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train stations

Old Jul 3rd, 2007, 10:51 AM
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train stations

Need help, please. What is the best way to get from Paris Gare St Lazare to Gare du Nord? We are arriving from Vernon to the first station and then need to go to the 2nd to travel to Bruge, Belguim.

Next question, when we arrive in Brussels where do we get the next train to go to Bruge? Will it always be from the same track?

thanks for your help
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Old Jul 3rd, 2007, 11:32 AM
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I recently went from Gare du Nord to St Lazare via RER E 1 - from St Lazare mainline station (Grandes Lignes) top floor you go down some stairs (no lifts yet but station is undergoing renovation) and follow signs for RER E - this passageway leads you to the Haussmann-St Lazare RER E station - deep down in the ground (lifts and escalators for this plunge) - get off at first stop Magenta, from where there is a short passageway to Gare du Nord - following Grandes Lignes signs so you end up in the mainline part of Gare du Nord and not the underground RER or suburban train station. (Also just follow any Thalys or Eurostar signs which lead you to the mainline station)

Two ways to Bruges - cheapest is to take TGV train Gare du Nord to Lille and then transfer to trains to Bruges - 3.5 hours about or

Thalys train Paris Nord to Brussels Midi then local train to Bruges - thalys can be cheap or very expensive - Byzantine pricing structure - walk up fares very steep. www.thalys.com or www.voyages-sncf.com for cheapest tickets which often sell out far in advance - look for SMILYS fare if available which though is round trip is cheaper than any one way.

TGV Lille route (both routes take about 3.5 hours) is more uniformly priced so would be perhaps much less expensive on a walk up basis. but also go to www.voages-sncf.com for online PREM fares on this route - but normal fare on this route isn't bad.

I'd take the Lille route.

And in Brussels no it would unlikely in fact impossible for the Bruges train to be on the same platform as Thalys trains, like Eurostar, have a separate portion of Brussels Midi they serve.

Lille the change would be a bit easier as it's a slightly smaller station.

Not sure of your question - trains to Bruges will usually leave from the same track - meaning say platform 6 always but not from the same platform the Thalys comes in at i think
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Old Jul 3rd, 2007, 11:42 AM
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You'll have to learn how to read the signboards in train stations, to be sure you know where trains are departing from. They have the information posted, usually one large automatic signboard that changes constantly (with the trains, destination point and track number) which you should find somewhere in the main part of the station. You should also see changing electronic signs right on the quays, probably, in most stations, and they will list the next train to depart from a certain track.
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Old Jul 4th, 2007, 05:04 AM
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thank you both for your info...I hadn't thought about going through Lille..I will check into it...and thank you for the RER info and the track info in Brussels. I was pretty sure we would have to go to a different area of the station to get a local train to Bruge, just wondering if it was always the same place or if they change the track numbers each day.

Thanks again.
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Old Jul 5th, 2007, 07:00 AM
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If you book a Thalys train to Brussels then ask about the ABS All Belgian Stations fare which you can often add on for a few euros and be able to take trains to and from Bruges - any train in a 48 hour period before and after your Thalys train. But this fare i believe is generally only available on higher priced tickets so the Lille route may still be the cheapest.
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