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Traveling TO cdg FROM Paris

Old Feb 24th, 2016, 07:50 PM
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Traveling TO cdg FROM Paris

I have perused former posts but all seem to deal with getting INTO Paris from the airport. I am asking about leaving Paris TOWARD Roissy. I'm asking this because I did it wrong the last time. I was continuing north on the RER but upon seeing my suitcase an English speaker approached me and said,"You're on the wrong train for CDG, you were supposed to change trains."
I believe I had hopped on the RER at Gare du Nord, so I'm hoping one of you well-traveled Fodorites can help me distinguish where I am supposed to change trains, or WHICH train in particular I should catch at Gare du Nord,
Many thanks.
Sad to be leaving.
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Old Feb 24th, 2016, 08:29 PM
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You want RER B as you probably knew, but RER B splits off in different directions and not all RER B from Gard du Nord going in that direction go to CDG, but some do go directly from Gare du Nord without changing trains:

parisbytrain.com/rer-train-from-paris-to-roissy-charles-de-gaulle-cdg-airport/

Each train has a four letter "name" beyond just "RER B" - and if the name starts with E, it will go to CDG as described in the linked page above. The airport may also be listed for that train on the overhead monitors.
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Old Feb 24th, 2016, 09:09 PM
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Check on the screens that are along the platform.
If you see that the RER B is going towards CDG, you're on the good one.

From CDG to Roissy - about 40 min of RER - 10 €. Trains start around 5 am I think (took the 5 30 yesterday).
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Old Feb 24th, 2016, 10:14 PM
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The screens tell you where the train is going. Keep an eye on them, because they can change for technical reasons before a train pulls in the station.

I have never bothered to look at the four letter codes even though I have lived in Paris most of my life. I think they are useful for suburban commuters who take the trains from stations where the electronic signage might not be working.
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Old Feb 25th, 2016, 12:18 AM
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The 4 letter train identifiers change with each schedule change. Like most people, I never pay any attention to them.

The majority of the northbound RER B trains go to CDG but some go to Mitry Claye. There is a warning announcement on the train at Gare du Nord but it would be easy to miss if you are thinking about your flight home. Just be sure to check the ¨stations served¨ panels found a various points along the departure platforms. Only board the RER B going to CDG 1 and CDG 2.
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Old Feb 25th, 2016, 12:37 AM
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If memory serves, when you get on the train, the long signs on the train above the windows should also show which stations that particular train is going to...I think with the stations lit up.

If you are on the wrong train -- the one that goes to Mitry-Claye instead of Aeroport Charles de Gaulle -- your last chance to change will be Aulnay-sous-Bois, the sixth station after Nord. After that, the two trains' routes diverge.

See the example piece of the schedule:

http://www.sanderhome.com/RER-B-to-CDG-example.jpg

You get on at Nord (green) or before.

There are three RER B trains:

    --Express to CDG (red)
    --Local to CDG (red)
    --Local to Mitry-Claye (orange)

Your final chance to change is Aulnay-sous-Bois (blue)

Note on my example the CDG local leaves Aulnay-sous-Bois before the Mitry-Claye...but you just wait for the next one...only a 9 minute wait.

Hope this helps. (Things may be slightly different very, very early or late in the day.)

ssander
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Old Feb 25th, 2016, 01:47 AM
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The lights are not always functioning.
Now usually you also feel it is the right train when there are a lot of luggage on the train. Panurge can be ok from time to time.
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Old Feb 25th, 2016, 01:51 AM
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The old signs with the lights are being removed and replaced by video displays.
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Old Feb 25th, 2016, 04:30 AM
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I updated the iamge of the schedule to do a better job of showing what to do if you get on the wrong train.

Last chance to switch to the CDG local is, again, in blue at Aulnay-sous-Bois, but I have shown the later train to which you switch.

http://www.sanderhome.com/RER-B-to-CDG-example.jpg

ssander
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Old Feb 25th, 2016, 02:46 PM
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I've learned the hard way that there are two platforms, with separate stairs, for the RER at Gare du Nord. To go to the airport you want the platform on the left, which is to say the platform closer to the main-lines station.
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Old Feb 26th, 2016, 07:43 AM
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Very easy !
Keep an eye on the RER when it is coming into the station as the destination is posted on the front. It should read "Aeroport CDG" and nothing else ("La Plaine" or "Mitry")
Only problem is that destination may change en route due to operational problems. In such case, the driver will advise (in french) that the destination has changed. And you will have to get off usually at Aulnay to catch a train to CDG.
No worries, there will be always one soul to help bemused tourists and guide them to the right train
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Old Feb 26th, 2016, 08:12 AM
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Just read the screens and you'll be fine. It will clearly shows whether the train you'll take is going to CDG or not.
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