From nipping across platforms to changing stations, view all you need to know about train changes
If you’re headed across Europe by train, it’s likely you’ll have to change trains! This will commonly happen in Paris, Brussels or Lille; the Eurostar’s termini.
If you are connecting from the Eurostar to an onward destination, Railbookers will always allow enough time for you to connect – whether you’re changing stations or simply finding a different platform. It is likely that you will need to change stations in Paris, where in Lille or Brussels you’ll probably only need to leave the Eurostar arrivals and find your connecting platform.
Connecting in Paris
Eurostar arrives into Gare du Nord in the north of Paris. If your onward train requires a station connection rather than a platform change, please refer to the information below. Railbookers are also able to book transfer services between stations if you require. Just speak to one of our Travel Consultants.
Gare de l’Est is a short walk away from the Eurostar terminal.
Gare Saint-Lazare is just one stop on RER line E, or is about a 30-minute walk from Gare du Nord (not recommended with heavy luggage).
Gare d’Austerlitz is accessible directly on the Metro. Travel on line 5 in the direction of Place d’Italie.
Gare de Lyon can be reached on RER line D, heading towards Melun or Malesherbes. Be aware that although the station is only two stops away, the station gets very busy.
Gare Montparnasse is the furthest station from Gare du Nord, though is still a direct journey. Take line 4 on the Metro in the direction of Mairie de Montrouge.
Connecting in Brussels
Eurostar trains arrive in Brussels at Brussels Midi Station (also known as Brussels Zuid Station). Many trains to the rest of Belgium and Europe run from this station. If you are connecting in Brussels, you will likely just have to find a new platform. Platforms will vary depending on the type of train you are getting. High speed trains, such as Thalys and ICE services, will normally leave from platforms 3 and 4. For local trains, be sure to check the departure board located in the main terminal. Your Railbookers Travel Consultant will be happy to advise you on timetables.
Connecting in Lille
This will generally be a platform change if you are connecting to a high speed service, such as a TGV. Some local rail services also operate from Lille-Flandres, a short walk away. Railbookers will include a map with your tickets if your holiday includes this connection.
What to expect at the train station as you start and continue your adventure
Train stations in Europe range from ornately sculpted, historical caverns to ultra-modern, “destination stations” of enormous scale. In many cases, the station will be your first taste of a city and the beginning of your adventure. If you are leaving the UK by rail, your first port of call will be one of Eurostar’s three termini:
ST PANCRAS INTERNATIONAL
Eurostar’s main hub is situated in the centre of London, connected to stations in the rest of the UK by both Kings Cross, St Pancras and nearby Euston stations, as well as by six London Underground lines. Railbookers are able to organise your UK rail tickets with your holiday, coordinating timings so you arrive in plenty of time to check in for Eurostar.
Parking: We recommend taking public transport to St Pancras International. There is a NPC car park located at the station in Pancras Road, NW1 2TB. More information can be found at www.npc.co.uk or by calling NPC directly on 0845 050 7080. Remember that the London Congestion Charge may apply if you are diving to St Pancras International.
Eurostar trains no longer run from Waterloo International. Eurostar’s London station is now St Pancras International.
Many Eurostar services also stop to Ebbsfleet International, located off Junction 2 of the M25, near the Dartford Crossing and Bluewater shopping centre in North Kent. There is a dedicated Ebbsfleet junction off the A2. Use the postcode DA10 1EB for your Satellite Navigation system. The station can also be accessed by bus and high-speed train. Our Travel Consultants will be happy to add on your train tickets to Ebbsfleet with your holiday.
Parking: Ebbsfleet International has 2,500 car parking spaces within a five minute walk of the Eurostar check-in. Parking can be pre-booked by visiting www.ebbsfleetintl.co.uk.
Some, though not many, Eurostar services also stop at Ashford International. The station is a 10 minute drive from Junction 10 of the M20, or can be reached by train.
Parking: There are 2,000 car parking spaces located at Ashford International. Parking can be pre-booked by visiting http://ashfordintl.co.uk/parking.
FIRST CLASS LOUNGES AT STATIONS IN EUROPE
Larger stations across Europe will often have lounges available for first class ticket holders. Facilities will vary, but you will invariably be greeted with a quiet, peaceful place to wait for your train. Some lounges also offer beverages and free Wi-Fi internet access. Your Railbookers Travel Consultant will be able to advise you of the facilities available on your holiday.
PASSPORT, VISA AND INSURANCE REQUIREMENTS
Review passport, visa and ID requirements for travelling by rail
To leave the UK and travel into Europe, the USA or beyond, you will need to make sure you have satisfied your destination’s passport and visa requirements. All passengers, including infants, are required to have a valid passport. Please check your documents to ensure all passports and visas are valid prior to purchasing your tickets. If your passport is in your maiden name this should not normally cause any difficulties, please take a copy of your marriage certificate with you when you travel.
For information relating to visa requirements, please refer to the relevant embassy. Some are listed below.
French Embassy – tel: 020 073 1200
Italian Embassy – tel 020 7312 2200
Belgian Embassy – tel: 020 7470 3700
Dutch Embassy tel: – 207 590 3200
German Embassy tel: 020 7824 1300
Swiss Embassy – tel: 020 7616 6000
US Embassy – tel: 020 7499 9000
Canadian Embassy – tel: 0207 004 6000
It is a condition of booking with Railbookers that you have sufficient travel insurance to cover your trip.
If you have any further questions regarding ID requirements or insurance, please contact one of our Travel Consultants on 020 3327 2440.