Public Transport > Trains

Trains in France are operated by SNCF (also see www.transport-idf.com), including regionalTransilien trains which serve the greater Ile-de-France department and supplement RER service to the Banlieues (suburbs). For general queries contact SNCF at tel 01 53 90 20 20. Ticketing information from within France is at tel 08 36 35 35 35 (€0.34/minute).

The six international train stations in Paris are the Gare de l’Est (10th)Gare du Nord (10th)Gare Montparnasse (6th/15th)Gare St-Lazare (9th)Gare de Lyon (12th)and the Gare d’Austerlitz (13th). These are connected to the bus, Métro and RER networks for quick transfers throughout Paris. Each station includes services such as car rental, baggage lockers, taxis, currency conversion, cash machines, shops and cafés. 

  • Tickets 

Tickets must be purchased at the SNCF ticket windows or automatic kiosks (which seemmore useful than the website or waiting in line for a human) found in any Paris train station (gare) and some major RER stations such as Châtelet – Les Halles. Most Transilien lines in Paris originate at the Gare St-Lazare and Gare Montparnasse.

  • How it Works

To find the right platform look for the Banlieues or Transilien signs (the Grands Lignesserve the outer regions of France and Europe). Just like at the airport, the departure track (voie) isn’t posted until the last minute, so you’ll have to watch the boards (if you’re confused, ask at the information kiosk on the platform where you should wait). Tickets must be punched in the orange ticket machines located on train platforms before boarding in order to be valid (there are no turnstiles, so it’s easy to forget). Tickets are good for a trip, not a particular time or date, so if you miss a local train it’s still valid for the next one (or even the next day).

For information on international and TGV trains like the Eurostar or Thalys, click here.