Since it was a lovely warm day, I decided to go to Metz. Above is the rather novel touch of placing a photo of the town onto the steps in Thionville. My train had been booked the day before using the SNCF ticket machines and the pricing wasn’t unreasonable, at €12. The ticket machines were very easy to use and were helpfully available in English.
One thing that British railway stations are usually quite bad on is indicating where a carriage will be when the train stops. With long trains it’s useful to know where to stand to avoid having quite a lengthy walk to the other end of the train. So, I was very impressed with this and everyone was very clear where to stand.
The train glided in smoothly, and it is a beautiful looking train. The train was on time, indeed actually a couple of minutes early, and there were clear announcements made. The train crew looked bored though and didn’t seem to be helping customers and instead just talked to themselves. Perhaps it’s not their job to help elderly customers with bags, but they could have done.
The other little problem was that the system to tell customers where to stand for their carriage entirely failed. The carriages were nowhere near where they should have been, leaving all of the passengers to rush towards where their ticket told them to be.
Which leaves the next problem, every TGV service requires a customer to have a seat reservation. But, it seemed no-one was sitting where they were meant to be sitting, so the whole thing becomes a little challenging. I just found a seat that wasn’t taken, but I notice a series of people shuffling around because it wasn’t very clear.
The interior of the TGV, could have been a little cleaner, but it looks like a well-made train. The leg-room on the seats was inferior to that of Amtrak in the United States, but to be fair, Amtrak do offer ridiculous amounts of space.
It wasn’t that busy on the train journey to Metz, although it was early on a Sunday morning. The seats themselves were clean and there were power points so that customers could charge their devices. It felt a comfortable environment and there were handy tray tables at every seat.
The train journey itself was smooth and rather pleasant, none of the clattering about of the trains on some regional lines. The service was also fast and it arrived into Metz on time, with the conductor making announcements in both French and English. My ticket wasn’t though checked and I didn’t see the conductor walking through the train, which might have been helpful for any customer who needed assistance of any kind.
The two photos above are of the TGV I got back to Thionville at the end of the day.