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Thread: RER during rush hour

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2009

    Default RER during rush hour

    Hi Ben,

    We are planning on staying near the Luxembourg RER station. We'll (2 of us) each be carrying a standard suitcase, and traveling to and from CDG during rush hour. Will this be a major issue for us? I have read about some RER trains having bicycle compartments during rush hour for people with luggage, but can not find a definite answer on this.

    Also, should we decide instead to stay near Opera, is it feasible, considering the luggage and rush hour to make the switch from RER B to RER A at Chatelet for Auber?

    Clearly, we are concerned about making our new French friends mad at us for dragging on luggage while they are trying to get to or from work!

    Great website! Thanks for your help.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2008


    Hi John

    When taking the RER B from CDG to Paris during rush hour, I highly recommend that you take the express RER B, which is about every 2nd train during the day. The expess RER B makes no stops in between Aeroport Charles de Gaulle Terminal 1 and Gare du Nord, making it much less popular for locals to ride in between these two stations and therefore more breathing room for you and your luggage.

    RER trains all have 4 letter "Mission" names which specify which stops they'll make. These Mission name of the next train and their corresonding stops are posted on panels on the train platforms at all stations. RER B express trains leaving CDG Airport will have Mission names that start with the letter K such as KROL, KROB & KRAN (depends on the time of day). Regular RER B trains leaving the airport will start the letter P and will make every stop on the way to central Paris. (Find RER B CDG to Paris train schedules here).

    Once the express RER B gets past Gare du Nord... it will stop at all stations and it will fill up in rush hour in Paris. But, you'll be able to make it out of the train, you just have to keep repeating "Excusé-moi"/"Pardon" and people will shimmy out of your way (or temporarily descend) to let you out.

    I just did this with my family who came for a visit and we were on a non-express RER B and it was mess. But we survived and made our stops, so... it was a character building experience.

    The RER B to RER A transfer is possible at Chatelet Les Halles and not too nightmarish. You will have to take an escalator up to the next floor after arriving at Chatelet Les Halles and then redescend down to the RER A platform.

    Best of luck!


    ps. French people don't get upset that you're bringing luggage on board, even in rush hour, especially on the RER B line, which everyone knows serves CDG Airport. They're used to it and everyone has done it, so they fully understand.
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