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Advice about train services (Paris CDG - SJPDP)

nfisher658

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, June/July 2014
Hi all,
I have been doing a bunch of research regarding getting a train to SJPDP from Paris CDG, and I was hoping someone here could shed some insight. I fly into Paris CDG on June 4th at 7:20am, and I am really hoping to get to SJPDP on the same day. The timetable on raileurope.com.au shows a TGV train from CDG to Bayonne at both 8:19am (arriving 2:39pm), and 10:16am (arriving 5:32pm). From there trains connect to SJPDP from Bayonne at 2:55pm (arriving 4:14pm), and 6:06pm (arriving 7:31pm).

Tickets are available now to buy online for all of these trains, so here's what I was thinking...

Since I land at 7:20am, if there happens to be any delay in the flight or getting through customs the 8:19am train may be a bit tight... Has anyone had this experience? I have been thinking it might be better to buy the 10:16am ticket and be pretty much guaranteed not to miss it, but it does mean a lot more sitting around.

The attractive thing about the 8:19am train at this point, is that it arrives in Bayonne at 2:39pm, from which there is a connecting train to SJPDP at 2:55pm.... 16 minutes to change trains? Is that even possible? Perhaps someone familiar with the Bayonne train station can shed some light.

If that is too tight, there is always the 6:06pm connecting train to SJPDP, but if I end up going for that option, I may as well SAFELY take the 10:16am train from CDG to Bayonne, as this arrives in Bayonne at 5:32pm, and still leaves 38 minutes to change trains.... Again, is this possible?

The 6:06pm train to SJPDP arrives at 7:31pm, I am assuming it will still be daylight at that time? It was last time I was in Spain anyway, haha!

And I suppose in the end the biggest question is, is it even worth pre-booking these train tickets? Some people have told me it is slightly more expensive, but at the moment my thought process tends to lean towards planning and convenience, rather than saving a few dollars. Plus if I already have the tickets rather than buying them at the stations, it should help save a few minutes on those tight train changes.

I hope all this makes sense, I know these might sound like the ramblings of a mad man, but any help given is greatly appreciated!

Cheers, Neil.
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
it arrives in Bayonne at 2:39pm, from which there is a connecting train to SJPDP at 2:55pm.... 16 minutes to change trains?
That connection is easy.
 

mspath

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
Neil,

Falcon is right the connection is easy. Read what I recently posted about the Bayonne connection and rr station here.

By the way unused TER line 62 tickets from Bayonne to SJPdP are good for 2 months following the date and time printed on the ticket. If you miss one take the next.

Bon voyage,

Margaret Meredith
 

indyinmaine

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances - SJPdP to Santiago - Sept/Oct 2013
I've been through CDG many times. If your plane is "scheduled" to arrive at 7:20 there's no way, short of a miracle that you'll make it through customs and get to the TGV station in 50 minutes from touchdown. You most probably will come into Terminal 1 and then have to take the navette to the TGV station in Terminal 2. I'd plan on the 10:19 train or consider hopping a bus to Orly and fly to Biarritz. There's a plane at 11:00 and another at 1:30. The transfer time in the morning is probably going to be at least 70-80 minutes. Relax and have breakfast and take the 1:30 plane.
Buen Camino
 
W

whariwharangi

Guest
0720 arrival at Paris makes it barely possible to catch the 0819. In my experience planes almost never arrive on time. Even when they do 'arrive' on time often they define touching the runway as 'arriving'. So 0720 to 0819 is possible but very tight. You likely won't make it if you don't already have a ticket and reservation. Si yo fuera tu ... I'd plan on the 1016 departure. If you get there early you can try and change reservations from the 1016 to the 0819.

Regarding Bayonne:

The station at Bayonne has 3 or 4 platforms connected by subway tunnel.

Your train will arrive and you will dismembark. Then you will walk to the platform from which your train leaves. This should take a minute or two.

Anecdotal information has it the train to SJPdP will wait if the train from Paris/Bordeaux is late.

The only issue is tickets. There are vending machines so if you haven't already purchased a ticket it is easy to walk into the station and buy one.

Gare Bayonne
http://www.gares-en-mouvement.com/fr/frxby/accueil/

Gare Bayonne by Wikipedia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gare_de_Bayonne

Anything to reduce stress while travelling is a good idea ... so planning and convenience are worth a few extra bucks if it makes the journey easier.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 to 2018
Hi all,
I have been doing a bunch of research regarding getting a train to SJPDP from Paris CDG, and I was hoping someone here could shed some insight. I fly into Paris CDG on June 4th at 7:20am, and I am really hoping to get to SJPDP on the same day. The timetable on raileurope.com.au shows a TGV train from CDG to Bayonne at both 8:19am (arriving 2:39pm), and 10:16am (arriving 5:32pm). From there trains connect to SJPDP from Bayonne at 2:55pm (arriving 4:14pm), and 6:06pm (arriving 7:31pm).

Tickets are available now to buy online for all of these trains, so here's what I was thinking...

Since I land at 7:20am, if there happens to be any delay in the flight or getting through customs the 8:19am train may be a bit tight... Has anyone had this experience? I have been thinking it might be better to buy the 10:16am ticket and be pretty much guaranteed not to miss it, but it does mean a lot more sitting around.

The attractive thing about the 8:19am train at this point, is that it arrives in Bayonne at 2:39pm, from which there is a connecting train to SJPDP at 2:55pm.... 16 minutes to change trains? Is that even possible? Perhaps someone familiar with the Bayonne train station can shed some light.

If that is too tight, there is always the 6:06pm connecting train to SJPDP, but if I end up going for that option, I may as well SAFELY take the 10:16am train from CDG to Bayonne, as this arrives in Bayonne at 5:32pm, and still leaves 38 minutes to change trains.... Again, is this possible?

The 6:06pm train to SJPDP arrives at 7:31pm, I am assuming it will still be daylight at that time? It was last time I was in Spain anyway, haha!

And I suppose in the end the biggest question is, is it even worth pre-booking these train tickets? Some people have told me it is slightly more expensive, but at the moment my thought process tends to lean towards planning and convenience, rather than saving a few dollars. Plus if I already have the tickets rather than buying them at the stations, it should help save a few minutes on those tight train changes.

I hope all this makes sense, I know these might sound like the ramblings of a mad man, but any help given is greatly appreciated!

Cheers, Neil.[/quote

Neil: I arrive CDG at about 0700 on 25 April. I will take the, every-30-minute "Les Cars Air France" coach / bus to Gare Montparnasse (Line 4). The ride from the airport to the train station is about an hour and 15-minutes.

Having done this transfer several times, I reasonable believe that I will be at the baggage belt waiting for my rucksack about 0800-0830. Catching the next coach, puts me at Gare Montparnasse about 0900 - 1000.

My TGV train departs Paris at 1235 and is scheduled to arrive at Bayonne at 1732. The two hours or more at the huge Parisian station gives me time to buy lunch for the train as well as an extra sandwich for "dinner" as it is typically too late for me to eat by the time I arrive at St. Jean Pied de Port. There are also pharmacies and other shops in the station or immediate area outside the station for last minute needs.

The last train for St. JeanPied de Port departs Bayonne at 1806. You should know that they commonly hold the small train from Bayonne for the arrival of the TGV from Paris as they KNOW there are a tranche of people on it destined for St. Jean.

I have researched many alternative ways to get from Paris - CDG to St. Jean by land, rail and air, including via Biaaritz and Bilbao. However, I have discovered the more direct way I describe to be the least stressful over the years.

I hope this helps.
 
Last edited:

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 to 2018
I screwed up somewhere, and my earlier reply got subsumed into Neil's post. Here is my earlier contribution:

Neil: I arrive CDG at about 0700 on 25 April. I will take the every-30-minute "Les Cars Air France" coach / bus to Gare Montparnasse (Line 4). The ride from the airport to the train station is about an hour and 15-minutes.

Having done this transfer several times, I reasonably believe that I will be at the baggage belt waiting for my rucksack about 0800-0830. Catching the next AF coach, puts me at Gare Montparnasse about 0900 - 1000.

My TGV train departs Paris at 1235 and is scheduled to arrive at Bayonne at 1732. The two hours or more at the huge Parisian station gives me time to buy lunch for the train as well as an extra sandwich for "dinner" as it is typically too late for me to eat by the time I arrive at St. Jean Pied de Port. Buying food on the train is expensive. There are also pharmacies and other shops in the station or immediate area outside the station for last minute needs.

The last train of the day for St. JeanPied de Port departs Bayonne at 1806. You should know that they commonly hold the small train from Bayonne for the arrival of the TGV from Paris as they KNOW there are a tranche of people on it destined for St. Jean.

I have researched many alternative ways to get from Paris - CDG to St. Jean by land, rail and air, including via Biaaritz and Bilbao. However, I have discovered the more direct way I describe to be the least stressful over the years.

I hope this helps.
 

nfisher658

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, June/July 2014
Thankyou all for your kind advice, it has certainly given me more to think about.

II arrive CDG at about 0700 on 25 April. I will take the every-30-minute "Les Cars Air France" coach / bus to Gare Montparnasse (Line 4). The ride from the airport to the train station is about an hour and 15-minutes.
This is interesting, I've checked prices for a train ticket from gare Montparnasse to SJPDP (at the moment there is a last minute deal), and even when combined with the Les Cars Air France coach ticket, it is almost half the cost of a ticket from CDG to SJPDP, and in the end I would be on the arriving at my destination on the same train anyway. I'm not really bothered by the cost of the ticket, but I guess the upside of this method is that it would be handy to be able to buy food and supplies before getting on the train... Do you happen to recall where the coach picks up from? The information I found is as follows:



Les Cars Air France stops:
Gare Montparnasse: Rue du commandant Mouchotte, "Gare Montparnasse" metro station

Paris-Charles de Gaulle:
Terminals served:Terminal 2A-2C: Exit C2
Terminal 2B-2D: Exit B1
Terminal 2E-2F: Exit E8 or F9
Terminal 2G: this terminal is linked to Terminal 2F (Entrance 2.10) by the free N2 shuttle bus.
Terminal 3: get off at Terminal 1 and take the free CDGVAL shuttle train to the Terminal 3 stop.

Service frequency: 30 minutes



I'm guessing by reading this that the coach picks up at the terminal exits listed here? Are the pickups right at the door? Sorry for all the questions, I know I can ask at airport info on the day easily enough, I'm just trying to get my head around my travel arrangements to be as prepared as possible.

Thanks again!
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 to 2018
Thankyou all for your kind advice, it has certainly given me more to think about.



This is interesting, I've checked prices for a train ticket from gare Montparnasse to SJPDP (at the moment there is a last minute deal), and even when combined with the Les Cars Air France coach ticket, it is almost half the cost of a ticket from CDG to SJPDP, and in the end I would be on the arriving at my destination on the same train anyway. I'm not really bothered by the cost of the ticket, but I guess the upside of this method is that it would be handy to be able to buy food and supplies before getting on the train... Do you happen to recall where the coach picks up from? The information I found is as follows:

Les Cars Air France stops:
Gare Montparnasse: Rue du commandant Mouchotte, "Gare Montparnasse" metro station

Paris-Charles de Gaulle:
Terminals served:Terminal 2A-2C: Exit C2
Terminal 2B-2D: Exit B1
Terminal 2E-2F: Exit E8 or F9
Terminal 2G: this terminal is linked to Terminal 2F (Entrance 2.10) by the free N2 shuttle bus.
Terminal 3: get off at Terminal 1 and take the free CDGVAL shuttle train to the Terminal 3 stop.

Service frequency: 30 minutes


I'm guessing by reading this that the coach picks up at the terminal exits listed here? Are the pickups right at the door? Sorry for all the questions, I know I can ask at airport info on the day easily enough, I'm just trying to get my head around my travel arrangements to be as prepared as possible.

Thanks again!
If you go to this URL: http://www.aeroportsdeparis.fr/ADP/Resources/f5908941-c1a8-47fe-a508-b1e05797348c-aerolis_deplianttakeoneBD_Mars2013.pdf (Copy and paste the entire address into your browser address bar - and be patient - it takes a while to load.

You can download a pdf of the "Les Cars Air France brochure." Although it is in French, it is easy to intuit the meaning.

Basically, you want to find out which exit or "porte" from the baggage claim area the coach stops at for the terminal you arrive in. For example, I fly on United from Washington, D.C. to CDG. Like most of the U.S. carriers, I should land at Terminal 1 (T-1).

Typically, I exit the plane, process through passport control, wait for my checked bag(s) at the appropriate carousel, fetch my bag(s) and exit from the customs-controlled area through the green door - nothing to declare. Just beyond that point you will see the various exits (portes). They are all well-numbered. You want porte 32.

Checking the brochure, we see that the coach arrives about every 30 minutes at Porte 32 of T-1 (look at the diagram at the top of the panel for Line 4. Once you exit at Porte 32 (using our T-1 example) look for the signs at the curb almost directly ahead of you and a little to the right.

Be aware that the several Les Cars Air France coach lines (1,2,3,4) operate on the same circuit. Be sure to only wave down and get on the LINE 4 coach - as this is the one that goes to Gare Montparnasse.

The adult one-way fare (allez-simple) is Euro 17. The coach stops, the driver opens the side cargo panels. You toss your bags in. As you climb into the coach, you pay Euro 17 to the driver. Do have exact cash or at least a Euro 20 note to avoid problems. Get a receipt.

Once you get to Gare Montparnasse, you can lock your bag in a luggage locker while you shop or whatever. They have lockers large enough to handle a rucksack or duffle bag. Be sure to determine exactly which track your train leaves from and check for changes in track ("Voie") assignments.

I hope this helps.
 

Felipe

Veteran Member
Practicals: by train, you will need a metro/subway connection between CDG and Montparnasse; the nearer station being Denfert Rochereau. There are some *$! swinging door gates, apparently to avoid trespassing, that close in a way that your backpack may be jammed. I hug my backpack to pass, but it is a bit awkward.
Save carefully your ticket, you will need it for connections and also for leaving the station.
I always try to travel as locals do (meaning train) but I agree, the "zen" option is the shuttle to Montparnasse. I (reluctantly) tried it last time, and I felt (almost) as I were to take a room at the Crillon, and not in a cramped albergue....
When in Montparnasse (or every french "gare") don't forget to "compost" or validate your ticket before boarding. There are some little yellow devices, just do as the locals. Don't risk a fine.
The lovely (art nouveau) Bayonne station is simple and obvious; and yes, connecting trains tend to await for the previous one. I saw this in Hendaye.
Don' t forget to take a pic of the cute little train to SJPP
Buen camino!
 

nfisher658

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, June/July 2014
Thanks everyone for the advice, as always, it is greatly appreciated. So in the end I decided to take a shuttle from CDG to Montparnasse, then get the train from there to SJPDP. It pretty much halved the cost of my train ticket, so there's a win, and spending a couple of hours in Paris rather than an airport terminal is a bonus as well! Also I have booked my first nights accommodation at l'esprit du chemin, where I should arrive JUST in in time for dinner. My departure is in almost 7 weeks, its getting real now, I'm starting to get those excited but nervous feelings... And I have another question for you all :)

How much forward planning , if any, do most people do on the Camino? My whole plan at the moment is to fly to Paris, get a shuttle to Montparnasse, get the train to SJPDP and arrive at my first nights accommodation. Apart from that, the only "plan" I have is to be in London by the 15th of July for my flight home to Australia. I know getting up each day, walking as far as my feet will take me, and trying to find a bed for the night once I get there (all the while having a great time of course, haha) is kind of the whole point of the trip, but I was wondering if there are any stages of the Camino where anyone has benefitted from thinking even a couple of days ahead, or looks back and thinks perhaps some planning would have come in handy?
 
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP-SdeC: Oct 2011; SJPP-Leon, Oct 14; Tomar (PO)/SJPP Oct 15
Thanks everyone for the advice, as always, it is greatly appreciated. So in the end I decided to take a shuttle from CDG to Montparnasse, then get the train from there to SJPDP. It pretty much halved the cost of my train ticket, so there's a win, and spending a couple of hours in Paris rather than an airport terminal is a bonus as well! Also I have booked my first nights accommodation at l'esprit du chemin, where I should arrive JUST in in time for dinner. My departure is in almost 7 weeks, its getting real now, I'm starting to get those excited but nervous feelings... And I have another question for you all :)

How much forward planning , if any, do most people do on the Camino? My whole plan at the moment is to fly to Paris, get a shuttle to Montparnasse, get the train to SJPDP and arrive at my first nights accommodation. Apart from that, the only "plan" I have is to be in London by the 15th of July for my flight home to Australia. I know getting up each day, walking as far as my feet will take me, and trying to find a bed for the night once I get there (all the while having a great time of course, haha) is kind of the whole point of the trip, but I was wondering if there are any stages of the Camino where anyone has benefitted from thinking even a couple of days ahead, or looks back and thinks perhaps some planning would have come in handy?


Hope it works for you - when I did the train journey from London, I got to Paris ok and so got on the fast train to Biarittz but we were made to get off at Bordeaux (some technical problem on the line) so we were bussed to Biarritz. Eventually got to Bayonne station for last train to find it had been cancelled so again we were bussed instead. I did make it that night to SJPP & in the end not too late to get something to eat so all was well. However there are so many connections on your journey my advice would be to make sure you have plenty of time between connections and secondly always have a plan B. You could always walk! Buen viaje. Richeyboy
 

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