This is the bar car on the upper level of the French double-decker TGV train that runs once a day — except during coronavirus lockdowns — from Frankfurt am Main (Germany) to Marseille (France) by way of Mannheim, Karlsruhe, Strasbourg, Mulhouse, Belfort, Besançon, Chalon sur Saône, Lyon, Avignon and Aix-en-Provence. TGV stands for Train à Grande Vitesse (= Train of Great Speed).
I have taken this particular TGV train several times since its inauguration in 2012. The first time, I rode it all the way to its final destination, Marseille, but I have since also taken it to Avignon, Besançon and Strasbourg. In August 2016 I took the same train again and got off at the station called “Belfort-Montbéliard TGV”, on the outskirts of Belfort.
This station has four tracks. The two middle tracks are for trains that stop here, very briefly, at a shared platform in the center. The two outer tracks have no platforms and are used by other TGV trains that barrel on through at 300 km/h without stopping.
The station building extends outward over the first two tracks, so as to provide access to the platform in the middle.
What this station does not have (unlike similar stations on the outskirts of Reims, Avignon and Besançon) is a fifth track for a shuttle train to the city center. To get to the center of Belfort you have a take a local bus, line number 3, which gets you to Belfort’s traditional main station in just under half an hour. This is not an ideal arrangement, obviously, but for me it was no great hardship since I wasn’t in any particular hurry.
I suppose it would also be possible to walk over to the closest traditional train stop, Méroux, and get a train from there, but the bus appears to be faster and more convenient.
This traditional station, in the city center, is now served only by local and regional trains. You could get a TER train to Mulhouse, for example, or to Bourg-en-Bresse or Lyon-Perrache or even to Paris-Est via Nogent-sur-Seine. TER stands for Transport express regional.
Location and aerial view of Gare de Belfort on monumentum.fr.
My photos in this post are from 2016. I wrote the text in 2020.