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Thread: Questions about train travel between London, Paris, and Barcelona

  1. #1

    Questions about train travel between London, Paris, and Barcelona

    I have been trying to figure out the logistics of taking the Eurostar train from London to Paris but am having a hard time finding information about how accessible the Eurostar actually is. The Eurostar page simply says "there are two wheelchair assigned spots per train" but doesn't offer much elaboration beyond that. I wonder if there is anybody who has taken this train who could give me an idea about their experience, both in terms of the train itself and how accessible the stations in London and Paris are.

    A separate but related question is about train options between Paris and Barcelona. Does anybody know of a good accessible train option between Paris and Barcelona?

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    No answers, sorry ,but you are awesome in your zest to travel !
    Get involved in politics as if your life depended on it, because it does. -- Justin Dart

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  3. #3
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    Two years ago I went for Europe trip with my family and I had pleasant experience in Eurostar train.. London to Parish and Parish to London both time they upgrade me and my wife’s tickets to first class and also both time they gave us free meal and unlimited drink free. Loading and unloading time two people were ready to help at first class door with portable ramp . London under ground train you have to be quick to go in and out . Also some platform there is wide gap or little difference in level between train and platform . So if you have small caster in front of your wheel chair it be nice somebody with you. Barcelona is very handicap friendly city. Buses are handicap accessible and provides live guided toor . Many place we didn't have to wait in line at entrance but they let my whole family from different door with my wheel chair.

    If you have any question email me kishoec@aol.com and my son can explain you better .

  4. #4
    I am so glad you are coming to Europe! you are going to love it!

    Unfortunately, I have never taken the Eurostar, so I cant provide info on that...

  5. #5
    Moderator jody's Avatar
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    not a clue, but CoooooL.

  6. #6
    It has been a few years since we traveled the "chunnel" (The Channel Tunnel in English and in French: Le tunnel sous la Manche), so things may have changed a good deal. One down side was there was no one to help with luggage. There was no baggage check in like with an airline. We had to put our luggage on a cart for rent, wheel it to the train platform, load the luggage on to the train (it traveled in a "closet" in our car), and then unload and cart the luggage to the taxi rank in Paris (the reverse on return to London).

    Otherwise the wheelchair accommodation on board the train was wonderful and the food was pretty good. We traveled first class and enjoyed the relatively short ride. It is great to be able to go from city central in London and arrive in city central in Paris. It is so much more convenient than getting to the major airports in those two cities.

    The one-way fare for a passenger in a wheelchair is about $51 and a companion can accompany the the passenger in the wheelchair for the same rate of $51. ($102 one way for two people). Rates are otherwise substantially highers.
    Wheelchair Passengers: A ramp will be available and you will be assisted by Eurostar staff when boarding the train. You are advised to arrive at the Eurostar terminal at least 60 minutes before departure and notify a member of staff that you require assistance.

    Have a grand time.

    All the best,
    GJ

  7. #7
    Thanks very much kishorc and gjnl! Your accounts of your own experience with the Eurostar has been very helpful. We are flying into London and have a bit of flexibility in our schedule before we are due in Spain. My sister really wants to visit Paris, but I wasn't sure the Eurostar would be a feasible option for me. But it sounds like it is very doable. Thank you also for offering your email address kischorc. That was very nice of you. I do have a few more questions so will definately be in touch.


    Quote Originally Posted by kishorc View Post
    Also some platform there is wide gap or little difference in level between train and platform . So if you have small caster in front of your wheel chair it be nice somebody with you.
    Ah yes..."Please Mind the Gap!" I was last in London several years ago, although only briefly and before I was injured, and I forgot all about that aspect of The Tube. We are staying at a hotel near Heathrow and I think I may see if there is a different option for getting from there to the St Pancras station to catch the train to Paris.

    Quote Originally Posted by gjnl View Post
    It is great to be able to go from city central in London and arrive in city central in Paris. It is so much more convenient than getting to the major airports in those two cities.
    Yes that is so true, train travel is so much easier than flying...at least for me I think it will be for me. But this is my first trip overseas post-injury so this is all new for me. Flying between London and Paris isn't something I want to do. And now I am thinking that backtracking to London from Paris to catch our flight to Barcelona doesn't make a great deal of sense either. So once I get the Eurostar booking sorted out, I am going to figure out what might be the best option to get from Paris to Barcelona.


    Quote Originally Posted by agnes View Post
    I am so glad you are coming to Europe! you are going to love it!
    I think so The amount of planning this trip requires was starting to get me down and I was ready to scrap it and say "just forget about it, this just isn't possible." But then I would be sitting at home wondering "what if." I *think* we have found a way to make it all work. The whole detour to Paris is complicating arrangements that were already made, which is probably not wise, but I think it will be worth it. Hopefully! I am really looking forward to this trip.


    Quote Originally Posted by Liz321 View Post
    No answers, sorry ,but you are awesome in your zest to travel !
    Thanks. Travel was always a part of my life I enjoyed a great deal. Now, the physical experience is very different, but also the emotional experience of travel has changed for me. It's very bitter sweet, if that is the right word. But I do still enjoy it. I am fortunate my family is willing to help make it possible for me to still travel.
    Last edited by orangejello; 11-21-2010 at 01:34 AM.

  8. #8
    What are your plans while in London?

    I am not a big fan of London because of the crowds, specially since I moved to Bristol, where I can see most of the same concerts and exhibitions.. But I would definitely recommend in London:

    - the british museum
    - the national gallery of art (and Trafalgar square in front of it)
    - if you like modern art, tate modern is cool.
    - I have always wanted to go on the London Eye.. have not done so yet, but it looks awesome.

    Enjoy! in spite of the planning, the experience I am sure will be memorable.

  9. #9
    Senior Member cypresss's Avatar
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    I was able when last time I've traveled with a high speed train, but I can ensure you that they are very accessible. If eurostar doesn't have good info, take a look at the TGV webpage. From this point of view, is the same thing. I bet you will enjoy everything related to this transport.

    In Paris, the subway might be a problem, bc it is very old.

    best regards and don't forget to have fun!
    Last edited by cypresss; 11-21-2010 at 11:20 AM.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member Dado's Avatar
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    Wheelchair access in Eurostar is pretty good. Used it to go from Brussels to London and had no problems. You can use the train seat or travel on your own wheelchair. I have pics that I can send you if you want...

    There is some info and pics about Thalys, Eurostar and Renfe on my blog: http://maonarodablog.com.br/2008/12/...rens-europeus/

    It´s in portuguese, but you can try to translate with Google Translator.

    I also thought of going from Paris to Barcelona by train, but it´s a loooong trip. Decided to the change my route and do London-Barcelona by plane. Worked perfectly! Departed from London City airport and arrived in Barcelona´s airport, which is very close to downtown (about 10 Km).

    If you plan to buy tickets for the first class, check if there are accessible seats there. I had a problem with this when buying tickets from a trains company. Don´t remember if it was DB (Germany) or OBB (Austria).

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