Tandem Club Discussion Board
Trains in France
Posted By: Roy Bradshaw
Date: 15 June 2009
This message appeared on our CTC Right to Ride message board. I thought it might be of interest to members althought as Simon, the author, say, he isn't sure how it would relate to tandems.
I know this is the time of year when I get asked questions about bikes on trains in France so I hope this info is of use. We travelled St Malo to Nantes (on a bank holiday) cycled to the Perigord and came back from Perigeux to London via Corail & Eurostar.
Can confirm that the Eurostar service is working well - you do have to present yourself promptly at the Carreau baggage service at the far north end of the western side of the gare du nord though as the staff may not be aware that there are bikes on board your train, also if you drop off your bikes early they may be on the train before yours.
French TER services are now very bike-friendly with new trains - hooks for six bikes, but on most trains you can just park your bikes in the space available (St Malo was an exception in our case, with 5 bikes on the train to Rennes) Corail trains have plenty of bike space - reservations are possible but not required, and SNCF staff will neither help nor hinder as you stagger up the steep steps on to the train with your heavily laden tourer.(Hint: take bags off, load bikes, then load bags) TGV's remain impenetrable unless you have a bike bag, a folder in a bag, or use the obtuse registration system.
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