My husband and I need to take the train from Paris to Rouen, a relatively short trip. I can't discern what the differences between 1st and 2nd class. Does anyone know? Also, according to SNCF the TER and the NOMAD, are the same for this journey. Any thoughts?
Here's a good source for all things train travel in Europe. As for 1st vs. 2nd class, it really makes no difference, especially for such a short trip. Get the cheaper seats and use the savings for food and/or wine.
Gare Saint-Lazare to Rouen is only a 1.5 hour ride. 2nd class is very comfortable.
I only use first class because I usually travel alone and prefer a single seat. The difference in fare is minimal. But if you are traveling together, I am not sure it is worth it. YMMV.
Differences are not that great. 2nd class is 2x2 and first class is 1x2. First class seats are wider but not sure the knee room is that much greater. I view 2nd class as similar to the old style business class. For the most part I don't view 1st class as worth the additional cost unless it is just a few dollars.
My tactic is the same as Phil's. I'm a solo traveler so I like the line of single seats in 1st, otherwise 2nd is fine if I am traveling with someone who will be sitting next to me.
Check out train vlogs, for example Simply Railway
I usually like to move up in Class - single seats, less chance of families, and some companies offer QUIET cars i.e. NO cellphones.
Thanks everyone! Second-class sound like it will work just fine for us. It sounds like we can choose our seats when we book travel. Is this correct? No restrictions on size or number of bags I take it? I'm also assuming that there is no difference between the TER and the NOMAD trains for this route.
No restrictions for bags, but they won't wait for you to pull them off the train. Be ready to make one step with all people and bags in tow or watch the rest of your bags travel onward without you. Getting on at Saint Lazare you have a little more time.
I bought tix for a Feb '23 post-Best of Paris tour from Gare de l'Est to Reims. 1st class was only 2 Euros more than 2nd. Bought 1st as I'm entitled (& humble) & as 2 Euros won't break my bank. Train travel is a must activity for my European trips & again, 2 Euros. ab
Thanks again to one and all. PharmerPhil, glad to hear will have a little more time getting on the train as lifting the bags up is generally harder than lifting them down. We have 2 large bags and 3 small carry-ons as well as shoulder bags (which we will, of course be wearing). I'm hoping my husband can get off the train 1st and I can hand everything down to him. Hope does spring eternal. BTW, I don't like traveling with lots of stuff but were now old enough that it turns out we need lots of stuff! I've never been to Saint Lazare. Anything I should know?
AlanBush, Yep, €2 works for me also. However, I'm thinking we should wait to buy tickets until we get to Saint Lazare as we will be going there directly upon our arrival from Charles de Gaulle. That, and the fact that we just had to change our arrival date thanks to plane downsizing courtesy of AA.
For this short train trip, I would recommend taking 2nd class. I tend to save first class for longer trips.
Also, using the official SNCF train app on your phone makes purchasing train tickets in France super easy!
I hope you have the best time! Paris and Rouen are both great destinations!
For this route I would take 2nd class, only on some TGV trains I take 1st class.
As far as train station info for Paris, as well as general French train info, you may want to listen to this very recent podcast on Join Us in France travel podcast:
PharmerPhil - thanks for sharing the link to the podcast! It is very helpful. I have only taken the train in France a couple of times and both times, I felt stressed! In October I will be taking a train from Nice to Florence and am already concerned about the endeavor as I know I will be needing to change trains a couple of times.
Kay, with that many bags I would encourage you to book seats on the lower level rather than up the stairs to make it a little quicker and easier on yourselves.
And do be sure to be "staged" and at the door well before your train arrives at Rouen.
hey hey kay
don't know if you have purchased train tickets, just an FYI: look very careful at the carriage you are in. we did first class which my friend insists, upstairs, which we thought okay. long ride from annecy to paris, about 3hr 30minutes.
come to find out we were in a "family" car with crying babies, screaming kids, running up and down aisles to let their energy out, non behaving parents with earphones on.
love kids but this was too much, tried changing seats but train full. we learned our lesson, really look at the carriage before booking.
just passing my tip on.