My wife and I are scheduled to arrive via Delta at CDG on Fri 16 May @ 7:15 am. We need to take the TGV to Nimes. There is one leaving CDG at 9:25 am. Would we have enough time to make this train or should we opt for a later one, unfortunately around noon?
Delta uses Terminal 2E and the TGV station is below Terminal 2. If your plane is on time and everything else goes smoothly, you should make the connection. However, if it's late, or you're delayed getting through immigration/passport control, or there is a long line at the train station ticket window, you might not.
To save time one of you could pick up your luggage while the other one buys the train tickets.
Your next option would be to take the RER B to Gare du Nord, transfer to the RER D, and take it to Gare de Lyon. Fare: 8.20€ (includes transfers). Or take Air France coach #4 directly to Gare de Lyon. Fare: 14€. Then take the 11:20 TGV from Gare de Lyon to Nimes.
Or relax at CDG for a while. Buy the fixings for a picnic lunch to eat on the train. Then take the 11:42 TGV to Valence, changing there for another TGV to Nimes. With the long layover in Valence, it might be worth the trouble to go to Gare de Lyon so you can arrive in Nimes quite a bit earlier.
Tim is right to caution that there is no guarantee about making this connection, but I think you probably will.
Your biggest delay is likely to be waiting to claim your bags, and you can avoid that by packing light and carrying them on the plane with you.
Still no guarantees, but (1) pack light and (2) arrive with a fully fleshed out "plan B" of what you will do if you miss the train, and you should be fine.
Also, buy your tickets online before going, that way you don't have to wait in line to get them...the line can be very long!
We faced a similar deliema last time so what we did, was buy our train reservations with insurance. It cost 8E extra for the 4 of us. The insurance allowed us to change our reservations, without penelty, up to 24 hours based on certain criteria. (Those crieteria included trouble getting to train station).
Like most insurance we didn't need it, but it was reassuring to have.
Keep in mind that the time on your ticket is the "landing" time not the debarking time. Then there is the shuttle to to the terminal, customs, passport, luggage collection, getting to the train station. And anything can go wrong. On our flight we circled 20 minutes to let the fog clear, other times I have had trouble becuase of strikes.
Insure your ticket at least.
I want to thank everyone for their replies. You have convinced me that we should chill at CDG for a while and take the later train. I especially like the idea of buying some picnic supplies for the train ride. We have no deadline to be in Nimes other than to pick up our rental car by early evening and drive the 15km to Nages-et-Solorgues.
The first time we took the TGV, we missed the connection due to long lines for passport and luggage. We had bought the tickets in advance and were able to change to a later train.
You can actually buy your TGV tickets online and print the ticket. It is only available to those in the US and you will need your passport to use the paper ticket. But it is a grat way to do this!
I don't really suggest that you buy picnic supplies in CDG or the SNCF station. There is not much there by way of "groceries" and any food is going to be in cafes and restaurants is very expensive, it will be a rude awakening to the Euro/US dollar. (A simple sandwich cost 5-7 Euros and a small "latte" was 2 Euros. Water in a bottle was 3.5 Euros etc....
Food costs about, with the same selection, on the train.
I don't know how well Delta feeds you but if it is like Air France where all they do is give you food. Save a few rolls and crackers, and cheese, etc... from the plance.