The Train a Grand Vitesse (TGV) is the high-speed rail network of France. Reaching speeds of up to 200mph, it's a great way to whip through the French countryside to your destination. The SNCF website has information for TGV and national rail service timetables. TGV train tickets must be bought in advance and there are a whole host of special offers available for families, seniors, and groups throughout the year. Tickets can be purchased online or at any train station in France.
The city of Bordeaux is served by the Auto Train service where you deposit your car on the train and take alternative transport to your destination. Perfect for long journeys and when you want to have your own car when you arrive at your destination. Operated by the SNCF, time and days of travel vary throughout the year so it is best to check the website for an up-to-date timetable. Normally you will find that travel to Bordeaux is available daily throughout the summer months of late June to early September, and perhaps once of twice a week outside of this peak time.
Whether you're travelling with a single carry-on bag or several large suitcases, your luggage is a part of your journey. There is no restriction on the weight or amount of luggage you bring on board, however, if you are travelling with a bicycle then it should be no larger than 90cm x 120cm. If it is larger than this then you'll need to remove the wheels and pack them in a carrying bag along with the frame. Either way, your bike will travel for free.
A door-to-door luggage service is available in continental France, Germany, Luxemburg and Switzerland. The SNCF will collect your luggage from you and deliver it to the address of your choice the next day, allowing you to travel luggage-free.
Pets & animals
To ensure that man's best friend can join you on holiday, trains in France allow your pets to travel with you. With most rail providers, pets under 6kg in weight can travel for free as long as their bag or basket does not exceed 45cm x 30cm x 25cm. Larger animals may be permitted at an additional charge. You should check with your rail provider in advance. Guide dogs can travel for free.