train help, Paris to Provence

Old Jan 24th, 2007, 07:18 AM
  #1  
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train help, Paris to Provence

It seems that my arrival time at CDG doesn't allow me to catch the direct TGV to Aix (it would be verrry close). A later one will leave me in Marseilles for an hour or two's wait for the next connection. RailEurope doesn't seem to have timetables for regular slow trains, and I'm finding it frustrating to work around this limited TGV schedule. I don't plan to rent a car until later in the trip.
Would you suggest the TGV to Marseilles, a bus into Marseilles and a train or bus to Aix from there? Does anyone know how often local trains go from Marseilles to Aix?
Any advice is welcome - I'm chasing my tail at this point. Thanks, MsT
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Old Jan 24th, 2007, 07:46 AM
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It would be better to work with the France rail system than RailEurope.
www.sncf.com

The German one is even easier to tinker with, but I think you then need to find and buy your choice on SNCF.
http://reiseauskunft.bahn.de/bin/query.exe/en?
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Old Jan 24th, 2007, 09:22 AM
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Travelnut, thanks but sncf.com is possibly the worst web site I have ever visited. I have tried there several times and gotten an error message to the effect that there are too many connections in my route. Also, I think in my situation I could really use a good timetable that I can lay out in front of me with a map and do some planning. Entering the date, time, and specific destination for every possible trip should not be necessary - complete train schedules exist (though not at sncf.com far as I can tell).
Am I overplanning? Should I just get to Marseilles and wing it from there?
thanks, MsT
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Old Jan 24th, 2007, 09:39 AM
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<< TGV to Marseilles, a bus into Marseilles and a train or bus to Aix from there? Does anyone know how often local trains go from Marseilles to Aix?>>

The TGV comes into the Gare St Charles in Marseille - there's no need to take a bus into town after you arrive. Just take a look at the departures board for a train going to Aix. (sorry, I don't have the local train schedules handy - but you can find them on the sncf website).

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Old Jan 24th, 2007, 09:41 AM
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>Am I overplanning? Should I just get to Marseilles and wing it from there?

The TGV to Marseilles is reservation-only, you have to reserve your seat (preferably online) before.
The local trains and buses don't require any reservations, you buy a ticket and take the next one. No need to plan right now.
It is strange though - SNCF already has thrown out connections with 4 changes for me.
In any case, buy your TGV tickets at sncf website and local train/bus tickets locally.
Btw. the local train schedules (the way you want them, as PDF) are accessible via www.ter-sncf.com.

The train line from Marseilles to Aix is being upgraded with a ot of work. The trains are replaced by buses right now.

altamiro is offline  
Old Jan 24th, 2007, 10:31 AM
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Thanks for the suggestions. I tried ter-sncf.com and it won't accept my request (Nous sommes dans l'impossibilité de traiter votre demande).
I guess I'll reserve TGV seats and deal with the rest when I arrive.
Thanks again, MsT
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Old Jan 24th, 2007, 11:23 AM
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The winter timetable for Marseille-Aix can be downloaded as a pdf. Tiny URL wouldn't accept the URL (it seems to think it's spam), but you can get it by adding the following to the ter-sncf address (after com): /Paca/V2/carte_horaires/carteFlash.asp

This gives you an interactive map and a drop-down menu that includes 12 - Ligne Marseille - Aix-en-Provence - Meyrargues - Pertuis. Click on that and you'll get a link to the timetable.
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