Warning to Visitors

Some of the information below may be out of date as a result of changing timetables and services. Please double check the accuracy of all information before travelling.

The booking forms should be up to date however, so if tickets for a particular service are available, then the service should be operational.

Paris - Frankfurt (Alleo ICE / TGV Train)

Rail

The Journey

Two of Western Europe's key financial cities are linked by a high-speed service, the operation of which is shared by France's TGV and Germany's InterCity Express (ICE) on a service known as Alleo. The journey is made in around four hours.

There are plans in the works for a direct high-speed service between Frankfurt and London to run in the near future. This would be operated by Deutsche Bahn, using InterCity Express trains, and would cut down the journey time between the two cities considerably, opening up the European high-speed rail network to an even greater extent.


Inter City Express (ICE) Trains

The Inter City Express (also known as InterCityExpress or ICE) train service is a network of high speed rail routes operating with Germany and its neighbouring countries. 

The distinctive trains, painted in pale grey and red are easily recognised and well respected for their quality and speed. As a result, the price of tickets for ICE services is generally higher than normal trains. 

ICE Sprinter Trains

ICE Sprinter services offer business passengers the opportunity to travel on faster (fewer stops) services in the morning and evening peak hours. They generally depart at around 6am and 6pm. Reservations on these services is mandatory.

Sprinter services operate on the following routes:

  • Berlin - Frankfurt;
  • Hamburg - Cologne; and
  • Hamburg - Frankfurt.

ICE services offer the choice of first and second class accommodation. All carriages are air-conditioned and offer a variety of high-tech facilities for passengers. 

When booking your ticket, you should be given the option to book a window or aisle seat, as well as face-to-face or row seating with a seat-back or fixed table.

Most seats have a headphone jack available for listening to on-board radio programmes. Some first and second class seats (depending on train age and route in question) offer passengers an individual video screen for viewing movies and other information. Passengers may choose between three radio stations, offering classical music, jazz, rock/pop and a children's channel.

On most trains, electrical sockets are available at every seat, and an electronic display above the seats indicates whether they are reserved (and if so, between which destinations). ICE trains offer passengers enhanced mobile phone reception (except in designated quiet carriages).

First class passengers receive at-seat service and free newspapers. On the ICE Sprinter service, first class passengers also receive free drinks and an at-seat meal (breakfast or dinner).

Food & Drink

ICE trains all offer a restaurant car and/or self-service cafe on-board. The Bordbistro and Bordrestaurant offer different dishes depending on the time of day, and the menu often offers regional dishes and specialities. At-seat service is available for first class passengers, and a snack/beverage at-seat service is also available for second class passengers.

Disabled Passengers

All ICE trains offer special facilities for disabled passengers.

Other Services

Taxis and porters can be pre-booked for your arrival by members of the on-board service crew. Public phone booths and luggage lockers (locakable in return for a small deposit) are available on each train.

TGV

The French rail network offers passengers the chance to travel anywhere within the country in a matter of hours. That wouldn't be possible without the iconic TGV (Train à Grande Vitesse); one of the fastest high-speed trains in Europe.

The service, operated by SNCF (the French national rail network) are the pride of the French rail system; fast, efficient, comfortable, reliable and cheap. TGVs serve around 150 destinations across France, as well as a number of international destinations. The service offers a range of train types, including dual-level 'Duplex' trains. TGV Est are the latest trains to join the fleet.

The TGV network is formed of a number of route segments:

  • TGV Est - east of France;
  • TGV Méditerranée - south and south-east of France;
  • TGV Lyria - international services to Switzerland;
  • TGV Atlantique - west of France;
  • TGV Nord - north of France, linking with the Channel Tunnel;
  • TGV Paris-Germany - international services to Germany;
  • TGV Sud-Est - southeast of France;
  • TGV France-Italy - international services to Italy; and
  • TGV France-Spain - international services to Spain.

There are three classes of travel available to passengers: Standard Class, First Class, and TGV Pro (Business Class). TGV carriages are generally very spacious and comfortable, with plenty of legroom, drop-down tables and power points.

In First Class, passengers can choose to have Solo seats, which are single seats, which each facing the back of the one in front. Duo seats are available to all classes (two seats next to each other, facing the backs of the ones in front). Pairs of seats facing each other across a table are available in all classes, whilst first class also offers single seats facing each other. First Class seats have access to electrical sockets for portable device chargine.

First Class passengers have access to extra legroom and power-assisted seats. TGV Pro customers get the extra legroom as well as a welcome service on some services, as well as access to business lounges, dedicated carriages and travel packs. 

Food and Drink

Everyone has access to a buffet car which serves hot and cold food, as well as drinks. There tend to be meal deals available which make eating on the train a reasonably priced offer, although still more expensive than bringing your own food. There are also vending machines for snacky purchases. First and TGV Pro Class customers may choose to have their meal served at their seats, if travelling between Monday and Friday.

Luggage

Each passenger is allowed to bring two bags or suitcases on board (unlimited weight), as well as one piece of hand luggage (beat that low cost airlines!). Bulkier items can also be stored at the end of carriages. Remember to label any luggage that you leave unattended though, as this is taken quite seriously.

Disabled Passengers

TGV trains are well equipped for disabled passengers. Dedicated spaces are available for disabled passengers and their travel companions in the First Class section of the train. Disabled toilets are available near to dedicated disabled seating areas. Disabled passengers should request these seats at the time of booking.

Bicycles

Bicycles can be carried on-board some TGV services for an additional charge of around €15. Bicycle spaces must be booked in advance as space is limited. Folded bicycles may be transported free of charge.

Pets

TGV services do permit the transportation of pets. Domestic animals in pet carriers and larger dogs need a separate ticket for travel, whilst smaller pets in a pet carrier can be brought on-board for free. Each passenger can take two dogs or pet carriers on-board with them. Guide dogs travel for free.

Timetable

There are five services in each direction per day. Connecting services between Frankfurt, Dresden, Hannover and Berlin are also available. An alternative service between Brussels and Frankfurt is also in operation, and may be a quicker route for those travelling to/form cities such as London and Amsterdam.

Paris to Frankfurt by Train:

Station955195539553955595579559
 Mon-SatSunMon-Sat Sat 
Paris Gare de l'Est07.0609.0609.1013.1017.1019.06
Forbach08.4810.47---20.48
Saarbrucken08.5610.5610.5614.5618.5620.56
Kaiserlautern09.3511.3411.3415.3519.3521.35
Mannheim10.1712.1512.1516.1720.1722.17
Frankfurt (Main)10.5812.5812.5816.5820.5822.58

Frankfurt to Paris by Train:

Station955895569556955495529550
 Mon-SatMon-SatSun  Sat
Frankfurt (Main)06.0009.0109.0113.0116.5619.01
Mannheim06.4009.4109.4113.4117.4219.41
Kaiserlautern07.2110.2310.2314.2318.2320.23
Saarbrucken08.0011.0211.0215.0219.0221.02
Forbach08.08-11.10-19.11-
Paris Gare de l'Est09.5012.5012.5116.5020.5422.50

 

Price

Tickets for this route aren't especially cheap, starting at around €69 one-way. Fares vary depending on availability, exact route, and how far in advance you are booking. Use the link below to find the cost of your exact journey.

Railpass holders must pay a supplement to travel on this service. For Second Class travel, the supplement is €13, for First Class it is €25.

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