Monday, August 27, 2007

How to Get to Paris By Train


We went to Paris by train today. The ride takes 35-50 minutes (depending on the train station). You need to know where the train stations are, and what ticket to buy.

The Line

The destination in Paris is Gare De Lyon station. The first station is Thomery. 4 minutes later is Fontainebleau-Avon station. In 7 minutes you will be in Bois Le Roi. From there in 35 minutes you are in Paris (through Melun).
The way back is the pretty much the same.

If you choose to use Champagne Sur Seine station, you will need go through up to 6 stations until Melun, which takes about half an hour, then switch trains (which might take additional 10 minutes), and then go to Paris directly (28 more minutes) - Less convenient, but me less difficult to arrive to this station in the first place.

Train Stations

There are 4 train stations in the area. The main one is in Avon (closest to INSEAD). The problem with this train station is that there is no free parking, and not a lot of spaces. Leaving the car for the whole day is out of the question. If you only plan to pick someone up, it is the best option (it is 5 minutes from the school). There are several buses that come to the train station. Line D will take you from INSEAD (so you can leave your car there for free).

The second train station is Bois Le Roi, which is 10 minutes drive from INSEAD. This train station has several parking lots for free, and is very convenient. The problem is that unless you leave in Bois Le Roi it can take some driving time. But this train station was the one that we used. The ride from here takes 35 minutes.

The third train station is the one in Champagne Sur Seine (our village). This is the closest one to our home, and there are parking spaces for free (it is 10 minutes walk or so). The problem is that you will need to switch trains in Mulan. The line splits in Mulan – the main line goes through the other stations, so the trains that do pass through Champagne will not go all the way to Paris. The good thing is that the trains are really coordinated, and there is not long waiting in Mulan. The ride should take about an hour with the switch.

The last train station is in Thomery. This station is located in the middle of nowhere – Only the forest around it. There is a small parking lot for free. There is no-one in this deserted station, and you will have to buy the ticket in the machine (bring cash in coins) – knowledge in French is required. I will not recommend on using this station, unless you are comfortable with riding the train, and you know how to use the machine.

Funny story about Thomery station – when we wanted to leave the station, suddenly from out of nowhere came a bunch of police, ambulances, and fire cars, starting to unload equipment, and all of this without anyone but us in sight.

The Ticket and the Ride

A single two-ways ticket to Paris – Gare De Lyon station – cost 15.20 Euros. Order a ticket of 15.90 Euros and you get a free Metro pass for the entire day! This is really worthwhile. Don’t forget to write your name and the date on the ticket. Also stamp the ticket in a machine that is located on the deck.

The ride is not so comfortable, and the train is pretty old, but it’s a short ride.

From Gare De Lyon station runs Line 1 of the metro, which takes you through Champs D'elise to La Defance. (When you come back to the station go up 1 or two floors to the train station). There is tourist information in the station, where you can get a free map. You can ask around the station, people are mostly friendly and know English surprisingly well.


phathu said...

is that a veyron bugatti on the picture?

Yariv Hammer said...

I have no idea, but you should have seen what was going on near Athen Plaza. Any luxurious car you can think of...