Train travel is quite helpful when touring the Loire Valley, as there is one line that goes up and down the river. Be aware, though, that not all destinations are served by rail, so a quick cab or bus ride from the nearest station might be needed to complete your trip.
Tours and Angers are both served by the superfast TGV (Trains à Grande Vitesse) from Paris’s Gare Montparnasse, with a travel time of about 75 and 95 minutes, respectively. Loire Valley TGV trains from Charles-de-Gaulle Airport also go direct to Tours's suburban station in St-Pierre-des-Corps (just under 2 hrs) and to Angers (2 hrs 30 mins). Traditional express trains frequently depart from Paris’s Gare d'Austerlitz for Orléans (1 hr) and Blois (1 hr 25 mins).
The main rail line follows the Loire from Orléans to Angers (2 hrs 5 mins); there are trains every few hours to Blois, Tours, and Saumur, as well as multiple daily ones to Onzain (for Chaumont), Amboise, and Langeais. Branch lines run from Tours to Chenonceaux (30 mins), Azay-le-Rideau (30 mins), and Chinon (50 mins).
Ask the SNCF for the brochure Les Châteaux de la Loire en Train for more detailed information. Helpful train-schedule brochures are available at most stations.
Gare SNCF Angers. Pl. de la Gare, Angers, Pays de la Loire, 49000. 3635.
Gare SNCF Orléans. Av. de Paris, Orléans, Centre-Val de Loire, 45000. 3635.
Gare SNCF Tours. Pl. du Général Leclerc, Tours, Centre-Val de Loire, 37000. 3635.
SNCF. 3635; www.voyages-sncf.com.
TGV. 3635; www.sncf.com.