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Lexma90 Jul 24th, 2001 07:29 AM

Travel Time to Montparnasse Train Station
We're arriving at Charles de Gaulle at 7:40 am on a Friday, and need to get to Montparnasse to catch the TGV. We're checking our bags through, and planning to take a cab. We need to buy tickets and make train reservations. How much time should we allow? Our choices are a train leaving at 10:10 am and one leaving at 11:20. Let's say we make reservations for the 11:20, but arrive at the train station with plenty of time for the 10:10. Is it possible to switch or make new reservations for the earlier train? (The Rail Europe site says there are trains that leave directly from CDG, but the earliest one is at 11:40 or so, so we don't want that one.) Thanks

elvira Jul 24th, 2001 08:26 AM

I would reserve the 11:20; 2 1/2 hours is cutting it close (allow for flight delay, deboarding, getting luggage, getting through customs/immigration; Paris rush hour traffic). You CAN change your reservation if you arrive in time for the 10;10am (only hitch would be if no seat available). <BR> <BR>Personally, I hate rushing so much that I always allow way too much time, but my luck has always been lousy if I don't leave a whole lot of time (suitcase breaks open; customs decides it's my luggage that needs to be inspected; cab has a flat tire).

StCirq Jul 24th, 2001 08:27 AM

I take a lot of trains from the Gare Montparnasse, and I rarely have a problem making the 10:10 to Bordeaux when arriving at CDG around 7:30 a.m. If you allow an hour and a half, and take a taxi as opposed to the Air France bus, you'll be fine, assuming things are "fluide" on the périphérique. I don't normally make reservations, so I don't know what one does if one has them and wants to change to a different train.

xxx Jul 24th, 2001 09:09 AM

If the TGV leaves from CDG about 11:40, why don't you retrieve your bags and go through customs then relax at the airport (maybe have breakfast) before catching the TGV there instead of frenetically schlepping your bags and yourselves over to Montpanasse for a TGV that leaves at 10:10 or 11:20? Did I miss something?

Christina Jul 24th, 2001 09:18 AM

I also would just take the 11:40 from CDG instead of getting over to Montparnasse for an 11:20 (you could possibly make the other one, but I wouldn't count on it, my flights are usually late into CDG), and save the cab fare. I was just there and think there is some construction or something on the peripherique around that side of Paris -- not sure as I only took a cab FROM Montparnasse to CDG, not the other waqy, but I noticed huge backups on the other side of the road which did not look normal for a Sat. morning. Maybe there was an accident, I don't know.

StCirq Jul 24th, 2001 09:25 AM

There are more TGVs from Montparnasse than from CDG. Perhaps the 10:10 and 11:20 don't originate at CDG. But if they do, good point. I'd certainly stay at the airport and catch it there.

Roy Corbett Jul 24th, 2001 09:50 AM

My wife and myself face a similar situation.We were prepared to take one of the shuttle companies as we thought that a taxi would be very expensive from CDG-Montparnasse. Any approx. cost for a taxi? Thanks

Bob Brown Jul 24th, 2001 10:51 AM

You might make the 10:10 at Montparnasse. <BR>It depends on factors beyond your control. E.g. the plane is late; the traffic is tied up. <BR>I have trouble seeing the logic in rushing to Montparnasse to take a train when a train from CDG airport gets you to the same place. <BR>Where are you going? <BR>As for tickets, why don't you make the reservation before you leave? <BR>And don't do it through Rail Europe unless you enjoy paying considerably more than you need to. RE is often 25% to 50% more expensive for the same ticket. <BR>I'm curious, how do you check your bags through?? You can do that, from plane to train?? <BR>

greg Jul 24th, 2001 11:03 AM

Lexma90 originally mentioned TGV from Montparnasse, which seems to indicate TGV Atlantic. <BR> <BR>Now CDG web pages at: <BR> <BR>$$Affich?ReadForm&cle=X3003103131FA6B80238893C9ED4 125694C0061BBD3 <BR> <BR>says: <BR> <BR>TGV.The Paris-Lyon and Paris-Lille TGV lines go directly into terminal CDG2 in Roissy-Charles de Gaulle: <BR> <BR>Other pages "allude" to access to TGV ouest, but it sounds like "eventually" accessible to TGV ouest via a bus or RER. <BR> <BR>Perhaps the native posters here can clarify exactly which TGV is directly accessible at CDG.

StCirq Jul 24th, 2001 11:14 AM

Roy: <BR> <BR>A taxi will cost about 300F at that time of day. <BR> <BR>I do believe the only TGVs from Montparnasse are TGV Atlantique trains. I take the TGV to Bordeaux from Montparnasse, for example. However, by going to the Montparnasse station I have a choice of a TGV every hour or even more frequently, as opposed to considerably fewer choices from the station at CDG. Therefore, it's possible the poster does not have the option of staying at the airport. Also, unless the poster is flying into terminal 2 (where the airport train station is located), he or she will have to take the airport shuttle over to that terminal, at which point it is almost just as easy to get a taxi to Montparnasse.

Lexma90 Jul 24th, 2001 11:16 AM

We'd rather leave from Montparnasse just in case there are any problems - there are more trains leaving from there than CDG, which has only the 11:40 and the 13 something, whereas they leave almost every hour from Montparnasse. I'd rather be in Bordeaux than sitting at an airport, so I'm willing to schlep over to Montparnasse on the chance we can catch the 10:10, but take the 11:20 if we don't make the earlier one. Yes, the only TGVs that originate at CDG are the 11:40 something, the 13: something and maybe later than that. <BR> <BR>We'll definitely make the reservations & buy the tickets beforehand, with the thought that we'll change the reservations if we have to. Based on all of your responses, and our desire/need to reduce stress levels of 2 jet-lagged Americans, we'll make reservations on the 11:20, but change to the 10:10 if we make it on time. <BR> <BR>I don't have any idea how much the cab costs; I assumed it would be something I'd be willing to pay. Any input on the likely cab fare? <BR> <BR>I wish we could check our bags through on the train - I meant we're checking our bags on the plane from the States, so we'll need to take the time to pick them up once at CDG. <BR> <BR>Where is it that we can get tickets for cheaper than through Rail Europe? I thought you couldn't buy them directly from Rail Europe, that you have to go through a travel agent anyway. I'd love to know where we can buy them for 25% to 75% less.

Betty Jul 24th, 2001 02:31 PM

I imagine they are talking about buying your tickets here -

Christina Jul 24th, 2001 03:02 PM

well, I just took that cab ride and it was 280F on a Saturday morning, moderate traffic for that time of day, I thought--it took about a half hour. Don't know how much longer it could be during weekday rush hour. RailEurope is basically a for-profit travel agency; their whole purpose is to sell tickets to people, that's all, they are not a rail line. You can get tickets cheaper in France, the heavy discounts would be for advance purchase ones, I suppose, which are tricky on timing. I just bought a TGV ticket for about US$35 as I recall which cost about $80 on Raileurope with the service addon. that was an advance-purchase fare though, which involved booking it by internet just before I left the US and then picking it up at a French railstation within a week of that internet purchase date. The dates are tricky to do that--to get the J8 advance purchase SNCF fare (purchase a ticket 8-30 days before departure), you must pick up the ticket in France within 7 days of making the reservation and be sure to make the reservation at least 9 days or more before departure. I think it only works well if you want to pick up a ticket for a train ride later in your vacation, which I did. I reserved on the SNCF website but through the French pages.

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