Getting to Paris by Train
Societe Nationale des Chemins de Fer Franšais (SNCF)
is the national railway service. Paris has six major stations - the
Gare du Nord, rue Dunkerque, 10th, Gare St-Lazare place du Havre, 8th,
Gare de Lyon place Louis-Armand, 12th, Gare Montparnasse boulevard de
Vaugirard, 15th and Gare d'Austerlitz boulevard de l'Hopital, 13th.
Each has cafes, restaurants, tabacs, banks, bureaux de change,
ATMs and car hire on the premises or nearby. The Gare de Lyon and Gare
du Nord have tourist offices; the latter also has a left-luggage
service and Eurostar's executive lounge.
Rail services: The Gare du Nord is the French terminus of the international high-speed Eurostar (website: www.eurostar.com) train that runs from London Waterloo (journey time - 3 hours) and Brussels Bruxelles-Midi (journey time - 1 hour 30 minutes). Eurostar also runs from London Waterloo to Disneyland Paris (website: www.disneylandparis.com). Eurostar tickets may be purchased in the UK through the Eurostar Call Centre (tel: (0870) 518 6186) or Rail Europe (tel: (0870) 584 8848); booked from France (tel: (08) 3635 3539) and from Belgium (tel: (09) 001 0177).
Information on the French rail network is available for suburban lines (tel: (01) 4582 0841 or (01) 4052 7575; website: www.sncf.com). Reservations can be made in France (tel: (01) 5390 2020 (Ile-de-France) or (08) 3635 3535 (national)) or in the UK from Rail Europe (tel: (0990) 848 848).
Anglo-French Eurotunnel shuttle services allow drivers and passengers
of cars and coaches to cross the Channel Tunnel (journey time -
approximately 25 minutes) from Kent in Southern England to
Nord-Pas-de-Calais in Northern France. The tunnel is linked to the UK and French motorway networks (see the Road
section). The passenger terminal has shopping and catering facilities.
Tickets can be purchased on the day of travel at check-in or be
pre-booked at the Eurotunnel call centre (tel: (0990) 353 535).
Transport to the city: All of Paris' major train stations are directly linked to the metro network.