TER - onboard experience

TER trains are local French trains - useful for connecting to stations serving ski resorts when a direct TGV isn't available

Circular seats on TER
You might find that a journey to a French ski resort that you want to make involves a ride on a TER train. These local trains in France come in a couple of styles  - older and newer. Here's a guide to what it's like on board.

Seating on the TER

Relaxing on TERPhoto: Daniel Elkan

Older TER's have quite a retro feel.  And although a little bit 'down-at-heel' they are pretty comfy, with some of the softest seating found on trains anywhere.

There are red pleated curtains that you can pull to or fro as you please.

These older TGVs run (very usefully) between Chambery and Bourg St Maurice.

There's no cafe bar on the TER, but you can bring whatever food and drink you like, and create your own feast.

Seating on newer TERs - 2nd Class

TER 2nd Class interiorTER 2nd Class interiorPhoto: Daniel Elkan

The photo above is one of the newer TERs.  Not brand spanking new by any means - these have been in circulation for a number of years.

They are just a lot newer than the more retro ones.

The newer ones have some plug sockets.

No TERs have wifi yet.

Seating on newer TERs - 2nd Class

TER 1st Class interiorTER 1st Class interiorPhoto: Daniel Elkan

There's not a big difference between 1st Class and 2nd Class on the TER.

Yellow seats instead of blue (which is obviously well worth paying for!) and more space. But apart from that, not much really.

On busy trains you are more likely to get a seat in 1st Class, but generally you can normally get a seat on a TER no problem.

On the older TER trains (the retro-style ones that run between Chambery and Bourg St Maurice) there is not 1st Class  - all carriages are 2nd class.

Luggage on TERs

Space for luggage on TERSpace for luggage on TERPhoto: Daniel Elkan

There's plenty of space for luggage, skis and snowboard on TER trains, both in the carriages and in special extra spaces between the carriages too.

More about TER trains

TER seatingTER seatingPhoto: Daniel Elkan

You'll find that there are plenty of table seats on TERs, which is really nice if there is a big group of you travelling together. And there's usually plenty of seats available. There are also toilets on the TER trains too. TER seats can't be reserved in advance. It's free seating once you get on the train. You can book tickets in advance, but you can also book tickets at the station, on the day of travel. So even if a train isn't on sale online, you'll still be able to book tickets at the station. This fact was confirmed by staff at the SNCF ticket office at Chambery station.

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