TGV Lyria (France <> Switzerland)

If you will be taking a journey by Lyria train our guide will tell you the key things you need to know about making the most of the journey experience.

Lyria is the SERVICE of high speed trains between France and Switzerland for which two types of TGV train are used - the single deck and double deck variants




TGV-Lyria services are the only direct trains on these routes:

(1) Paris Gare De Lyon - Dijon - Basel - Zurich (and Bern)

(2) Paris Gare De Lyon - Bellegarde - Geneve - (Lausanne)

(3) Paris - Gare De Lyon - Frasne - Lausanne

(4) Marseille - Avignon TGV - Lyon - Bellegarde - Geneve


(1) If you will be taking a ‘Lyria’ train to/from Geneve or Lausanne - you will highly likely be travelling on a SINGLE DECK train - which will sport the designated Lyria livery.

But these trains are only distinguishable from other single deck (standard) TGVs on the outside, internally they’re the same as the TGVs that have had a refresh in recent years.

Meaning a smart colour scheme, but comparatively cramped seats and limited luggage space – particularly when compared to Swiss non high speed express trains.

(2) Travel in either direction on the Paris – Basel – Zurich/Bern route, and you MAY be travelling on the single deck train or on aDOUBLE-DECK TGV Duplex train.

You’ll know if you will be, if you are offered a choice of lower or upper deck seating when making an online booking.

Technically these trains are known as ‘Euroduplex’ trains, as they can operate on railways outside France, but the travelling experience is the same as on a typical TGV Duplex - except for the at seat catering service in Premiére Class.

Some of the Duplex trains used on ‘Lyria’ services don’t have any external Lyria branding, so if you are boarding at Paris Gare De Lyon, those trains won’t look any different to those heading to Marseille, Montpellier or Nice etc.

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Seats will automatically be assigned when booking tickets for journeys by Lyria train.

If a single deck train is being used for the departure you will be taking, you will be given the option of selecting forward facing seats.

However, if a double deck TGV Duplex train is being used for your departure, you won't be able to choose forward facing seats, but will have a choice between travelling on the upper or lower decks.

Rail pass users will need to have made reservations prior to boarding (see below).

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If you’ll be travelling 2nd class on a Lyria train, you won’t have a perceptively different experience to travelling on TGV services that operate solely within France.

However, there is a distinguishing feature between a non-international TGV and a TGV-Lyria service if you are travelling 1st/Premiere class – namely the complimentary drink and snack you will receive.

Though don’t plan on being able to skip a meal thanks to what will be brought to your seat – the offering varies during the day, but a muffin may be all you can look forward to.

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There are two ways in which to travel with your bike on a Lyria train.

(1) If you fold or disassemble your bike and place it in a bag or case no larger than 120 cm high by 90 cm wide, you can take it on board as hand luggage and place it in the luggage storage areas.

(2) If you don't want to disassemble a non-folding bike then it can be taken on most, but not all Lyria departures, subject to spaces still being available.
Though these bike tickets cannot be booked online, they can only be booked at the international ticket counters at stations in France and Switzerland, they cost €10.

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If you have a rail pass you will need to reserve a seat(s) - EXCEPT for journeys between Basel and Zurich, between those cities no rail pass reservation fees apply.

However, if you will be using a Eurail or InterRail pass, our advice is to avoid taking Lyria train services, when travelling between Paris and Switzerland.

The rail pass reservation fee/supplement is comparable to the cheapest discounted point-2-point tickets.
So once you factor in the cost per day of using the rail pass, taking a Lyria train service becomes particularly expensive.

Though there are cheaper alternatives available, so you can still include journeys between Paris and Switzerland on a rail pass itinerary.

From Paris to Basel:
(i) Take the 08:42 IC train (on which no reservation fees are payable) from Paris Est to Mulhouse
(ii) Take the 13:19 TER train from Mulhouse to Basel.

From Basel to Paris:
(i) Take the 11:39 or 14:21 TER trains from Basel to Mulhouse
(ii) Take 12:49 or 15:18 IC trains from Mulhouse to Paris Est

OR see if you can book a €10 rail pass reservation on a TGV between Paris and Mulhouse or Strasbourg
TER trains (on which no reservations fees are charged) operate hourly linking Basel with both Mulhouse and Strasbourg.

From Paris to Geneve:
(i) Take the 07:36 (daily) TER train from Paris Bercy to Lyon Part-Dieu
(ii) Take the 14:37 TER train from Lyon Part-Dieu to Geneve

From Geneve to Paris
(i) Take the 09:22 TER train from Geneve to Lyon Part-Dieu
(ii) Take the 13:16 TER train from Lyon Part-Dieu to Paris Bercy

Or check whether the €10 reservation fee(s) is available on TGV trains between Paris and Lyon and then take a TER train between Geneve and Lyon.

For journeys between Paris and Zurich or Lausanne - the balance begins to tip in favour of paying the Lyria reservation fee.

To avoid it you’ll need to make an additional connection in Basel for journeys between Paris and Zurich, while for journeys between Lausanne and Paris, you’ll need to change trains in both Geneve and Lyon.

International train routes to/from France

International train routes to/from Switzerland

An overview of train travel in France

An overview of train travel in Switzerland

Travelling on European daytime trains

Travelling on European overnight trains

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Bistro (Hot Food)
Bar (Cold Food)
Double Deck
High Speed
First Class
Second Class

Rail passes and reservations

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