Marseille railway stations 2003 news

Marseille railway station in 2003

During the months of July and August it's Summertime and Holiday season in Marseille. Plenty of tourists then travel by train to and from the South of France, so it's bussy at the Marseille railway station.

In 2003 there is no direct rail link with the airport, but a busservice is available between the airport and the Marseille Saint Charles railway station.

In July 2003 I wanted to take a train in Marseille. I still had to buy a ticket when I arrived by bus from the airport. I was in time to catch the train I needed, but noticed it was delayed, so I ate a sandwitch first. When afterwards I wanted to buy a ticket for the train something most amazing happened.

The train was half an hour late. I needed that train in order to catch a boat in Saint-Raphael, but i was unable to buy a ticket as railway staff told me that according to their reservation system the train had already gone.

I got onboard anyway (plenty of empty seats) and payed much extra as I was fined as an illegal passenger. But it got my boat in time. The train was late because vandals put it on fire twice that afternoon. Wonder why.

In 2003 the Hi-speed trains (TGV) in France can only be used with a valid reservation for a specific seat. The price of the train ride depends on who wants to travel (children and the elderly travel cheaper) and which fare type you get. Each fare type has only a limited number of seats availabe for sale. The sale of each fare type is opened on a different moment. Usual fare types are:
- for sale from 2 months in advance
- for sale from 14 days in advance
- for sale from 7 days in advance.
If you didn't make a reservation before you arrive at the railway station, it's normally possible to buy a ticket, but then you pay the full price which will be at least twice the best price.

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