by Chip (aka Mark) Graham on May 26, 2015

tgv-duplex1After a nice stay in Toulouse we headed for Montepellier via TGV, France’s high speed train.  The French do know how to do rail service and they do it very well.  Well, most of the time, any way!  We were waiting on our outbound train from Toulouse and suddenly an alarm sounded telling everyone to exit the station immediately.  Of course we did, along with all the other tourists – the natives all just stood where they were and waited for something to happen.  Nothing did and eventually everyone started wandering back inside even though the alarm was still sounding.  I think the clue was when everyone saw the police just shrugging and being unconcerned!  Other than that our train travel was flawless.  The train station in Toulouse is quite nice and has many shops/restaurants to keep you occupied while waiting for your train.

When considering train travel in France you do need to think about where you are going and how flexible you can be.  For most local travel you can just check the schedule, show up at the train station and buy a ticket.  But if you want the TGV or a first class ticket, you should book in advance.  When booking on TGV you will get your online receipt and seat assignment at booking which makes things quite easy. You can book all of your tickets via Rail Europe which is very easy to use.  If going any distance consider the TGV – it is quite nice – and consider buying a first class ticket. You will get better seats, and depending on the route better amenities.  More info is here: Comfort Class on trains in Europe.

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