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TGV to St Nazaire with our bikes

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TGV to St Nazaire with our bikes

Old 03-11-19, 03:09 PM
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schoolboy2 
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TGV to St Nazaire with our bikes

We want to travel by TGV from Paris to St Nazaire. The SNCF website says that I can do this provided there is space aboard the train. I can find the train I want easily, but I don't see how to reserve spaces for the bikes. The SNCF website which is generally helpful is vague as far a TGV bike travel is concerned and the "Contact Us" links don't seem to work today.

I've heard that different TGV routes have different abilities to accommodate bikes so I don't want to "wing it". I hope someone on this forum has experience on traveling this TGV route with bikes that they will share so I'll know how to proceed with my planning.

Thanks. Dan & Jan
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Old 03-11-19, 03:17 PM
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Originally Posted by schoolboy2 View Post
We want to travel by TGV from Paris to St Nazaire...
No firsthand experience, but google, in somewhat dated form, says:

Taking bikes on French Trains - A Guide for Cyclists - Freewheeling France

Paris to Rennes or St. Nazaire with fully assembled bicycles?
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Old 03-11-19, 06:48 PM
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Originally Posted by schoolboy2 View Post
We want to travel by TGV from Paris to St Nazaire. The SNCF website says that I can do this provided there is space aboard the train. I can find the train I want easily, but I don't see how to reserve spaces for the bikes. The SNCF website which is generally helpful is vague as far a TGV bike travel is concerned and the "Contact Us" links don't seem to work today.

I've heard that different TGV routes have different abilities to accommodate bikes so I don't want to "wing it". I hope someone on this forum has experience on traveling this TGV route with bikes that they will share so I'll know how to proceed with my planning.

Thanks. Dan & Jan
If you book a ticket online you should see a little bicycle logo at the bottom left once you've entered your from and to stations. It allows you to reserve a space for you and your bike. (Looks like its 10Euros for a bike.)
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Old 03-12-19, 09:43 AM
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I know there is a TGV station right at CDG airport, but was always under the impression that no bikes on those ones.
I suspect that while you will be able to do bikes on train from "Paris", it will depend on what "Paris" station and what specific train lines, and then as you say, you might be getting into the whole "if there is space" thing, and if you dont speak french, it may be frustrating getting the right answer in person, let alone dealing with the sncf website, which I have found confusing in the past and had a French friend help me with a few times that made all the diff.

Im assuming you are talking about your bikes rolling and assembled right?
ie, were you planning to go into Paris upon arriving first, by taxi or something with bikes in boxes?

ps re "help" or "useful information", it can be hit and miss. My french is fairly good, and even in person (like everywhere) asking stuff like this can be hit and miss depending on who you talk to and how they are, ie not interested, in a hurry, talk too fast, not understanding what you are asking, replying in a way assuming that you are familiar with the system....ie, not different than any bureaucratic interaction that we can have here in N America with other english speaking people, but throw in the language thing too....

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Old 03-12-19, 09:54 AM
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IDK now, but, decades ago, a small group tour , we left the bikes 2 days ahead in Paris
when we were ticketed to Bern CH.. on TGV to Lyon, then a normal speed train ,
when we got the the Bern station they were there..
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Old 03-12-19, 10:22 AM
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I took my bike on the TGV several times. As long as it is in a bag, you shouldn't have any problem. What is meant by book-for-your-bike is that you then can roll-on/roll-off as is customary with many TERs (regional trains with dedicated bike friendly wagon/carriage/car). In a bag, your bike becomes luggage. I fly my bike with a flight bag rather than a box in part because a bag greatly facilitates train travel. If you fly with a box, a renko bag would do.

Your bike will not fit in the luggage compartment but can be stowed just next to it. Climb aboard and put your bike against the opposite door. Stand next to your bike when the train enters a station to move it out of the way (on the other side of the wagon) if needed (the boarding platform is sometimes on the left, sometimes on the right). If you travel with a companion, board different wagons as it is to impossible to put two bikes in the same compartment.

have fun
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Old 03-12-19, 10:59 AM
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Different TGV's have different rules for bikes. On some, including the Paris (gare Montparnasse) to Saint-Nazaire route, you can reserve space for a bike for 10 euros per bike on many of the TGV's. On other TGV routes in France, there is no option to bring a standard non-folding bike. The number of bikes is limited, however, on TGV's which still have reserved bike space. Search for trains on the following website (do NOT use the RailEurope website):

https://en.oui.sncf/en/train-ticket

As gerryl wrote, there should be a little bike logo on the lower left. Click on that, and you should see 3 choices. You probably want the following choice: "1 non folded or disassembled bike (Not available for 1st class travel)"

Trains which have this bicycle option will be shown when you search for trains. The fee is presently 10 euros per bike on a TGV. If you wait until the day of departure, you stand a good likelihood of there being no bike space available. When 3 of us wanted to take a TGV from Bordeaux to Paris 18 months ago, reservations were full for bikes on the train that we wanted, even a day or two in advance. So we removed our pedals and folded our bikes and put them in large garbage bags that we brought for exactly that situation. That is similar to what gauvins described, but with our folding Bike Friday(s), we were actually able to put them in the designated baggage area since they were much more compact than a non-folding bike.
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Old 03-12-19, 11:50 AM
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Thanks everyone. I appreciate all the tips and I think I have a notion of how to proceed. I plan to book my tickets this weekend for travel on 7-June, hopefully that is enough advance time that I'll find space for both bikes in the same car.
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