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10 minute connection time in Bordeaux

Melbourne, Australia
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10 minute connection time in Bordeaux

We will be travelling from La Rochelle to Avignon on the 24th May 2013. Rail Europe says that the connection at Bordeaux arrives 8.37 and leaves 8.47. Will this be enough time for us to make the connection? Does anyone know what happens if we miss the connecting train? We will have luggage. We don't speak much French at all.

Sydney, Australia
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1. Re: 10 minute connection time in Bordeaux

Do not use RailEurope for information on trains. It does not operate any trains. It is just an agency that charges high fees and often does not list all the trains.

For the best prices, book direct with the train operator as far ahead as possible. Tickets go on sale 3 months before travel, and the cheapest tickets often sell out quickly. The discounted prices keep going up as the travel date gets closer.

You can get train times and costs, and make bookings, in English at www.tgv-europe.com/en but use Antarctic as the "Ticket collection country" in the first screen to avoid being transferred to RailEurope. For notes on online booking, see www.nickbooth.id.au/Tips/FrenchTrain.htm

Ten minutes is enough time to change trains if the first train is on time.

You don't need to be able to speak French. Train stations have departure screens, similar to those at airports. These show the departure time, the train number (on your ticket for all fast trains), the final destination (which may be beyond where you are going to), and the platform (quai) that will be used.

Melbourne, Australia
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2. Re: 10 minute connection time in Bordeaux

Generally 10 minutes is enough time to change platforms at Bordeaux St Jean, as there are only a few platforms and you can go via either stairs down and a tunnel under the platforms, or a ramp at the end of the platform if your bags are really heavy. We've had trains with six minute connections, which is tight, but achievable. You may not even have to change platforms for the connecitng train, so the first thing to do when you get out is check the overhead board for the correct connecting train (use the train # on your ticket) and the correct platform number or "VOIE". I presume you are taking a TGV from La Rochelle to Bordeaux, and then changing to a local TER line? If so, the TER trains are more likely to wait a couple of minutes for the TGV if it runs a little behind, in my experience, but the TGV rarely will wait for a local train.

Albufeira, Portugal
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3. Re: 10 minute connection time in Bordeaux

10 minutes at Bordeaux to change trains is only OK IF the first train is on time. Bordeaux is a very big and busy station and you do need to be on your toes. Be ready to get off the first train as soon as it stops, check the overhead screens for the patform of the next train and head for it, rapidly.

You will almost certainly need to use the tunnel under the platforms.

Trains from La Rochelle to Bordeaux are Intercites, not TGV.

If you do miss your connection because the first train is late and assuming you have one ticket all the way, they are obliged to re-ticket you for the next train. For that, you must go the customer service office on platform 1. You can't just jump on the next train!

Also, the Avignon TGV station is some miles outside the town. Better if you are heading for the centre to get a local TER train from Nimes to Avignon Centre. Otherwise you have to take a bus from Avignon TGV into the city itself.

4. Re: 10 minute connection time in Bordeaux

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