Wednesday, March 08, 2023

Heading home from Paris

The first thing I did when I arrived in the train hall at Montparnasse was to check the departures board. My train was listed as on time. I had about fifteen minutes before it left. There was also a bulletin that all trains in and out of the station were delayed due to some deer on the tracks. Indeed, all the trains scheduled to depart before mine were posting between five and ten minutes late. Lovely. Still, about five minutes later my train posted its track number and it was still on time. I walked, briskly, to the track and boarded the train. It pulled out of the station on time.

The train hall at the Gare Montparnasse. My train left from track 19.

As I was getting settled in, I noticed that we were moving very slowly. Then, after we were well out of the station, the train stopped altogether. The conductor announced that the deer were gone, but now the trains ahead of us had to re-space themselves before getting up to speed. We expected to be under way again soon and we'd be about fifteen minutes late to our station. As promised, the train started moving again and before long we were up to high speed.

Now, fifteen minutes is not too bad for a late arrival. Except when you only have 23 minutes to make your connection. If all went well, I would have about eight minutes to off-board and get to the other platform for my train to Saint-Aignan. I stressed for a while, but there was nothing I could do, so I sat back and enjoyed the ride. There was no view because it was dark outside.

Again, as promised by the conductor (who kept us informed of what was happening at regular intervals), we arrived at St.-Pierre-des-Corps (the high-speed station just outside of Tours) exactly when he said we would and I (and many others) made the connection with a couple of minutes to spare. I called Ken to let him know that I'd be arriving at our station at 21h40 as scheduled. He and Tasha picked me up and we were home in less than ten minutes.


  1. If like England, I don't know about here, it is the size of animal on the track that counts. A sparrow, bad luck little fellow. A swan, trains must halt. A dog no matter how small, emergency braking. Rather nastily when I hear of train disruptions because of a person being on train tracks, I think the trains should just proceed.

    A late train is not in your control and what you have to think about is how to sort things out if you miss a connection. Invariably what you are worrying about won't happen but what comes from left field and surprises you is harder. If it was know that a large number of people on your train were catching the second train you caught, the second one may have delayed its departure. It sounds like the guard on the delayed train gave excellent information to the passengers.

  2. Can't believe you made that connection. That's not a story I hear very often.

  3. Whew! Train connections, I feel, are more likely to be made, than plane connections. Ahhhhh, a train ride! I love 'em.
    I'm glad you were wearing a mask on the Paris trains...geeeeze.

  4. The joy of train travel. I love it, too, Judy.

  5. Glad you made that connection! I love being in a train station. I was able to take wonderful school sponsored train trips as a child. I wish America had invested in high speed trains so we could travel like the French do.

  6. Did you sleep well after that excursion? I'm guessing that would be a yes! Travel in Europe is sooo easy compared to here. Just having the schedules being timely is a big difference.

  7. andrew, I wondered if they would hold the other train but, thankfully, I'll never know.

    mitch, I was lucky. I'm not sure there were any more trains after that.

    travel, :)

    judy, flying is way more stressful, IMHO.

    evelyn, the US is too big, and there was a lot of space for cars and trucks, so that's what we got.

    mary, I was just glad to be home on time!


Tell me what you think!