopping, etc.

StuDudley Apr 21st, 2006 10:38 AM

All of the dozen or so TGVs I've taken have been on time.

Personally, I have more confidence in getting to CDG on-time from Dijon/Lyon for an afternoon flight, than I have taking a taxi from &quot;downtown&quot; Paris mid/late-morning. If I leave Paris very early in the morning on a Sunday, I would not worry. Also, I would not worry if I stayed at an airport hotel - but that doesn't sound like much fun.

Like I said earlier, the only time transportation has been a problem for us (we spend 2 months in France most years), was in '00 when there was a strike by the truckers over gas prices. We picket up my FIL at the Bordeaux airport, and about 20 mins later the strikers completly shut down the road to/from the airport - we sat going nowhere for over 1 hr. I suspect that some people traveling to the airport missed their flight. The strikers also delayed the TGV from Bordeaux to Paris on that strike. It was a gasoline strike, where the truckers delivering gas to the stations did not deliver, and blocked a lot of raods also. The French knew about the strike (I think by law, they are required to say when they will strike) because everyone was filling up their cars with gas the day before and the morning of the strike.

On another travel forum, some American who has lived in Paris the past 20 years stated that he can't remember any strikes that occur when the Franch go on vacation - mid July through August. The gas strike we encountered started on Monday of the first week of September - just when the French vacation period is over.

Stu Dudley

Paucie Apr 21st, 2006 11:41 AM

Thanks for all of your responses. The flight we need to catch departs Paris on Tuesday, January 2nd.

I had considered coming back to spend the 1st in Paris, but I agree with the poster who said staying at an airport hotel doesn't sound like much fun. Plus, since it's New Year's Day, frankly, I was worried about being a bit too, er, wonky to want to travel!

The strikes certainly do cast some doubt on the plan to leave Lyon the same day as our flight, though.

Anyone care to suggest a good hotel for the night before we fly out?

MorganB Apr 21st, 2006 11:43 AM

The VAST majority of trains are on time. Much much more so than airplanes. Not only are they on time but the Lyon-Roissy CDG route is one that has serveral trains per day. I would do it in a heartbeat. I did it for Aix en Provence - CDG without a problem. I ride trains here ALL the time. There are strikes from time to time but I have never run into one. As the previous poster mentioned, the French dont strike during the summer.

MorganB Apr 21st, 2006 11:46 AM

Have you already purchased your plane tickets? Several airlines (Air France , American, Delta etc) code share with the SNCF. The train portion can be INCLUDED in your air fare. That way its all on one booking and in the extremely ultra unlikely event that the train is so late that you cant make your flight you would be put on the next one since its all on one booking.

Paucie Apr 21st, 2006 11:48 AM

Actually, yes, our plane tickets were a gift, so they have been purchased. I will certainly remember that for our next adventure, though!

MorganB Apr 23rd, 2006 12:37 PM

Wow a gift! How nice.

ahpen Apr 28th, 2006 12:35 AM

Interesting! I'm planning a trip for staying in Lyon from 6/6 and leaving for CDG by SNCF to catch my Cathay flight 14:00 on 6/10 for Hong Kong and on to Taiwan. Cathay does have code sharing w SNCF and so, I'll try just to book either 5054 or 5009 train.

My wife and I are not familiar with Lyon at all. We are Chinese and in our early 70's. We can speak English but not Franch. Anybody would help suggesting good hotel (budget $150/nite) accessible for good food and wine there or what would be the best website to search? Thanks!

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