Trains to and from Grenoble Airport (GNB)
Grenoble Airport is found in the south-eastern regions of France, and is an important gateway to the many wonderful ski resorts in the French Alps. The airport serves the city of Grenoble, as well as other towns and areas in the Isère department of the country. It is international, with flights to London, Birmingham, Copenhagen and Rotterdam, and is a modern and well-equipped French airport. However, it is not a very large establishment, handling only around 450,000 passengers per annum, and therefore there is no airport train station on the airport grounds. Passengers who would like to connect to the railway services of the country will need to first take a bus from the airport.
The airport, also known as the Grenoble-Saint-Geoirs Airport, is found approximately 45km, or 28 miles from Grenoble city, and just 2.5km from Saint-Etienne-de-Saint-Geoirs. A new terminal was built for the airport in 2002, with a capacity for over a million passengers per annum. Airport passengers have access to a range of facilities, including duty-free stores, shops and restaurants, meeting rooms, a VIP lounge, cash machines and tourist and general information desks. There also transport options available for arriving and departing passengers, and although no Grenoble Airport train station, buses provide a valuable link between the airport and the train stations of Grenoble and Lyon, a larger city found to the north-west of the airport.
Buses to Grenoble train station depart after each arrival flight of the airport, and they are found just outside the terminal building. The Grenoble Altitude buses take passengers to the Grenoble bus station, from where the train station is easily accessed, and the Agbus takes passengers to the Lyon Part Dieu railway station, which is the main station of Lyon city. Bus tickets are available from the ticket booth across from the baggage reclaim area of the airport, and will cost twelve or twenty Euro, depending on to which train station you will be travelling. The journey to Grenoble will take about forty-five minutes. The buses from the airport are all high-comfort vehicles, with air conditioning and toilet facilities, and room for luggage.
The airport was specifically built for the 1968 Winter Olympic Games, which has since been hosted by cities in the Rhone-Alpes region on three occasions. For this event as well, the train station of Grenoble was completely rebuilt and renovated, however, it dates back far longer than the airport, having been in service since 1858. The train station is found at 1 Place de la Gare, and in French, is known as the Gare de Grenoble. Its opening hours are from 04:!5 to 23:30, Monday to Thursday, and from 04:15 to 00:30 on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and bank holidays.
The Grenoble train station is the central railway service provider for a population of 400,000 people, and is regarded as comfortable and efficient. It is also well equipped with a variety of facilities for its passengers. There are two restaurant/bar areas and a take-away, and there are cash machines available. There are also lost property offices, and a tourist office just outside the station building. The station is able to accommodate passengers who are disabled and has a special disabled persons’ reception area from where further assistance is provided. Passengers are recommended to arrive here about half an hour before their train leaves. Additional facilities include public telephones and a WiFi hotspot.
The Grenoble Railway station can be easily accessed by a variety of modes of transport, and is located only half a mile from the heart of the city. Passengers can therefore even make it to the city centre on foot, as it is just a ten minute walk. However, buses and trams are available from the station. The Grenoble bus and tram network, known as TAG, is extensive, with bus lines 17 and 30 serving the station, and Tram line A serving the station. Four tram lines run across the city, and a tram is available every few minutes from early in the morning to late at night.
The SNCF railway station of Grenoble offers several high speed TGV trains to Paris every day. This is a direct journey covering the distance of 640km in about three hours. There are also hourly trains available to the Lyon Part Dieu Station, between the hours of 05:00 to 22:00, and the journey takes a little over an hour with the TER train services. From Lyon to Grenoble, trains depart between the hours of 05:30 and midnight. Other destinations served by rail from Grenoble include Geneva in Switzerland, the southern Alps and Valence, from where trains are available to southern France.
The official website of SNCF, the railway company of France, has further details regarding train schedules and fares. It can be found at http://www.sncf.com. Although there is no airport train station, passengers will find the buses to Grenoble very comfortable and convenient, and can make further enquiries at the airport information desks.