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Travel On Train RENFE-SNCF (TGV)
Exterior view

RENFE-SNCF (TGV)

Welcome to the guide to taking one of the high speed trains operated by SNCF on the routes between France and Spain.

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At a Glance

Travel Pass Supplement

Rail Pass Reservation Fees
Reservations

Compulsory
Time of Day

Day
Catering

Food services available

Bar (sandwiches, snacks, salads)
Accessibility

Accessing the train

Wheelchair Spaces
Train Specification

Attributes of the train

High Speed (total journey)
Double Deck
Has a Conductor
Country

Which country these trains operate in.

France
Spain
Travel Passes
Eurail
InterRail

On Board

Première/Primera

Perks
WiFi

A complimentary WiFi portal is available throughout this train.

Power Socket

The power sockets on this train are compatible with standard E.U. two point plugs.

Seconde/Segunda

Perks
WiFi

A complimentary WiFi portal is available throughout this train.

Power Socket

The power sockets on this train are compatible with standard E.U. two point plugs.

Renfe-SNCF (TGV) travel guide:

The high speed train service that crosses the France/Spain border to provide international daytime train journeys to/from Barcelona and Madrid is branded 'en coopéreation RENFE - SNCF'.
Not the most memorable name of a train service, they used to be known as 'Elipsos' services and SMTJ wishes they still were.

However, the name reflects the spirit of co-operation French railways (SNCF) and Spanish railways (RENFE) share the provision of the trains.

The French trains used for the service on the Paris - Barcelona route are 'EuroDuplex' trains - international versions of the double-decker TGV Duplex trains.

On the OTHER high-speed routes between France and Spain, Spanish AVE trains are normally used.

Reservations & Using Rail Passes:

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

Rail pass users will need to have made reservations prior to boarding.
The comparatively expensive fee for doing so depends on the distance you will be travelling, though the cost is likely to be cheaper than buying a separate ticket.

The price show above is for Paris - Barcelona journeys, but the fee will be less for shorter journeys such as Montpellier - Barcelona.

Something to note is that your rail pass only has to be valid in France OR Spain.
So if you will be travelling with a 'one country pass' valid for France, you can use it to add Barcelona to your itinerary.

Boarding:

The coach number and destination info is the orange text beside the door The coach number and destination info is the orange text beside the door
This example of a sign is showing that seat numbers 61-126 are on the upper deck This example of a sign is showing that seat numbers 61-126 are on the upper deck

Before arriving on the 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 platform/track, to check which zone you should wait in, for easy boarding into your coach.

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, so that you can check your seat number as you enter the seating saloon.
The coach numbers aren't included on the interior, so try and take your time and check that you are boarding into the coach in which your reserved seat is located.

Keep your ticket where you can access it easily, so that you can check your seat number as you enter the seating saloon.
As you step on to the train, look out for the easy to miss signs, located above your head, that indicate which seat numbers are on the lower and upper decks.

The sequence of numbers can seem illogical, so take your time.
The seat numbers are above the windows, by the lights.
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, and you can avoid being caught up in the scramble for luggage space.

Managing luggage:

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

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, because the space for stowing bagsis fairly limited within the seating saloons.
Only small suitcases, backpacks etc can on the above seat racks.
Though medium size bags will fit in the space between some of the seats.

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.

If you've entered by the door to the coach in which you seat is located, then the smaller luggage rack will be 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 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.

On Board:

Looking down the staircase from the upper deck Looking down the staircase from the upper deck

In addition to sockets by the seats, power sockets are also available in the platforms/vestibules between coaches, you 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, but 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.

When booking tickets target the lower deck if you have luggage and/or if you are tall, the lower deck can feel more spacious.

Catering:

There is no trolley service on these trains so you will need to go the bar coach if you want to purchase food and drink.

TGV Bar Menu (PDF)

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

Bicycles:

Non-folding bikes must be disassembled and packed into a travelling case measuring no more than 120cm x 90cm.

hand-money

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