Gare de Lyon

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Paris to Fontainebleau by Train

By | March 1, 2014 | in Attractions

Overview

Departure station => Paris-Gare de Lyon

Train Line => Transilien or Ter

Direction => Laroche-Migennes / Montereau / Montargis / Sens

Arrival Station => Fontainebleau-Avon (Zone 5)

Ticket => Billet Ile-de-France – Fontainebleau–Avon

Price => 8,75€ one way (as of March 1, 2014)

Passes Accepted => Carte Orange/Pass Navigo, Ticket Mobilis, Paris Visite Card

Attractions => INSEAD, Forest of Fontainebleau, Chateau Fontainebleau

First Train / Last Train => 06:05 / 23:35 (see notes)

Paris Fontainebleau-Avon Train Schedule

Paris to Fontainbleau Train Timetable

Fontainebleau to Paris Train Timetable

Details

To get to Fontainebleau from Paris take a Transilien train from Paris-Gare de Lyon to station Fontainebleau-Avon, which takes about 40 minutes. (See the Gare de Lyon photo tour for information about this station).

Start by checking the train schedule for Paris-Fontainebleau or search for trains at Transilien.com. If you’re using Transilien.com, search for trains leaving from station “Gare de Lyon” in Paris, going to destination city Fontainebleau, without specifying the destination station. The frequency of trains from Paris to Fontainebleau can range from 20 minutes apart during rush hour to 1 hour 30 minutes apart during quiet periods of mid-morning, mid-afternoon and late at night.

Unless you have a ticket Mobilis (day pass) / Passe Navigo Découverte / Paris Visite card good for all 5 zones, you’ll have to buy a special billet Ile-de-France [bee-yah Eel-duh-franz] for this train. This can be done only at the SNCF/Transilien Ile-de-France ticket window just west of the Blue platform (see the photo of the Transilien ticket window at Gare de Lyon), or at the blue, boxy ticket vending machines (Billetterie Ile-de-France), at the end of the Galeries des Fresques just west of the ticket window or on the Yellow Zone platform just outside the building. Most of the ticket windows and vending machines in Gare de Lyon only sell tickets for the Grandes Lignes trains, which depart for cities outside of the main Parisian/Ile-de-France area, so don’t make the mistake of lining up in one of these queues as they won’t be able to sell you the ticket you need.

At the ticket window, simply ask for “Fontainebleau Aller-Rétour” [fawn-tan-blow alleh-ray-tour]. You’ll get two tickets, one for each direction, for about 16,80€. You’ll have to pay by cash unless you happen to have a smart-card / Euro credit card. North American credit cards will most likely not work at any SNCF ticket window nor ticket vending machine, so keep some cash handy.

With tickets in hand it’s time to find out which platform your train will depart from. At Gare de Lyon there are two platforms, Blue and Yellow. The Blue platform is marked with lanes or “voie” that are letters A to N, ascending from left to right, on signs with a blue background. The Yellow platform has lanes that are numbered from 5 to 23, in ascending order from right to left, with signs in yellow.

Trains leaving for Fontainebleau can be on either platform, on any lane so find the Gare de Lyon Departures board at either one of the platforms (taking care not to mistake it for the Arrivals board, also available at each platform). What you’re looking for on the board is the terminus station, i.e. the last station that the train will stop at, not Fontainebleau-Avon, which will never be marked on the board. Your train will be one of the following:

  • Laroche-Migennes
  • Montargis
  • Montereau
  • Sens

The board will note the train number (useless information), the terminus station (any one of the four noted above), time of departure, and which platform and lane. At the right hand side you’ll see a blue or yellow square. This corresponds to which platform your train will leave from, Blue or Yellow. The number or letter for the lane will often not be marked on the board until 15 minutes before the train leaves, but make your way to the correct platform before that. At the right platform you’ll notice a crowd of people staring at the big black Departures board. What they’re waiting for is the lane number or letter to appear on top of the yellow or blue square, denoting exactly which lane the train will depart from. During busy hours, once that lane letter or number is posted, there is a hurried rush towards the train parked in that lane. If you wish to have a seat for the 40 minute ride, be one of those people.

To double check that you’re on the right train, take note of the television or LCD displays at the beginning of the train “voie” (lane). The display will show each stop the train will make on its journey. One of them should be Fontainebleau-Avon. If that stop isn’t listed, check the Departures board and find the correct lane for your train.

The train, once underway will often make one or two stops (and possibly none) before arriving at Fontainebleau-Avon, so be sure to check which station you’re at before jumping off. The stops are generally Melun, after 25 minutes, and Bois-le-Roi about ten minutes after that and then finally Fontainebleau-Avon.

When arriving, if you happen to be the first at the door, look for the door button as the doors do not automatically open. Don’t be surprised if the doors are a bit sticky and require some encouragement (pushing) to get fully open.

[Update & new photos kindly provided by TomL]

At Fontainebleau-Avon station you’ll be descending at the back of the station where you’ll find several buses numbered 1 through 6 that head off in various directions. Bus 1 heads towards Chateau Fontainebleau, if that happens to be your destination. Look for a bus with a red circled 1 heading in direction “Les Lilas”. Travel time from Fontainebleau-Avon train station (gare) to Chateau Fontainebleau is about 14-15 minutes. The ticket or Navigo pass you used for the (Transilien) train from Paris to Fontainebleau is useable for this bus connection. Here’s a bus schedule for line 1 between Fontainebleau-Avon train station and Chateau Fontainebleau. The bus is branded “Aerial”.

If you’re using a single ticket (billet Ile-de-France) for your trip, you’ll need to purchase a ticket from the bus driver.  For Pass holders (Carte Paris Visite, Pass Navigo/Carte Orange, Ticket Mobilis 5 Zone), buses in Fontainebleau are included.

Enjoy your trip.

Notes

The schedule for trains traveling from Paris to Fontainebleau may change depending on day of the week, holidays, special periods of the year and special days of the year. In general the first train of the day is 6:05am, the last train is 11:35pm. As of December, 2008, the Paris to Fontainebleau train schedule is now the same across all days of the week and on holidays: two trains per hour, leaving Gare de Lyon at :05 and :35 after the hour, each hour.  You can always verify train times at Transilien.com.

Links

Paris to Fontainebleau Train Times / Timetable

PDF map of Gare de Lyon

‘Gare de Lyon’ Train Station

By | June 26, 2008 | in RER RER A Trains - Intercity stations

Here is photo tour of Gare de Lyon train station in Paris along with explanations to help you understand how to find your train and your way around Gare de Lyon. You may wish to refer to a map of Gare de Lyon station while following the pictures in this article to help familiarize yourself with the layout.

Arriving at Gare de Lyon by Metro or RER

Gare de Lyon Train Station Level 2 Signs

If you’re arriving at Gare de Lyon from a Paris Metro or RER train and are making a connection to a TGV or other type of surface train, you’ll need to make your way from Niveau (Level) -2 to up to the train platforms at street level (Niveau/ Level 0).  From the Metro or RER trains, take stairs or escalators up one level and follow the overhead signs pointing to the Grandes Lignes.

Gare de Lyon Suburban & TGV Train Departures Screen

Along the way you may see overhead screens listing surface train departures.  These screens show the type of train, train number, departure time, final destination or terminus station, which zone of Gare de Lyon the train will be parked at (either Blue or Yellow) and finally which platform (“Voie”), designated by letters A through N for the Blue Zone and numbers 5 through 23.  For an example, look at the first train departure on the left screen which shows a TGV train, number 7665, departing at 14h28 (2:28pm), final destination Dijon Ville station, leaving from the Blue Zone at platform D.  Further down you’ll notice blue and yellow squares beside destination names, but no number or letter.  This means that the station hasn’t decided which platform the train will leave from, only that it will leave from the designated zone: Yellow or Blue. These zones will be explained later in this article.

If you’re arriving by car, tax, bus, or on foot, below is the exterior of Gare de Lyon with its distinctive clock tower.

Gare de Lyon Train Station Building Front

The above photo of Gare de Lyon was taken from boulevard Diderot, just north of the station, looking south.

If you’re arriving at Gare de Lyon by TGV or other type of surface level train, you’ll end up parked at either one of two platform zones: Yellow or Blue.

Blue Zone Train Platforms

Gare de Lyon Train Station Panorama

Here is a panoramic photo of Gare de Lyon’s Blue zone train platforms and its Grandes Lignes trains.  To help get your bearings, the large clock tower you saw from the exterior photo, not visible here, is at the extreme far right hand side of this position behind us. The Yellow Zone platforms are diagonally left at the far end of the Blue platforms, accessible by a walkway traversing the left wall of the Blue zone.

Gare de Lyon Train Station East Side Blue Platforms Train Bleu

Gare de Lyon “Blue” Platform/Zone, looking in direction west north west, facing the restaurant l’Express Bleu, just above a set of stairs/escalators leading down to level -1 (Galerie Diderot). Healthy amount of Apple ipod billboards on display the day this photo was taken (June 21, 2008).

Gare de Lyon Train Station East Side Blue Platforms

Another photo of Gare de Lyon Blue Platform from the opposite angle/side. From here you can see the restaurant Le Train Blue, with neon sign, up at the top left, accessible by stairs on either side. It’s take away and quick meals restaurant L’Express Bleu, is located directly underneath. The escalators you see here lead down to Galerie Diderot’s western end, with access to buses, car rentals, taxis and Rue de Bercy.

Gare de Lyon Train Station East Side Blue Platforms TGV Trains

Gare de Lyon Blue platform again, facing west south west. In this photo, from left to right, we see escalators heading down one level to Galerie Diderot giving access to Metro lines 1 and 14, RER A and RER D, buses, taxis on rue de Bercy (for quick travel to Gare d’Austerlitz on the other side of the Seine) and car rentals (“location de voitures”). All of this is printed on the blue sign posted immediately west of the escalators.

In this photo there are several TGV trains parked on the blue platform. At the head of each train you can see a blue sign with a white letter, signifying the lane or “voie”. Beside the signs are television screens showing detailed information about the train: the train number, its destination, the station stops the train will be making along its route.

On the right hand side of the photo you can see the large departure board. Every train leaving Gare de Lyon will be listed on this board, regardless of whether the train is leaving from the blue platform or yellow platform. The trains are ordered in time till departure. The next train to leave Gare de Lyon will be listed at the top.

Each train listed on the departures board has the following information:

  • Type of train: TGV or regular/conventional train
  • Train number: marked on TGV tickets, but not on regional train (Transilien/RER) tickets
  • Time of departure (Heure): when the train is leaving, in 24 hour clock, example 14:25 for 2:25pm
  • Destination: the final destination (terminus station) of the train. There is a very good chance your station or stop will not be listed since your station is before the terminus station, but the train will stop at your station. To verify that the train in this lane/voie will stop at your station, refer to the television screens at the head of the lane, which give detailed information on the voyage.
  • Details (Particularités): 1st (1eme) and 2nd (2eme) class train cars or simply 2nd class.
  • Lane (Voie): where your train is parked. Note the color of the square, blue or yellow. If the square is blue, the train is waiting in the blue platform. If yellow, you need to go the other train platform at the other side of the station. If you see only a color but no letter or number on top of this, Gare de Lyon station controllers have not decided which lane the train will be parked in, simply which platform or zone. It would be smart to be at the correct zone before the lane number is posted for the train, so that you have time to get aboard and stow your belongings without having to rush.

Galerie Diderot Beneath Blue Zone

Gare de Lyon Train Station Sub-Level 1 East

This is Galerie Diderot, one level down for the Blue platform (niveau -1), facing east. Here you can find various clothing, personal care shops and toilets (located at the far eastern end). Note that the washrooms are pay-for-entry within Gare de Lyon. The fee is 0.50€ (fifty centimes), which you give to the madame working the gate and she provides you with a token to use in the turnstile giving you access to the washroom. The washroom is separated into men’s and women’s sides, but is in the same overall “room”.

Gare de Lyon Train Station Galerie Diderot West

Turning around we see Galerie Diderot at its western end, at street level, facing west towards Rue de Bercy and Gare d’Austerlitz. Just above us is the Blue Platform. Just outside the doors ahead in the distance are the buses 20, 24, 57, 63, 65, 87 which connect Gare de Lyon to Gare d’Austerlitz and various other places around Paris (and Paris central which is west of this location, accessible by Bus 24 among others). This is also the location of the car rental offices (Location de voitures). One more level down from this location are RER A, RER D, Metro line 14, all accessible just ahead and left, down the stairs.

Yellow Zone Train Platforms

Gare de Lyon Train Station Yellow Platforms West

In this photo we see Gare de Lyon’s Yellow Platform/Zone facing East towards Rue Chalon and Place Henri Frenay. In the foreground are escalators and stairs leading down to the Salle Mediterranée, giving access to Metro line 14 and RER A, RER D trains another level below (niveau -2). At the far end, left hand side are another set of stairs leading again to the Salle Mediterrannée giving access to the baggage lockers/luggage storage (Consignes). At the far end you can see the Departures Board listing trains leaving from both Blue and Yellow Zones. On the right are the Grandes Lignes train platforms (voies) marked by yellow signs with numbers instead of letters, since this is the Yellow Platform. In the center right of the photo is a glass box with “Accueil” marked overhead. This is the information bureau manned by several employees to answer questions about your train or Gare de Lyon.

Gare de Lyon Train Station Yellow Platform

Above we see the Yellow Zone platforms in detail.  You can clearly see the platform numbers on their yellow background at the head of each lane. Near the centre of the photo is a set of four ticket machines.

Gare de Lyon Train Station Yellow Platforms Ticket Machines Detail

Looking more closely, the three machines on the left are for purchasing, pickup or exchange of TGV train tickets.  The last boxy blue machine on the right is a Billetterie Ile-de-France selling Billets Ile-de-France, which are tickets for station to station travel in the Ile-de-France region that contains Paris and its suburbs. For example, you’d use a Billet Ile-de-France for traveling from Gare de Lyon to Fontainebleau. This machine also sells Metro/RER Ticket t+ and carnets of tickets (books of 10 or 20 at a discount).  Paris Metro Tickets are used for the Paris Metro and RER within zone 1.

Also to note in the above photo are the three types of validation machines visible, one for Carte Orange/Pass Navigo, one for Billets Ile-de-France and one for TGV Tickets.  Immediately beside the boxy blue Billetterie Ile-de-France is the Pass Navigo validation card reader.  Those using Carte Orange on either a Pass Navigo or Pass Navigo Découverte are asked to validate their card using this machine before boarding an Ile-de-France train (Transilien, Ter or RER).  The yellow box attached to the metal pillar is a TGV ticket validation machine (composter).  Finally, on the opposite side of the pillar, mostly hidden, is a Billet Ile-de-France ticket validation machine.  Use of this machine for Billets Ile-de-France is required before boarding.

Turning around in the opposite direction of the Yellow Zone train platforms is a long hallway known as the Galerie des Fresques, where the main ticket sale windows for Gare de Lyon are located.

Ticket Sales / Pickup at Gare de Lyon

Gare de Lyon Galerie des Fresques Hall

Turning left from the Yellow Zone picture above we see the long hall known as the Galerie des Fresques.  On both the left and right hand sides of the hall are ticket windows and sellers.  Lining the hall are yellow ticket vending machines that can also make ticket changes and handle ticket collection, provided that you’re using a smart-chip enabled credit card (normally European only cards, few if any North American credit cards work with these machines).

Gare de Lyon Train Station Ticket Windows

Above is another photo of the Galerie des Fresques from the opposite end, looking towards the Yellow Zone.  Clearly visible here are the manned ticket windows where one can buy or pickup pre-bought tickets for TGV, and other types of Grandes Lignes trains.

Gare de Lyon Train Station Ticket Window Detail

In this close-up photo of a ticket window you can see a video display screen noting which languages the employee speaks.  At the top of the screen are multiple of flags denoting spoken languages.  This gentlemen in particular speaks English, German and Italian in addition to French.  This ticket window is also equiped with a device to aid those with hearing impairment.  Keep in mind that you can’t actually queue for a particular ticket window as the lineups serve multiple windows.  You could simply note which seller speaks a language you’re comfortable using and let others pass in front of you till that employee in particular is free.

Gare de Lyon Paris Suburban Trains Ticket Window

Immediately to the right of the previous Galerie des Fresques photo is the ticket window for Billets Ile-de-France and Carte Orange. If you don’t have a smart-chip/European credit card (or lots of Euro coins) you’ll have to use this ticket window to purchase your billet Ile-de-France with cash. Beyond this area is the Blue Zone platform.

Gare de Lyon Train Station Transilien Ticket Window Paris Suburban Trains

A head-on photo of the Billets Ile-de-France / Transilien ticket window.

Paris Metro RER Suburban Train ticket vending machines

Just left of the Billets Ile-de-France / Transilien ticket window are two more ticket vending machines. Although one machine is green, the other blue, they are otherwise identical in their tickets and carnets sold.  They can be found against the back wall at the end of Galerie des Fresques near the blue zone, just beside the exit door to the right, taking Euro coins, Carte Blue French debit cards and smart-chip credit cards.

Getting from the Yellow to Blue Zones

Gare de Lyon Train Station Blue Yellow Platform Crossing

Connecting the Yellow zone to the Blue zone is the walkway show above on the east side of the Blue train platforms.  This photo was taken from the Yellow Zone looking towards the Blue Zone. Take note of the stairs leading underground on the train platform to the left.  These stairs give immediate access to Level -1 the Salle Méditerranée, which another level down gives access to the Metro and RER trains.

Baggage Storage at Gare de Lyon

Gare de Lyon Train Station Baggage Lockers

One level down from Gare de Lyon Yellow Zone is the Salle Mediterrannée giving access to Place Henri Frenay (to the right of this photo). Here you see the baggage storage room (Consignes). Upon entrance to the luggage locker area you’ll have to pass through a metal detector and have your luggage x-rayed before finding a locker. There will be change machines inside that take Euro bills and change them into 2€ and 1€ coins. The prices of the lockers vary depending on size, from 5€ to 9,50€. The large lockers will fit up to 4 medium sized wheeled suitcases.  The maximum length of a storage period is 48 hours.  I have no idea what happens after the 48 hour period is up.  The baggage storage room is open from 6:15am till 10pm at night everyday.

Map of Gare de Lyon

Here is a Adobe Acrobat format Map of Gare de Lyon station (PDF) and its three levels: Level 0 – Grandes Lignes Blue and Yellow Zones, Level -1 Galerie Diderot and Salle Méditerranée, and Level -2 Metro and RER trains.

Resources

Paris Transport Security & Safety Tips

RER A Line Map Panel

By | June 16, 2008 | in Maps RER RER A

RER A Line Map within Gare de Lyon Station in Paris

This is a photo of a RER A Line Map within Gare de Lyon showing its five branches:

  • A1 – Saint Germain-en-Laye
  • A2 – Boissy, Saint-Léger
  • A3 – Cergy Le Haut
  • A4 – Marne La Vallée, Chessy, Euro Disney
  • A5 – Poissy

To know which direction you should be taking on a RER A train, first find the station you want to arrive at on a line map or panel like the one shown above.  Once you’ve found your station, follow the line on the map until its end: the terminus station.  The name of the terminus station will be the direction you’re after, either “Boissy, St-Légere, Marne-la-Vallée” (off to the east of Paris for locations like Euro Disney) or “St-Germain-en-Laye, Poissy, Cergy”  (off the west of Paris, for locations such as La Défense).

Once you’ve located the right platform for your direction, you need to take an RER A train that will stop at your station, since not all RER trains will stop at all stations along the line.  You must refer to the RER station stop panels located above the train platforms to see where the next train will stop.

More Information

RER A Schedules and RER A Line Map

Paris Gare de Lyon to Fontainebleau-Avon Train Schedule

By | May 26, 2008 | in Schedules

Below is the train schedule/timetable (valid till December 14, 2013) for Paris-Gare de Lyon to Fontainebleau-Avon on the Transilien Ile-de-France train network. If you’re looking to travel to INSEAD Business School or to Chateau Fontainebleau this is train line for you.  The train is actually known by its terminus stations either the Moret, Montereau or Montargis and your stop is Fontainebleau-Avon.

On weekends only there is a special stop made for accessing hiking & rock climbing/bouldering in the forests of Fontainebleau.  The train stop is named: Fontainebleau Forêt and runs only in the outbound direction from Paris Gare de Lyon train station towards Moret, Montereau/Montargis, departing once an hour at 8:19, 9:19, 10:19, 11:19, Saturdays, Sundays and holidays only.

Available formats:

For detailed train travel instructions, see Paris to Fontainebleau-Avon by Train.