DB - SNCF (TGV)

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Exterior view

The international high speed train service which crosses the France/Germany border is branded 'Le Reseau DB-SNCF' - it had been branded 'Alleo'.

Though you won't see this branding on the exterior of the trains.

RESERVATIONS     ON BOARD

CATERING    BOARDING     SUMMARY


Reflecting the spirit of co-operation French Railways (SNCF) and German Railways (DB) share the provision of the trains.

The French trains used for the service are these 'EuroDuplex' trains - international versions of the double decked TGV Duplex train.

However, both externally and internally they're no different to other TGV Duplex trains.

Routes:

The TGV trains are the only trains used on these 'Le Reseau DB-SNCF' routes:

(i) Frankfurt (Main) - Strasbourg - Mulhouse - Lyon - Avignon - Marseille
(ii) Paris - Stuttgart - (Munchen/Munich)

They also share the services on the two routes between Paris and Frankfurt (Main) with the German ICE Velaro D trains.

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Reservations:

Seats will automatically be assigned when booking tickets for journeys by these trains.

Rail Pass users:

Rail pass reservations for these trains are no longer sold online by DB, so the booking options for rail pass users on these trains are:

(i) Book at a station in France at a 'SNCF boutique'

(ii) Book at the Reisezentrum travel desks in Germany

(iii) Or book in advance of your trip by using the Eurail reservation service or the InterRail reservation service but you will be charged a €2 booking fee per reservation.

But if you'll be using an InterRail or Eurail Pass and are happy to change trains and have a longer end-to-end journey,  it's possible to avoid these trains when travelling between France and Germany.
From Paris to Berlin, or from Paris to Hamburg, or from Paris to Munich and in the other direction from when travelling to Paris from Berlin, or from Munchen/Munich.

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On Board:

Max luggage allowance = 2 suitcases/large bags + item of hand luggage per person.

Power sockets are also available in the platforms/vestibules between coaches, your are encouraged to use these spaces between coaches to make mobile calls.

Staircases link the lower and upper levels and there are toilets on both levels.

However, if you want to access the bar counter, then it’s easier to move through the train at the upper level, as the serving counter is on the upper deck.

The upper deck offers better views, as they enable passengers to see over the sound barriers that line much of the track.

Target the lower deck if you have luggage and/or if you are tall, the lower deck can feel more spacious.

If you are tall and sat by the window on the upper deck, take care not to bang your head on the ceiling when you leave the seat.

The availability of Wi-Fi is dependent on the route the train is taking.

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Catering:

What distinguishes this service from other non-international TGV services, is that the bar/bistro menu is available as an at-seat service in 1st/Premiere class.

So if you are travelling in 1st/Premiere class, a catering attendant SHOULD pass through the coach/car and ask for orders, which will then be delivered to you - though nothing you order will be complimentary.

The menu will be either be on the table, or in the seat backs.

There will be no trolley service in 2nd class, so if you travel 2nd you will have to visit the on board bar/bistro to purchase food and drink - and if you are travelling in 1st, you can also go the bar counter, rather than wait for the attendant to come to you.

Take care with food and drink, particularly un-opened bottles and drinks in cups and glasses. When the trains corner at high speed, drinks and food can fly off the table.

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Boarding:

1.  Before arriving on the voie/platform/gleis, check your ticket and find number of the coach in which your reserved set is located.

Then use the info screens on the voie/platform/gleis, to check which zone on the voie you should wait in, for easy boarding into your coach.

2.  The coach/carriage numbers can be hard to spot as they are on the electronic info panel set into the body work of the train by the door.

3. Each carriage/coach only has one door. It won’t open automatically there will be a button to the right of the door (when exiting the train you will also need to use the button to open the doors)

4. Managing luggage:

If you are travelling 2nd class and have large items of luggage, don’t be tempted to locate your seat first, and then work out where to stow your luggage.

In the 2nd class seating saloons there are two luggage racks.

However, on both the lower and upper decks you have to walk by the main luggage racks to access the seating saloons.

If there's space on these racks then the advice is to make use of it - if you're prepared to accept that you won't be able to see your bags from your seat.

Luggage space is limited in the seating saloon, but if you've entered by the door to the coach in which you seat is located, then the smaller luggage rack is at the far end of the seating saloon.

However, if you'll be boarding an already busy train you'll be lucky to find space on this rack.

The above seat luggage racks are particularly small, and won’t accommodate items much larger than a large handbag.

Medium size bags will fit in the space between some of the seats.

The lower decks have more areas in which bags can be stowed away, but if you are travelling 1st class avoid utilising the space set aside for wheelchair users.

There is generally more space in which to stow luggage in 1st class, in the 1st class upper deck there are racks in the middle of the seating area that can accommodate large items.

5. If you DON'T have luggage with you, hang back and be amongst the last passengers to board.

All seats are reserved, so you won’t risk having no seat to travel in, and you can avoid being caught up in the scramble for luggage space.

6. Whether you have luggage or not keep your ticket you where you can access it easily, so that you can check your seat number as you enter the seating saloon.
The sequence of numbers can seem illogical, so take your time.

What you won’t see is any indication of the stations between which the seat is reserved for, all you have to do is look for the seat numbers and match it to the seat number on your ticket.

International train routes to/from France

International train routes to/from Germany

An overview of train travel in France

An overview of train travel in Germany


Travelling on European daytime trains

Travelling on European overnight trains


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Catering
Availability
Restaurant
Bistro (Hot Food)
Bar (Cold Food)
Features
Availability
Double Deck
High Speed
Classes
First Class
Première//1ére/1
Second Class
Seconde/2nde/2

Rail passes and reservations


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Other features


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Countries


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