French rail queries

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Techniquest

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Alrighty then, time I got these irritating questions asked I think...All to do with France and rail travel.

Query #1: TGVs from Poiters to Paris, which route would an early afternoon TGV into central Paris take? Only thing I recall about this trip was it was very fast, I fell in love with the TGVs on this occasion, as we had some seriously lush seats (I think we may have ended up in First Class somehow, not sure anymore!) and we stopped hardly anywhere if at all! This is how UK express rail travel should be!

Looking at my rail map of Europe (I've finally found a need for it, after having it for circa 2 years!), I can find Poiters (which is somewhere near the South West of France) and a black line leading towards Paris. No problem, then there's the black line continuing onwards, with a red line leading off not long after Poiters. Would it be this red line my service would have taken? That is my query.

Query #2: Eurostar's website's route map shows that the 373 I will be travelling on in July will, thankfully, not go anywhere near Paris, nice and direct to Disneyland Paris. From Calais and Lille, I'm unsure which route this 373 will take. Any ideas on this one lads and lasses?

Query #3: Food and drink on-board 373s, anyone know if they sell anything decent to eat on here a la Travelling Chef-kind of thing? Or am I better off making sandwiches to take with me?

Query #4: During this trip, we plan to hit Paris for a bit to do a bit of sightseeing and, naturally, the Eiffel Tower. My query is this; Are there any fast direct services to Paris from Disneyland Paris we can purchase on the day for this? Rough prices, routing information and changes, as well as rolling stock information will all be welcome information. Of course, rough ideas on frequencies would be cool (we're looking at going on a Monday morning, returning lunchtime/early afternoon).

Query #5: Food and drink provision on local French trains and/or TGVs, and at stations. Any ideas on this one guys?

Query #6: Route maps and other stuff relating to the Metro, RER and SNCF services. Anyone got a (useful) link to this sort of thing, or know anything about it?

Thanks in advance for any and all help with this lot. Quite a few queries, but I would much rather know this in advance.

I look forward to your replies,
WSXFan
 
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Met Driver

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WSXFan said:
Query #2: Eurostar's website's route map shows that the 373 I will be travelling on in July will, thankfully, not go anywhere near Paris, nice and direct to Disneyland Paris. From Calais and Lille, I'm unsure which route this 373 will take. Any ideas on this one lads and lasses?

Services to Disneyland and the South take the same route as Paris services as far as a junction located a few miles from the Paris end of the LGV Nord. Disneyland services branch left with Paris services going straight on.

WSXFan said:
Query #4: During this trip, we plan to hit Paris for a bit to do a bit of sightseeing and, naturally, the Eiffel Tower. My query is this; Are there any fast direct services to Paris from Disneyland Paris we can purchase on the day for this? Rough prices, routing information and changes, as well as rolling stock information will all be welcome information. Of course, rough ideas on frequencies would be cool (we're looking at going on a Monday morning, returning lunchtime/early afternoon).

Disneyland is served by the RER. I guess you could say it's the Paris equivalent of the Strathclyde Electrics. You can of course purchase tickets on the day of travel and the services are, from what I can remember, fairly frequent. The trains are modern double-deck EMUs IIRC.

WSXFan said:
Query #6: Route maps and other stuff relating to the Metro, RER and SNCF services. Anyone got a (useful) link to this sort of thing, or know anything about it?

The RATP site has most of the info you need (including RER/Metro maps).
 

ChrisCooper

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1) From Poitiers you'd have first used a section of upgraded "Classic" line before joining the "LGV Atlantique" to Paris with this route you' have run on the high speed line almost right into Paris, going back onto Classic lines just before Paris Gare Montparnasse. You'd have travelled on a TGV Altantique built in the last 1980s.

2) A Eurostar to Disneyland Paris will take the normal route via the Southern Region, CTRL-1, the Channel Tunnel, then onto the "LGV Nord" through Lille and on towards Paris. Before reaching Paris though, it will turn off and takes the "La Jonction" Paris avoiding line which links LGV Nord with the original LGV Sud-Est to Lyon and beyond. On this line is Marne le Vallee-Chessey, which serves Disneyland.

3) I presume you are travelling standard class? If so, I can't comment, since the only time I've been on the Eurostar it was first class (went with Hertfordshire Railtours so got quite a discount). I think there is a buffet service though similar to what you'd get on a UK Intercity service. First Class get a resteraunt service, with airline style meals (cooked off the train and microwaved before serving), aswell as plenty of alcohol.

4) I have no idea on this.

5) I don't know that much, but I think the provision is very similar to in the UK, with nothing on local trains, but some provision on longer distance trains, and buffets and resteraunts on "Classic Intercity" service, as far as station go, again, it's pretty much the same as the UK..

6) http://www.voyages-sncf.com is the official SNCF website. Not sure about the others.

Hope this helps, and hope you enjoy your trip.
 

Techniquest

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Nice one! That's very useful. I'll have to get my map updated tonight then. At least that's a bit less I need to cover in France when I (eventually) get to 'doing' European rail lines.
[EDIT]
Forgot to issue my final query for the time being earlier:

Query #7: SNCF-operated 373s, where might I find these? Are they fairly easily identifiable?

Also, will I be able to take any photos at Waterloo International? I'd like to do so as this will be my one chance to do so before the station closes when Eurostar moves to the north side of the city next year, so I will have some record of being there and a shot to show what the station looks like in years to come. Same query applies to the other end of the line at Disneyland and in Paris in general.

Any help here appreciated.
 

ChrisCooper

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When I visited Lille, I took quite a few photos at Waterloo International, Lille Europe (the TGV station) and Lille Flanders (the domestic station) and never had any problems. Since it was a Hertfordshire Rail Tours charter, there were quite a few others aswell. At Waterloo International, when going through the security areas there were clear signs showing no photography, but when outside of that area there was nothing to suggest a problem. We did get straight on the train on the way out though, and on arrival back the station was near deserted (I think we were the last arrival) and we went though boarder control and customs and all the way out without seeing any staff at all, and since I walked to the front to get a photo of the Powercar, most of the passengers had gone by then. We did have our passports checked before going into the departure lounge at Lille, and went though a security check (although on the way out I had to metal items in my bag that it detected leaing to them hand searching it, whereas we had no problems on the way back and went straight through). Basically, you should be fine in France as far as photos go, and there is plenty to photograph aswell. In the few hours in Lille we saw around 10 types of train, including electric and diesel push-pull trains with 70's stock and 60's locos, aswell as some very new EMUs and DMUs, and 3 types of TGV. It's rare to see that sort of variety in the UK.
 

Techniquest

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OK, sounds cool. I've e-mailed Eurostar for permission/permits to take just a couple of photos of the Eurostars I will be travelling on at Waterloo International. SNCF I haven't contacted yet, I'll try to do that later.

Oh yes, and something that's been irritating me for ages, having not got an answer for it myself, I hope someone else knows an answer to it:

Going from Lille when I last visited France, where we had to alight the TGV to my mass dissappointment, we changed for a local DMU/EMU (probably the latter, I don't remember diesel noise) to Calais' port. It was certainly a slow journey, the route we took was more of a way round than I expected. Any one know which route this might have been?
 
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