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Paris to Compiegne early Morning

Emerald...
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Paris to Compiegne early Morning

Hello,

I'm heading to Paris for a few weeks and we are travelling by SCNF train to Compiegne to collect a hire car - can anyone tell me how difficult it will be for two non French Speaking Aussies to find the right platform in Gare Du Nord at 8am?

How much time shall we allow for getting lost once we get to the rail station .. ooops I mean finding the right train?

We are not used to any public transport system let alone one in another language..

I have already purchased tickets, just need tips on how to get from taxi dop off point, through ticket swipe machine's ( Im guessing as it has a bar code type square on ticket) to the train itself.

The ticket is also in French, would it have a seat number of something, or do we sit anywhere?

Thanks for any help offered - this is about the only restricted time that I have on this holiday, aside from trying to find the port ferry in St Malo prior to 8am from Ponteson ( any tips on that one.. ), but everything else hinges on our ability to collect the car on time.. hence catching the train.

thanks again.

Chatham, United...
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1. Re: Paris to Compiegne early Morning

I'm not a regular train traveller in France, but I'm sure some one will be along to answer you fully :)

However, what I can tell you is travelling by train from Paris to Compiegne will be easy. Many, if not all, notices in English as well as instructions on what to do at machines.

Trains from Gard du Nord to Compiegne are every 40 minutes or so IIRC so you should be able to time your car collection just fine

What is the name of the car hire company? You could probably check out your route on Google Earth before you leave - I find it invaluable to familiarising yourself with surroundings before going some where new and you can 'walk' the route before you get there

I'm sure you will be fine, we always are and my French is abysmal

KR x

Sydney, Australia
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2. Re: Paris to Compiegne early Morning

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.

There are no swipe machines. Just get on the train, and the conductor will read the bar code while the train is travelling.

On the Intercités trains, seat reservations are optional. You can sit in any seat that has not been reserved for someone else.

London, UK
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3. Re: Paris to Compiegne early Morning

Although it is large the main station of Gare du Nord is quite straitforward to get around. There are a lot of platforms but they are in a single allignment. The time and number of your train will be shown on your ticket, assuming that you are travelling on a weekday this will probably be at 08.05. These will also be shown on the huge departure board with promienence to the final destination which may well be Maubeugue. There are also smaller display screens on which it is easier to see the intermediate stations. The actual platform will be shown not earlier than 20 minutes before departure. If you have a print at home ticket you go straight to the train, find seats and settle in. You will not have reserved seats unless you have specifically booked them.

Paris, France
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4. Re: Paris to Compiegne early Morning

When you walk into Gare du Nord go to the far right and look for the ticket booth with the green sign above the window that says Ile-de-France. That is where you will buy your ticket. They speak English at the ticket booths so you can ask which track your train will depart from. To the left of the ticket booth are the tracks where most of the trains depart from. However, there are some trains down the corridor to the right of the ticket booth that are sort of hidden from view but trains to Compiègne don't normally depart from these. One very important piece of information is not to forget to compost (validate) your ticket before boarding the train. You'll see small yellow sort of post like looking things scattered about the station near the train tracks. Just put your ticket in the slot and it will get stamped. There is no assigned seating on the trains but there may be first and second class so just make sure you sit in second class.

To check train times you can use the website www.voyages-sncf.com. If you're using the English language version of this website you may have to change your ticket collection country to Great Britain or Antarctic to avoid being redirected to the RailEurope website, which usually doesn't show all the trains and indicates higher ticket prices.

5. Re: Paris to Compiegne early Morning

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