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CDG to Paris Montparnasse to Bergerac by Train

Atlanta, Georgia
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CDG to Paris Montparnasse to Bergerac by Train

We will be traveling with a 4 yr old and 8 mth old (2 suitcases, 2 carseats and stroller), and trying to understand the best option to get to the Bergerac area and how tough it will be.

1) how long does it take from landing at CDG to get through customs and transfer to Montparnasse station? (if we land at 8:20, can we make a 10:10 train)?

2) We can take the train to Bergerac from Paris through Bordeaux or Liborne - Libourne saves 30+ minutes (every minute counts after overnight flight with small children). However, there is only 5 minutes to transfer in Libourne and if we miss the transfer, it appears we need to wait 6 hours until next train to Libourne. How do i know if it's on the same track, and are trains typically on time? the bordeaux route is longer, but there's 20 minutes to transfer and more options. i assume tickets are not transferable if we buy one vs the other route.

3) we could rent a car in Libourne instead - i think it is a one hour drive to Bergerac per google maps.

Thanks!

Ohio, USA
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1. Re: CDG to Paris Montparnasse to Bergerac by Train

1) You don't have a prayer of making a train at Montparnasse less than 2 hours after you arrive at CDG even without two kids and all their stuff.

2) Given the answer to Q1 I would assume the 5 minute connection in Libourne is a moot point. If it is not, no, you would never make the connection with all that gear and the kids. The chances of making it if you were travelling solo with one suitcase would be slim.

3) I wouldn't recommend that you drive at all after a high stress overnight flight, a difficult transfer to Montparnasse then a 3 hour plus train trip to Libourne. Just not wise IMO...

My suggestion would be that you spend a night in Paris giving yourselves time to relax and recover from the long flight and then head to Bergerac by the least stressful route the following day.

Edited: 08 December 2010, 19:21
Tampa, Florida
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2. Re: CDG to Paris Montparnasse to Bergerac by Train

Everything he said.

Bergerac is a long haul, by any means of transportation. I heartily second the suggestion of getting a hotel and getting some rest and some semblance of adjustment for jet lag before you even think of making that long a trip with two very young children.

Albufeira, Portugal
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3. Re: CDG to Paris Montparnasse to Bergerac by Train

I will third that. There is only the remotest chance of getting from CDG arrivals to Gare Monteparnasse inside of two hours without going into panic mode and then what if you miss the train? You would have the hassle of getting your tickets changed for the next one while dealing with the children.

The trains are mostly on time - your flight is more likely to be delayed. (Although a few years ago I was on a Paris - Bordeaux train that broke down completely, delaying us by 3 hours. The railway organised transport for anyone, myself included, whose last connecting train would have been missed.)

The connections to Bergerac are mostly designed to made in Libourne, not Bordeaux - the trains stopping at Libourne continue to Bordeaux. The trains to Bergerac start from Bordeaux and stop in Libourne on their way there.

Going to Bordeaux may be an option in view of the long gap between trains from Paris to Libourne.

Starting next week, suitable connections Paris > Bergerac are listed as:

1050 leaving Paris Montparnaasse via Libourne arriving at 1448 and

1210 via Bordeaux arriving at 1719

The 1050 from Montparnasse is do-able if the flight into CDG is on time, but fingernail biting is still a possibility.

If I were doing that journey and needed to be in Bergerac the same day, I would aim for the 1210 train despite the annoyance of speeding through Libourne and having to back track half an hour.

And finally, be warned that owing to modernisation works on the Bergerac line some trains are replaced by buses (at slightly different times) for the on certain days right through the winter and spring of 2011. Check timetables carefully for the exact date you will be travelling.

Edited: 09 December 2010, 08:40
Ohio, USA
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4. Re: CDG to Paris Montparnasse to Bergerac by Train

it occurs to me you could get to Bordeaux almost as easily as you could get to Montparnasse by simply booking a connecting flight from CDG, travelling ATL-BOD via CDG. If you are flying home from Paris or somewhere else simply book your trans-Atlantic flight as an "open jaw" ticket.

I still think with two small children I'd probably be ready for something other than another plane or a train by the time I got to Paris — and they probably would be too...

Atlanta, Georgia
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5. Re: CDG to Paris Montparnasse to Bergerac by Train

Thank you all. If we end up going to the Bergerac area vs Brive, i think we'll just rent a car in Libourne and drive as it seems easier than transferring to a second train, THEN picking up a rental car in Bergerac (potential house is 15 min from Bergerac).

I had been thinking of powering through so that we didn't have to check into an extra hotel in paris, but valid points on travel with 2 kids (2 suitcases, 2 carseats and a stroller!) and considering spending a night there. if we have to get down to the city anyway, maybe we can find a hotel near the train station so that it's easy the next day and have more options on train times. we already have out plane tickets (managed to get lower mileage frequent flyer tickets, so had to take advantage given those are rare).

After researching Dordogne, and a little of Provence, and many many houses, I think we're getting close!

Melbourne, Australia
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6. Re: CDG to Paris Montparnasse to Bergerac by Train

What time of year are you planning to travel? Quite often there are TGV trains departing direct from CDG to Libourne or Bordeaux, then you change for Bergerac. It's just a matter of changing terminals at CDG & getting on board. Much easier than struggling thru peakhour Metro to Montparnasse. Arriving after 8am in CDG usually means more crowds so allow a good 2 hrs to collect bags, get thru Customs etc & change to TGV platform. Once you're on the train its quite relaxing. Buy your journey food at the terminal before you board though. At Libourne the trains are at adjoining platforms, so while 5 mins seems tight, it can be done - most people are in the same boat as you, struggling with gear and the TER trains tend to let everyone get on board. At Bergerac, all car rental depots are virtually opposite the train station. Renting a car at Libourne is also an option - much quieter than Bordeaux - but it will take at least an hour to drive to Bergerac (train takes abt 45mins). You can then nominate a Bergerac car return when you leave. It is a marathon, but having travelled with twin toddlers, it's sometimes just as exhausting to stop a night & do the unpacking/repacking etc in 24 hrs, rather than just pushing on!

Albufeira, Portugal
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7. Re: CDG to Paris Montparnasse to Bergerac by Train

I did take a look at the direct trains CDG - Libourne/Bordeaux. There's one at 0912 (too tight) and the next isn't until 1337 and CDG airport/station is too horrible a place to wait for 4/5 hours IMHO!

But yes heading into Paris around 9am is going to be busy.

Melbourne, Australia
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8. Re: CDG to Paris Montparnasse to Bergerac by Train

Yes, if that's the best train time from CDG there is no way they''ll make it after an 8.20am arrival. Maybe IrishRovr's earlier suggestion is better - fly from Paris to Bordeaux and then drive or train from there the next day. Bordeaux is at least a little less chaotic than Paris! And still very beautiful for an o'nite stop.

9. Re: CDG to Paris Montparnasse to Bergerac by Train

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