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Train Reservations and Departure Times

Help! To anyone who has any sort of train knowledge in Europe! I have traveled by train in Paris, Belgium, and Luxembourg but it has always been with someone! This time I am traveling alone and will be taking the Chunnel from London Waterloo to Paris Nord, and then the Artesia Night Train from Paris Bercy Station in evening to Roma Termini Station arriving in morning. I am wondering how early I should plan on arriving at the train stations before the time departure. I already have my train tickets purchased in advance like a smart traveler. But should I plan on arriving at station and 2 hours before departure to make it through security and find the correct train etc. To anyone that has any advice on this subject I am very grateful! Thankyou

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3580 posts

I think your "chunnel" ticket will tell you to arrive at least 1/2 hour early. There is a special Eurostar section in the station. You pass through airport-type security and passport security before entering the waiting room. I like to arrive an hour early. In the waiting room, there are places to eat, have coffee or other drinks, and buy tickets for your arrival city. In London you can buy Metro tix for Paris. Monitors keep travelers aware of train arrivals and boarding info. For most other train travel, once you have your tix and reservations (which you would be wise to procure at least a day in advance) you can arrive at the train station 15 min before scheduled departure time, check the board for departure gates and times, then go to the train. There are typically train personnel on the platform to help passengers board the correct train. After a time or two it will all seem easy and reasonable.