Thursday, July 29, 2021

Wiesental, Karlsruhe-Hagsfeld, Paris

I'm continuing my visit to Rhein-Neckar for a while before taking a train from Karlsruhe to Paris and then a night train to Port Bou
From Schwetzingen I'm taking S-Bahn train to Wiesental, located at Rheinbahn
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Siemens Mireo
DB Class V 100

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Car transport on rail

I'm on my way to Karlsruhe, here is the station of Karlsruhe-Hagsfeld
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Eurocity Zurich-Hamburg
Freight trains are taking the bypass railway through Karlsruhe

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Time to take the long distance train to Paris
Siemens Velaro D (DB Class 407) 

Eating lunch in the train. For some reason the food is served in paper plate, while the beer is served in glass 
Shorly after leaving Karlsruhe, I'm in France
The trip between Karlsruhe and Paris takes about 3h and there is only one stop in Strasbourg
I'm traveling with Interrail, and as with all high speed trains it is required to have a seat reservation. Since it is an international train, the price is even higher than just for the domestic route. Interrail 1st class seat reservation cost 30EUR

Traveling on the high speed line in France

Explanation why it is necessary to wear a mask

Approaching Paris

Arriving on time to Paris Est station

I have some time to visit Paris before my night train departure, so I'm taking a ride on e-scooter

Louvre museum 

It was impressing to see the width of bicycle lanes in Paris

My night train will depart from Gare D'Austerlitz, which is not far from Gare de Lyon (seen here)

The Gare D'Austerlitz was the main station in Paris for the Paris-Orléans (PO) company and was originally called the Gare d'Orléans station. The station is near the Quai d'Austerlitz, and the bridge that gives it its name. These were named after the Czech town once known as Austerlitz (today Slavkov u Brna). Napoleon I defeated the superior numbers of the Third Coalition there on 2 December 1805 at the Battle of Austerlitz. (Wikipedia)
The station has no high speed trains, only the classic Intercity and regional trains. Here are the SNCF Class BB 22200 (Dual Voltage 25kV and 1.5kV) and  Class BB 7200 (Single Voltage 1.5kV)

Viaduc d'Austerlitz with Metro line 5

Eating dinner next to Seine river and the station
My night train is the Intercités 3731 to Port Bou, it is running together with cars to Latour de Carol. They split in Tolouse

Here it is - my train for tonight
8 cars to Port Bou and 3 cars to Latour de Carol
The train has 3 classes, seat cars, couchettes and sleeper
Worth to note is that I've been trying to take this train for 3 or 4 times now, without success. First, it was cancelled due to that night trains service were reduced, then it was a long strike, and then the Covid. So, finally I can do what I've been trying for so many times
Sleeper cars are sold as 1st class
Starting from this summer, it is no longer possible to purchase Interrail seat reservations through website, it is however possible to do it at the ticket machines in France, so no need to queue at the ticket counter. On the other hand, some trains are sold out quick, so I've purchased the standard ticket on the website in advance 

Sleeper compartment has 4 beds, I've paid an additional Espace Privatif supplement for 70EUR, to not share the compartment with anyone else
Kit de voyage and a bottle of water is included
Place for bicycles in the train
2nd class couchette with 6 beds
No showers in the train, only washing rooms
Time to leave Paris


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