Train Tickets, France
Trains, TGV, This Article
TGV is the fast train of France. These trains can travel at 180 mph. Five of the eight Paris train stations serve TGV trains (Link to the stations and their destinations)
TGV Trains serve all of western Europe from Paris
TGV trains also run from London's Saint Pancras Station to Paris Gare du Norde.
( Paris, Brussels, and Lille)
A new line runs from London to Avignon with a stop in Lyon. (Summer season)
The best savings results when tickets are purchased three months in advance. Use these websites to buy tickets.
www.voyages-sncf.com en.voyages-sncf.com/en/ www.tgv-Europe.com
In the drop-down menu list your country of origin as Antarctica, otherwise the site might revert to Rail Europe and you may not get the lowest price. You might also not see all the trains offered. Rail Europe's prices might be on par with the SNCF site but will list in USD and might appear to be higher. Best to shop both sites.
(Note senior seats and low priced second class will sell out well in advance, three months ahead on popular routes, so book early if possible) (You can have tickets mailed to you or pick them up in the station with credit card or an eticket)
Shop Ahead To Save
Buy on the web or at the station three months in advance if possible for the best price. You can likely use American Express, Visa, Eurocard, Mastercard, and perhaps Paypal
Ticket availability is announced three months in advance and at that time first class might be only slightly higher than second class.
Buy on the web and print out your ticket or pick up your pre-purchased ticket in France with your credit card. (must be the same card with which you bought the tickets)
Train Station Ticket Sales
Buy tickets also in the train stations. Use automated machines with credit card. (credit card only in the machines for SNCF Trains)
Or use customer service ticket booths at the stations. (American Express, Visa, Eurocard, Mastercard, or Cash Euros) (Note that some machines will not accept US credit cards; the European cards use a chip system) (The newer machines do have a language menu)
TGV Trains Fill, Book Ahead
Second Class TGV Trains
Second class cars are comfortable and can result in savings. Luggage space, air conditioning, and bathrooms are available; seats are reserved.
All seating on TGV trains is assigned when you purchase your ticket
TGV trains provide space for hand luggage and will accept skiis in bags, bikes in bike travel bags, and some water sport equipment.
Luggage space is self serve at the front of the car for larger bags, in the middle for medium sized bags, and in the overhead for small bags. All luggage must be labeled with the owners name and address.
Bikes can travel on TGV if they are in a bike bag They travel as hand luggage.
Service From London
Trains run from London's St Pancras Station through the tunnel to Paris. A new service goes direct from St. Pancras to Avignon through Lyon. Round trips or one way available. (seasonal)
Food Service is available aboard TGV trains. The dining cars accept cash (Euros) or credit cards (for payments of €5 and over) (American Express)
TGV and Conventional Trains, Intercity Trains, RER Trains, Link, Paris Metro Link