We’ve almost missed our train two trips in a row at at Paris-Est and wonder if we are doing something wrong to cause so much stress?
Delayed TGV Trains And The Stress Of Paris-Est Travel
I am not experienced enough in rail travel to opine on the general punctuality of the French rail network, but I do know our last two high-speed TGV trains from Gare de l’Est in Paris to Strasbourg have been late.
That itself is lamentable, but the bigger problem—at least for us—is the way in which the system works.
You often do not know your track number until your train approaches, particularly if your train is running late. All of a sudden, the track is displayed on station monitors and there is a mad dash for the tracks.
In our case, we were sitting at Starbucks (blame Heidi, I don’t touch the stuff…) when our track number finally displayed for our late train. We immediately gathered our belongings and walked over, noting people seemed to be running.
We were traveling in first class and our car was located way down at the end of the train…way, way, way down.
As you might know if you are parents, walking with four bags and two small children is not an easy task. Although we were moving in the right direction, we were moving slowly.
All of a sudden, the whistles started blowing the train was about to take off. We noticed the platform was deserted.
Heidi and I panicked a bit and began to run. She had Claire Marie and I had Augustine. After 30 more seconds, we really feared we would miss the train and Augustine and I hopped in our car (we made it to our assigned carriage) and Claire Marie and Heidi jumped on a few cars behind us.
Sure enough, the train pulled out moments later.
The cars were not connected via doors so we remained separated all the way to Strasbourg, with Heidi and Claire Marie in second class.
Is this sort of thing common?
I understand that when trains arrive late you want to get them out as soon as possible, but when you have a 12-car train are people not even given enough time to board?
This happened to Heidi and me on our date night in Paris the previous summer. Almost the same thing. Do you really have to run to your carriage? And it’s not like we could have just walked from one car to the other as they do not appear to be all connected in the passenger area.
What am I missing here?