The characters in Rossini’s opera Il viaggio a Reims never do get to Reims, and for a few minutes I thought I wasn’t going to get there either, because my TGV (Train à Grande Vitesse = train of great speed) came to an unscheduled halt shortly after leaving the Paris East station.
Before long there was an announcement saying that because of an ‘incident’ on the high-speed TGV line, our train was being re-routed via the traditional ‘classic’ rail line to Reims. So we did arrive there after all, but it took an hour and a half rather than the scheduled 48 minutes.
Each day there are several direct non-stop trains from Paris-East to Reims station, in addition to the trains that stop at the new TGV station just south of Reims.
When I left Reims I took this shuttle train which gets from the central station to the new TGV station on the southern edge of Reims in just eight minutes.
This is the new TGV station on the outskirts of Reims, for high-speed trains that stop here only briefly or not at all. This station is called Bezannes Champagne TGV on local maps, but Gare de Champagne Ardenne TGV on the railway websites. The shuttle train is the blue one-car train on the far right in my photo.
Here’s the façade of the TGV station, complete with one of the many ugly parking lots.
For those who don’t come by car or take the shuttle train, another way to reach the new TGV station is to take the tram line B to the last stop. The last two or three kilometers of line B have only a single track so far. This is enough for the time being, but a lot of new housing is planned for this area, so the right of way has already been prepared and a second track can be installed at quite short notice, as soon as it is needed.
This TGV train is making a short stop at the station Gare de Champagne Ardenne TGV. The two tracks on the left, without platforms, are for the many trains that barrel through here at over three hundred km/h without stopping.
From here I took a TGV train to Strasbourg (not quite two hours) and changed there for another TGV to Frankfurt (just over two hours on the slow German tracks).
My photos in this post are from 2013. I revised the text in 2018.
See also: No wires in Reims, either.
4 thoughts on “A journey to Reims”
Heading for Germany from Paris last year, we decided to make Reims our first stop only to find there was some big conference going on and there was no accommodation to be had in the city. Serendipity as it happened – a trawl through Booking.com found us a B&B a few kilometres out of town – one with a difference – this one was floating. A nice old barge, beautifully restored, wonderfully comfortable and such a tranquil setting. A great start to the holiday.
Gare de l’Est or Paris-Est was my first encounter with train stations in France, lovely rides but never to Reims. TGV is becoming more and more with problems ,I take it every month to Paris now and always delays.
I want to go to Reims to see the sculptures on the cathedral façade. Did you spend time there?
Yes, I did visit the cathedral and took a few photos, which I will post at some point. Thanks for the reminder. (Though I must admit that the cathedral was not my main reason for visiting Reims.)