Saturday, July 13, 2019

Paris, Perpignan, Portbou

Today I'm visiting Versailles - the park, and then travelling to Spain.
 The entrance is through the main gate, where there is a security control.

 It does not cost anything to visit the park - for the visit of the palace there is a fee.

 It is good to have extra security in the park

 After leaving the park, I could see a very long queue for the entrance of the palace

 I'm walking to Gare de Versailles Chateau Rive Gauche
 My plan is to get to the Gare de Lyon in Paris. Due to several construction works I will need to change trains in Paris
 Ticket gates at the entrance. According to Rail planner, Interrail is not valid on Paris RER trains, but when asking at the ticket counter they give you a free ticket for the gate.

This is how the ticket for RER/Interrail looks like

 RER Z2N train on line C
 This station is a terminus and it opened in 1864
 Z2N train is a double deck one, it has 2+3 seating

 As I mentioned, due to reconstruction I can not travel all the way to Gare de Lyon (or Austerlitz which is the nearest station). Instead I will have to get off at Invalides and change to metro there.

 The line is located above ground almost until the Eiffel tower

 Invalides station underground
 Changing to metro

 At Gare de Lyon I can spot the famous "Le train bleu" restaurant

 TGV Lyria at Gare de Lyon

 I'm travelling to Spain, but as an Interrail traveller I'm not taking a direct train to Barcelona as it would require me to pay an additional seat reservation of 48EUR (in 1st class) which is besides impossible to purchase online. Instead I'm taking a TGV to Perpignan (the closest high speed station to Spain) and then take local trains for the rest of the way. Seat reservation in domestic TGV is 10EUR and it can be bought through website.
 Ticket inspection is done at the gate platform entrance. Nobody seems to care about Interrail here.

 TGV 2N2 Euroduplex
 Manufactured in 2013 this is a 3UH version (Hispanic bicurrent, equipped with ASFA signalling system).
 Before boarding, I've bought some food at the station

 The trip goes without any issues at the high speed

 The new Nimes - Pont du Gard station, due to open in December 2019
 The first stop for this TGV is here in Nimes

 Class BB 26000, Alstom Sybics

 The new bypass line is already open, but there are not many trains operated here so far


 Last stop for this train is Perpignan

 Port Bou Espagne will be my next destination

 SNCF Class Z 27500 AGC


 Last station is PortBou
 From Portbou there are trains to Barcelona

 French freight trains arriving to Portbou for further transportation of the cargo on Spanish trains (as there is a wider track gauge in Spain).

 Just as the French TER train is arriving to the first Spanish station, the Rodalies train is travelling all the way to Cerbere (the first French station) and back.
 Renfe Class 447 trains are used for Rodalies regional services
 Today there was a lot of freight activity here

 The platforms are very low here in Portbou

 Class 447 is manufactured by CAF and Alstom

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