Trains to and from Lourdes Airport (LDE)
Lourdes Airport is one of the smaller French airports which serve the Hautes-Pyrenees region towards the south of the country, and is nearby the border of Spain. It is also in the western half of France, quite close to the coastal areas of Bayonne, Biarritz and Anglet. The airport is located just 10km from Lourdes and Tarbes, and is therefore referred to as the Tarbes-Lourdes-Pyrenees Airport, with the official code of LDE. Although it is well equipped for the needs of its passengers, there is no airport train station available for onward transport of arriving passengers, or to enable departing passengers to arrive in time for their flight. However, train connections can be easily reached by the airport buses.
Lourdes handles a little more than 430,000 passengers per annum, and is an important gateway for the region. The majority of its passengers are international, and many are pilgrims who are visiting Lourdes for its unique religious attractions. It used to be just a sleepy market town, but is now the largest Marian pilgrimage centre in the world, as it is believed by Roman Catholics that Mary, the Mother of God, appeared at the Grotto here several times, to a young girl named Bernadette Soubirous. The airport of Lourdes has several bus connections, but there is no train station on the airport grounds.
The Lourdes buses take passengers to various small towns in the nearby vicinity, including Argelés-Gazost, Luz-Saint-Sauveur and Barèges. The buses also travel to Lourdes and Tarbes, and drop passengers off nearby the SNCF train stations of the cities. The bus stop at the airport is found just outside of the single terminal. Passengers will arrive on the ground floor, collect their luggage from one of the three baggage reclaim carousels and can then exit the building in order to find the various transport options available. The buses are available approximately every hour, and a single bus ticket will cost two Euro, to any destination in the Haute-Pyrenees department. The buses will take approximately twenty minutes to reach either of the train stations in the two cities. Buses are available in the alternative direction as well, for passengers who have arrived by train and who need to get to the airport. The other bus services at Lourdes Airport have no connection with the railway stations, as they are shuttles taking passengers to the ski resorts, or coaches travelling to other nearby towns and cities.
Although there is no Lourdes Airport train station, plenty of trains are available from the stations nearby. The Lourdes Train Station is found at 33 Avenue de la Gare, and can be referred to as the Gare de Lourdes. It is about a hundred metres from the city centre, and is served by regular TGV services, regional trains and night trains. From Paris, Lourdes is about a six hour journey on the high-speed TGV trains, or an overnight journey on the night trains. Although the night trains are cheaper, they take much longer, and may be uncomfortable if you are not travelling first class. Standard tickets allow for only non-reclining seats, but first class travellers have access to a compartment with bunk beds. Lourdes is a stop rather than a terminus, therefore, know at which time you are expected to arrive, and listen for the announcement. Trains from the station also travel to Pau, Bayonne/Biarritz and Toulouse.
Lourdes Train Station is just a small station, and does not offer vast facilities, however, there is a café for snacks outside of the station, pubic telephones and public toilets. The Société Général Bank is available inside the station as well. The station is mostly accessible to disabled passengers, and such persons should arrive at least half an hour before their train departs if additional assistance will be required. Wheelchairs and boarding ramps are also available should they be required. Local buses are available from a stop opposite the station, over the car park, and take passengers across the city, and taxis are found to the left of the station exit.
Passengers could also take trains from the Gare de Tarbes, or the Tarbes Railway Station. It is located on the Toulouse-Bayonne railway line, and is served by a variety of train services, including TGV trains, Lunéa (night) trains, long distance Intercités trains and TER services offered by SNCF. The long distance train journeys from Hendaye, to Bayonne, Pau, Tarbes and then Toulouse, and the night trains start in Paris, and stop at Orléans, Dax and Tarbes. Another night train starts its journey at Hendaye, and makes stops at Bayonne, Tarbes, Toulouse, Valence, Lyon and Geneva. The TER local train services travel to Bayonne, Pau, Toulouse and Saint-Gaudens. The high-speed TGV trains begin their journey at the Paris-Montparnasse railway station, and stop at Saint-Pierre-des-Corps, Poitiers, Angoulême, Libourne, Bordeaux-Saint-Jean, Dax, Orthez, Pau, Lourdes and Tarbes.
Although no airport train station, passengers of the airport have access to public transport services which serve the two nearest train stations. Further details are available from the airport, telephone number: +33 (0)5 62 32 92 22.