Train/RER Tips

Nov 27th, 2006, 02:23 PM
  #21  
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On another note - in taking the train from Rouen to Paris - I think I understand that I need to look at the SNCF website for cost and times. Are there any benefits on first class v second class?

I understand from MorganB's guide that only PREMS can be printed at home. So any other service you have to get the ticket at the station? Are you reserving a specific departure or a window of departure (I wasn't clear on this one) and if it's specific and you miss it, lose out?
patandhank is offline  
Nov 27th, 2006, 02:25 PM
  #22  
 
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The Versailles-Chantiers RER station would be the closest to 1 rue des
Chantiers. The fastest way to get there from CDG would be to take the RER B to Chatelet-Les Halles, then Metro line 4 to Gare Montparnasse, then a SNCF train to Versailles-Chantiers. A slightly slower route with one less change would be to take the RER B to St-Michel Notre-Dame, and the RER C7 to Versailles-Chantiers. That line goes there directly, NOT in a great circle.
TimS is offline  
Nov 27th, 2006, 02:54 PM
  #23  
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Thanks TimS - I suspect we would opt for slower v another change.

Any thoughts on my other question?
patandhank is offline  
Nov 27th, 2006, 03:43 PM
  #24  
 
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According to the SNCF site, the 1st class fare is E28.40. For such a short trip I don't think paying the higher price is worth it. All you gain is a little wider seat and more leg room.

Depending upon the time of day, the SNCF site shows some trains for which reservations are recommended and others for which they aren't even possible. You can book a full price ticket online and choose the option of picking it up at any station. With or without a seat reservation, those tickets are fully refundable and exchangeable.
TimS is offline  
Nov 27th, 2006, 04:07 PM
  #25  
 
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>> A slightly slower route with one less change would be to take the RER B to St-Michel Notre-Dame, and the RER C7 to Versailles-Chantiers. That line goes there directly, NOT in a great circle. <<

It seems that I haven't been accurate enough, so OK, let's be even more clear :

There are 5 railway stations in Versailles.

Versailles Rive Gauche (Château de Versailles)
Versailles Rive Droite
Versailles Chantiers
Porchefontaine
Montreuil (yes, Montreuil, and nothing to do with the eastern suburb of Paris).

Let's give some history details :

Versailles Chantiers is one of the main stations on the Paris Montparnasse-Chartres-le Mans route. (It was rebuilt in 1937 following the electrification of the line, in a very nice 1930s style, by the way).

Versailles Rive Gauche was built as a small antenna on the main line. However, a brand new station in Paris, the Invalides station, was built in the early 1900s, in order to relief the Montparnasse station, heavily saturated. The junction with the Paris-Chartres was done in Chaville Rive Gauche, after the digging of a long tunnel into the Meudon hill (a fierce job).

Porchefontaine and Versailles Rive Gauche were then integrated into the "Invalides" network (along with electrification) in the early 1900s.

Versailles Rive Droite and Montreuil are two stations on the Paris Saint Lazare-Versailles line.

Now, TimS :

1/ Of all these five stations, Versailles Chantiers is the furthest from the palace. Versailles Rive Gauche is the closest. So it's not really interesting to give a journey ending in Versailles Chantiers, lest a journey that involves a transfer to Line 4 in Saint-Miche and the long, difficult walk between Montparnasse Bienvenüe on Line ' and the main platform of Gare Montparnasse. Have you ever experienced it, or are you just reading a map ? I ride it virtually every day, so I know firsthand what I'm taking about. (Besides, I've worked at SNCF, so I bite my bone on trains).

2/ The C7 trains are heading to Saint Quentin en Yvelines, they call at Versailles Chantiers - you're right. But if you read carefully the RER map, you will notice that there is a big southern loop on the C line. Yuck!

3/ This loop is served by trains doing ... Versailles Rive Gauche - Invalides - Austerlitz - Juvisy - Massy through the Strategic Great Belt - Versailles Chantiers. You may check if you like.

A (big) handful of years ago, those trains were limited to Versailles RG - Juvisy and return, the rest of the loop being on shuttle operation. No more the case.

4/ If I pointed out that our fellow tourist should board a WESTBOUND train, this was exactly to avoid him the plague of a 1hr15 trip in the southern suburbs, a trip that would end... in Versailles Chantiers, the furthest from the castle of the three main stations.

patandhank, following up to your question on 1st/2nd class :

Honestly, on such a short trip (Paris-Rouen), there's no difference.
"Corail" trains (regular, comfy coaches) run on the line (the express trains going to le Havre&calling at Rouen) but also higher density carriages, 2-decker ones, where the difference between 1st and 2nd vanishes. So spare your money and ride the 2nd class, which is by all means comfortable enough on mainline trains.


Other questions ?
superheterodyne is offline  
Nov 27th, 2006, 04:12 PM
  #26  
 
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Yuck (bis), I should read more carefully. I was silly to think that patandhank were heading to the Palace, and not the Hertz renting office ...

So TimS, I apologize for my undue burst of irritation (lots of which came anyway from the mistakes spread around the earlier posts)!

Yes, you're right, the best option is then to change in Saint)Michel and board a CÈ train to Saint Quentin en Yvelines (generally bearing the name SARA).

(f) !
superheterodyne is offline  
Nov 27th, 2006, 04:17 PM
  #27  
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Thanks TimS and Superheterodyne for your input. I think I'm a lot clearer now on the train/RER travel than I was when I started this post!
patandhank is offline  
Nov 27th, 2006, 04:36 PM
  #28  
 
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superheterodyne, after reading a series of posts on a particular thread, it's easy to miss a small detail (like the fact that patandhank wanted to know which station was closest to the Hertz office). I know that I've done it many times. No apology required.
TimS is offline  

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