Is RER safe?

Old Oct 16, 08, 8:07 pm
  #16  
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 1,958
If I was by myself, I may chance it - making sure I stay in a compartment iwith lots of other people close to the front. With family in tow, definitely not. It's just not worth the anxiety.
FTraveler is offline  
Old Oct 16, 08, 11:15 pm
  #17  
Moderator: Flying Blue (Air France & KLM), France and TravelBuzz!
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Paris, France, AF F+ Rouge pour toujours, Flying Blue whatever, LH FTL, HHonors Gold, formerly proud SCC Executive, now IC Ambassador, BA down to nobody, Grand Voyageur Le Club
Posts: 12,226
Originally Posted by ALCARLOS View Post
I have taken the RER around midnight. You are safe if you are an alert male without luggage. Otherwise, not a good idea.
I am male and do it regularly with luggage. Usually landing after 10:00 PM, about half an hour to pick up the luggage and reach the RER station. And then 1h30 mn to the other end of the line, close to Saint Remy les Chevreuse ... I managed to get used to it.
JOUY31 is offline  
Old Nov 27, 08, 7:10 pm
  #18  
 
Join Date: Feb 1999
Location: Honolulu, Hawaii, USA
Posts: 282
We were staying at the airport Hilton when my wife and I got lost when the train took itself out of service at midnight. I guess were couldn't heard the loudspeaker but neither could the parisians because a bunch of us ended up between stations with the lights out. We opened the doors and jumped onto the tracks to the nearby station. We manuever the train route to get back to the hilton. However, we ended up in a bad part of the system and there were two guys knocking things around and starting trouble. People walked away from them but I decided to stare them down. They mouth something to me but I said nothing and continued to stare them down. Mainly because I don't speak French so I didn't know what they said. They approached me and I continued to stare them dowm. They look like they wanted to fight but finally walk away. If you can stand this type of environment, then take the metro at night. And don't forget the smell of urine in many of the train stations. Good luck.
chauming is offline  
Old Nov 28, 08, 2:34 am
  #19  
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Swiss Riviera
Programs: EK Gold/AF Gold/BA Gold/SBB Mobilis and demi-tarif/Migros Cumulus :-)
Posts: 223
Like JOUY31 I used to happily use the RER B to and from CDG, until about 4 years ago I was in the same carriage as a guy who was assaulted and had his laptop bag forcibly removed for him by a youth whilst we were at one of the stations between CDG and the Gare du Nord. The youth made good his escape by pulling the emergency handle and sprinting off. That was early morning, me having just stepped off a redeye from the US. All happened very quickly and as I was sitting on a bench seat next to the door I reflected that it could so easily have been me.

My advice would be to avoid the RER to and from CDG, period (by the way, please note that I am not saying avoid the RER, period. The rest of it I use frequently. I just avoid the bit from CDG to the Gare du Nord inclusive). Don't put yourself in a position where there is a possibility that you might be compromised, it isn't worth it.

Cheers

Sim

By the way I've edited this post just to add: some RER trains stop (or used to stop) at all the stations between CDG and Gare du Nord. Others are direct from CDG to Gare du Nord. Same in the other direction. You might be thinking "it's the stops that are the problem so we'll just take the direct train, no worries". My advice is still the same, it isn't worth it. Take the cab.

Last edited by Simon78300; Nov 28, 08 at 2:43 am
Simon78300 is offline  
Old Nov 28, 08, 8:20 am
  #20  
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Dayton, OH
Programs: AAdvantage PLT, AA 2MM, Marriott Gold
Posts: 2,268
I too have heard the stories of predation on the RER B between CDG and Gare du Nord.

I would (a) never take this train at night, especially with luggage, (b) not sit close to the door with a laptop, and (c) keep the cell phone out of site.

I also prefer the express train and am willing to wait some extra time to avoid all the stops when I'm alone as I always have bags with me on this route.
benzguy80 is offline  
Old Nov 28, 08, 10:53 am
  #21  
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Naples, Florida
Posts: 7,422
Originally Posted by Simon78300 View Post
....By the way I've edited this post just to add: some RER trains stop (or used to stop) at all the stations between CDG and Gare du Nord. Others are direct from CDG to Gare du Nord. Same in the other direction. You might be thinking "it's the stops that are the problem so we'll just take the direct train, no worries". My advice is still the same, it isn't worth it. Take the cab.
How can I get an "Express RER" with no stops between CDG and Gare du Nord....do the trains look different, different signage? How often those direct-trains are going?
Thanks!

I have driven CDG-Gare du Nord, once direct and once with many stops ... the direct one looked like a Metro the other one looked like a "train" inside and had some military personal on board (not security, just taking the train to Paris)
USAFAN is offline  
Old Nov 28, 08, 12:20 pm
  #22  
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: TVC
Programs: AA LT PLT. SPG PLT.
Posts: 473
Originally Posted by USAFAN View Post
How can I get an "Express RER" with no stops between CDG and Gare du Nord....do the trains look different, different signage?
We just did this on Wednesday. The platform signs will have a light next to each station along the line. Light on = a stop. Light off = no stop at that station. Lots of lights off between CDG and Gare du Nord = express.

I think that there are names associated with all stops vs express as well. And the express were less frequent.

Just a novice on the ground report..
planecrashlaw is offline  
Old Nov 28, 08, 1:54 pm
  #23  
Moderator: Flying Blue (Air France & KLM), France and TravelBuzz!
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Paris, France, AF F+ Rouge pour toujours, Flying Blue whatever, LH FTL, HHonors Gold, formerly proud SCC Executive, now IC Ambassador, BA down to nobody, Grand Voyageur Le Club
Posts: 12,226
Originally Posted by Simon78300 View Post
Like JOUY31 I used to happily use the RER B to and from CDG, until about 4 years ago I was in the same carriage as a guy who was assaulted and had his laptop bag forcibly removed for him by a youth whilst we were at one of the stations between CDG and the Gare du Nord. The youth made good his escape by pulling the emergency handle and sprinting off. That was early morning, me having just stepped off a redeye from the US. All happened very quickly and as I was sitting on a bench seat next to the door I reflected that it could so easily have been me.

My advice would be to avoid the RER to and from CDG, period (by the way, please note that I am not saying avoid the RER, period. The rest of it I use frequently. I just avoid the bit from CDG to the Gare du Nord inclusive). Don't put yourself in a position where there is a possibility that you might be compromised, it isn't worth it.

Cheers

Sim

By the way I've edited this post just to add: some RER trains stop (or used to stop) at all the stations between CDG and Gare du Nord. Others are direct from CDG to Gare du Nord. Same in the other direction. You might be thinking "it's the stops that are the problem so we'll just take the direct train, no worries". My advice is still the same, it isn't worth it. Take the cab.
This must have been a dreadful experience . Still, time tends to blur memories. I remember swearing to myself that I would never use RER B again after the Saint Michel terrorist attack, and here I am, using it regularly, and I will be using it again tomorrow around 8 PM. That's life ...

Last edited by JOUY31; Nov 29, 08 at 4:42 pm
JOUY31 is offline  
Old Nov 28, 08, 1:57 pm
  #24  
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Tampa, FL
Programs: Nothing - I'm useless!
Posts: 2,441
This thread has me worried..

My study-abroad has me comuting all around Paris and the prime method of transport is supposed to be the RER for students on the program.

Is it really that bad or is it moreso just not adviseable at night through some of the worse parts of town?
KNRG is offline  
Old Nov 28, 08, 3:57 pm
  #25  
iff
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Posts: 2,335
Originally Posted by KNRG View Post
This thread has me worried..

My study-abroad has me comuting all around Paris and the prime method of transport is supposed to be the RER for students on the program.

Is it really that bad or is it moreso just not adviseable at night through some of the worse parts of town?
Just for clarity's sake:
RER = commuter train which goes across Paris and also into the suburbs
metro = subway which serves Paris

The RER can be confusing if you're not used to the system of train naming and destinations. It's a simple and cheap way to get to and from the airports and, depending on your route, can also be a fast way to get across Paris (fewer stops than the metro).

Within Paris, most of the time you'll probably be using the metro.

Some lines run through areas where tourists probably wouldn't go, and so you may see some tougher-looking characters on those. Generally speaking, if you just keep your street smarts about you (don't wear a backpack, keep your belongings close at hand, especially if sitting by a door, keep your money in a safe place, etc.) you shouldn't have anything to worry about.

As a woman riding alone most of the time, including late at night, I've never had any problems. I don't know if you're male or female; if female, you might occasionally get some undesired attention from men here and there, but you just have to be firm about telling them to get lost and usually they will. If you're with other people, that helps as well.
iff is offline  
Old Nov 28, 08, 4:51 pm
  #26  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: sf bay area
Programs: UA 1K
Posts: 413
Originally Posted by USAFAN View Post
How can I get an "Express RER" with no stops between CDG and Gare du Nord....do the trains look different, different signage? How often those direct-trains are going?
Thanks!
If you follow this link, you can pull up a schedule which shows which trains are Express, and which make the stops. Choose the direction "Robinson..." for trains from CDG, and the days (weekday or weekend) that you travel.

http://www.ratp.info/orienter/horaires_rer_ligne_b.php#
tomsundstrom is offline  
Old Nov 29, 08, 11:35 am
  #27  
 
Join Date: Feb 1999
Location: Denver CO
Posts: 3,666
Originally Posted by KNRG View Post
This thread has me worried..

My study-abroad has me comuting all around Paris and the prime method of transport is supposed to be the RER for students on the program.

Is it really that bad or is it moreso just not adviseable at night through some of the worse parts of town?
Are you going to the international university in the southern part of the 13th in Paris by any chance? If so, the RER out that way is generally very safe and well used by many people.
Mountain Trader is offline  
Old Nov 29, 08, 4:43 pm
  #28  
Moderator: Flying Blue (Air France & KLM), France and TravelBuzz!
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Paris, France, AF F+ Rouge pour toujours, Flying Blue whatever, LH FTL, HHonors Gold, formerly proud SCC Executive, now IC Ambassador, BA down to nobody, Grand Voyageur Le Club
Posts: 12,226
Uneventful RER B ride home from CDG to the other end of the line. As always, it took longer than my usual flights back from LHR or FRA .
JOUY31 is offline  
Old Nov 29, 08, 5:15 pm
  #29  
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Dayton, OH
Programs: AAdvantage PLT, AA 2MM, Marriott Gold
Posts: 2,268
Despite all the warnings I will admit that I've taken this train numerous times between CDG and St-Michel/Notre Dame without having any problems, ever.

There were a couple of times that I had too much stuff and probably should have taken a coach or a taxi, but that was my problem to sort out.

YMMV ...

benzguy80
benzguy80 is offline  
Old Nov 30, 08, 2:13 pm
  #30  
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Reading, UK
Programs: BA Silver, IHG Platinum, Hilton Diamond
Posts: 666
If you fly in to CDG1 (a hell-hole of a terminal) then you'll need to get a bus to the RER station within CDG - add another 20-30 mins of waiting/driving. Seriously consider staying the night at the airport to avoid hassle.

As above - the CDG-Gare du Nord trains are fine, but the stopping services have me on edge, even during the day.

I'd definitely go for the taxi - but don't expect the driver (most likely a North African immigrant) to admit to speaking English, so have a print out of where you need to go - and try and understand the route before you travel.
o0herbie is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread