Returning to Calais by train

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ericonabike
Posts: 332
Joined: 24 Apr 2008, 4:05pm

Returning to Calais by train

Postby ericonabike » 8 Jun 2012, 2:59pm

Youngest son and I [he's 24...] are off to St Malo via Portsmouth next Wednesday, arriving am Thursday. I had originally planned for us to travel up the coast to Calais, where we have the ferry booked [and more importantly the return rail tickets back to Leicester] the following Thursday. But given the forecast I'm now thinking of heading South from St Malo, across Brittany and down the Vendee, where we will hopefully get better weather! The return to Calais would be by train, but we'd only be able to travel on the regional services as no bike bags/boxes for TGVs. Any ideas how I can find what regional services exist from where to where? Trying to notionally book a ticket on SNCF from likely destination stations to Calais comes up with a mix of regional and TGV.
Motorists' mantra: Cyclists must obey the law and the Highway Code AT ALL TIMES. Unless their doing so would HOLD ME UP.

Bethune57
Posts: 1
Joined: 29 Jul 2011, 9:58pm

Re: Returning to Calais by train

Postby Bethune57 » 8 Jun 2012, 8:29pm

You do not need to pack bikes in boxes for the TGV, just reserve bike spaces on the desired train. You have to ring SNCF to reserve bike spaces (and book seats at the same time). Make sure your credit card company knows you will be making a foreign transaction because if it is refused the SNCF system does not allow you to try again for 24 hours. Of course if you already in France I imagine a railway ticket office may be able to reserve TGV bike spaces. For the other trains use the SNCF on-line timetable to check that bikes are allowed on your desired train. We travelled by TGV from St. Malo to St. Nazaire (via Le Mans) for the start of our Eurovelo 6. Enjoy your trip
Philip

johnb
Posts: 793
Joined: 28 Jun 2007, 8:05am

Re: Returning to Calais by train

Postby johnb » 8 Jun 2012, 11:19pm

Bethune57 wrote:You do not need to pack bikes in boxes for the TGV, just reserve bike spaces on the desired train.
Philip


Not entirely true. Some TGV trains on some routes accept unpacked bikes. Go to the SCNF website and check the train you with to take and on the details tab there is a bike symbol if that particular TGV takes bikes.
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ericonabike
Posts: 332
Joined: 24 Apr 2008, 4:05pm

Re: Returning to Calais by train

Postby ericonabike » 9 Jun 2012, 7:10pm

Cheers for that. Heartened to know that some TGVs will take unpacked bikes. Reluctant to book in advance as I want to remain flexible - hopefully a chat at the station the day before I want to travel will produce a TGV/TER package that will do the trick!
Motorists' mantra: Cyclists must obey the law and the Highway Code AT ALL TIMES. Unless their doing so would HOLD ME UP.

Barrenfluffit
Posts: 797
Joined: 20 Oct 2009, 5:31pm

Re: Returning to Calais by train

Postby Barrenfluffit » 11 Jun 2012, 10:16am

Like the uk there are two* different kinds of tickets; the standard / expensive ones and the demand priced ones. The latter generally are cheaper the further ahead you buy them. Also France's network is Paris centric and arriving in paris often means changing stations to connect. Sometimes its more practical to break the journey and resume the next day on an earlier set of trains.

Also the network is balkanised on line so local trains are on one website TGV's on another.

*ok more than two.