|TGV Trains in France|
|France's TGV (Trains à Grande Vitesse: High-Speed Trains) are your most comfortable connection among major cities in France. The alternative is usually a somewhat slower but cheaper Intercités train.|
Trains à Grande Vitesse (High-Speed Trains, pronounced TEH-zheh-VEH), operated by Voyages SNCF, zoom among France's major cities and connect with other European high-speed rail networks to speed you among Europe's great cities.
World's Fastest Trains
TGV is our preferred method of travel in France. The trains are comfortable, non-smoking, surprisingly quiet and admirably swift, regularly reaching speeds of 320 km/h (200 mph) at some points on some lines, and thus competing with flights in terms of door-to-door travel time.
Considered the fastest train system in the world, the TGV speed record, set in 2007, was 574.8 km/h (357.2 mph).
Why We Like TGV
— Departure and arrival are usually from the city center or nearby (closer than most airports are to city centers).
— All seats are reserved on TGV trains, both in 1st class and 2nd class.
— Weather is not as much a factor with trains as with planes.
— Security procedures are far less onerous for trains than for flights.
— Although there are supposedly baggage limits, they are only loosely enforced. If you can carry it, you can probably take it on board with you.
— Many TGV trains haul café cars providing drinks, snacks and light meals.
A number of TGV trains depart and arrive at Paris - Charles de Gaulle Airport's Aérogare 2, meaning that you can connect directly with high-speed trains right from or to your international flight, without having to use one of Paris's major train stations. More...
— If you don't buy your ticket well in advance, leave plenty of time to buy it at the station before your departure. You may have to wait in line, or there may be credit card problems, etc.
— Train stations in major French cities, especially Paris train stations, are huge, very busy, and can be confusing. You will need time just to find the ticket machines or ticket office, and to find your departure track/platform. Note also that TGV trains sometimes use special stations separate from the traditional stations.
— If you have bought your ticket at a train station, you must validate it (compostage) at a yellow machine before boarding the train. It is not possible to compost your ticket on the train, and if you fail to validate it before boarding you may be subject to a substantial fine. More...
— Each TGV car/wagon has baggage racks at both ends, but this space is limited and often fills completely with large items. It's good to board early so as to claim space for heavy suitcases. Small items can be stored in the overhead rack above your seat.
— At points of origin, TGV trains are available for boarding up to 20 minutes before scheduled departure time. You must be on board at least 5 minutes before departure, otherwise you may be denied boarding.
By TGV from Paris to: