Welcome to the guide to travelling on the TGV trains which still operate some of the departures between Paris and Western France.
Food services available
A complimentary WiFi portal is available throughout this train.
In some coaches in Premiere class there is a hybrid mix of 4 seats in open compartments (they have no door to a corridor) and 2 single seats on the other side of the coach, that face each other across a table.
If you are sat in a compartment seat by the ‘corridor’ you have very limited views out of the windows.
A complimentary WiFi portal is available throughout this train.
On these trains all the 2nd class carriages/coaches are open plan saloons.
Though some 2nd class seats are at the far end of the bar coach.
But if you have been allocated one of these seats, the coach/voiture number on your ticket, will be the number of the 2nde class coach ADJACENT to the bar car - and NOT the bar coach.
If you have a seat/place between 81 - 93 then these seats are those that are in the bar coach.
Operator SNCF has evidently adopted an attitude of providing more leg room than a typical airline in 2nd class, but not much more.
On occasion the price difference between 1st and 2nd can only be a couple of €s and when that is the case, the difference in space can be worth every cent.
For the time being these TGV Atlantique trains operate some of the high speed train services from and to Paris Montparnasse station.
On some ticket booking services including Trainline, the 'TGV' departures are by these Atlantique trains, while the 'TGV InOui' departures indicate a TGV Océane service.
On some routes to/from Paris taken by these TGV Atlantique trains, much cheaper, but more basic, Ouigo TGV services are also available.
On board announcements are in French language only, but the conductors will LIKELY speak English so you can verify any questions when they pass through the train to check tickets.
You will be travelling by TGV Atlantique trains on journeys between Paris and La Rochelle and Le Croisic and Tours.
It's also likely that will be travelling on a TGV Atlantique train on these routes:
(1) Paris - Rennes - Quimper*
(2) Paris - Rennes - St Malo/Brest*
(3) Paris - Nantes*
(4) Paris - Bordeaux via Poitiers and Angouleme
*TGV Océane trains are now used on the fastest services per day on these routes.
Many services operated by TGV Atlantique trains extend beyond the LGVs (high speed lines), so between certain cities, including:
Rennes – Quimper and Brest,
Angers - Nantes,
St Pierre des Corps - Bordeaux via Poitiers AND Angouleme,
Bordeaux - Hendaye and Toulouse and Tarbes
...these trains only use conventional tracks.
Seats will automatically be assigned when booking tickets for journeys by TGV train.
Though on these TGV Atlantique trains it's worth making use of the seating options you're likely to be offered when making a booking, because on departures by these TGV Atlantique trains you can opt to select forward facing seats.
Rail pass users will need to have made reservations prior to boarding (see below) and info on how to book these rail pass reservations is available HERE.
These trains have 10 coaches/carriages, but two trains are often joined together, so some TGV Atlantique departures are exceptionally long.
Therefore aim to be at the station at least 8 minutes before departure, particularly if you will be joining the train at an intermediate station.
Before arriving on the voie/platform/track, 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, to check in which zone on the voie you should wait, for easy boarding into your coach.
When two trains are joined together, it isn’t possible to walk entirely through the train from one end to the other.
Another good reason for not boarding by the first door you see because you are rushing.
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.
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).
Whether you have luggage or not, keep your ticket you where you can access it easily, in order to check your seat number as you enter the seating area.
The seat numbers are between the seats - 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.
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, meaning you can avoid being caught up in the scramble for luggage space.
The luggage allowance is a maximum of two suitcases + one item of hand luggage per person.
When boarding, the main luggage rack will be to one side, while the seating area will be to the other.
If you have large items of luggage don’t be tempted to locate your seat first, and then work out where to stow your bags.
Head for the luggage rack first, as bag space can be limited.
If you head into the seating area first, it’s likely that you’ll conclude that you’ll need to turn back, but now you’ll have a queue of people behind you trying to access their seats.
If you store large items in this rack by the doors, you have to accept that being able to see them from your seat is unlikely, but usually there is no practical alternative.
However, on TGV Atlantiques, there are also luggage racks in the middle of the seating saloons in both 1st and 2nd class.
Medium size bags will fit in the space between some of the seats and on small luggage racks at the ends of the coach by the doors - and on the racks above the seats (if you can lift your case above your head).
There is no trolley service on TGV trains so you will need to go the bar coach if you want to purchase food and drink – though don’t over rely on it having all items available.
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.
Limited numbers of spaces for NON-folding bikes are available on most departures, these spaces must be reserved on any journey and the reservation fee is €10.
Folding bikes can be taken on board as hand luggage.
This is one of more than 150 train guides available on ShowMeTheJourney, which will make it easier to take the train journeys you want or need to make. As always, all images were captured on trips taken by ShowMeTheJourney.