Pau Airport Trains (PUF) | Pau Trains
Pau Airport is an airport of the Pyrénées-Atlantiques department of France, and is found just outside of the city of Pau, in the commune of Uzein. It can also be referred to as the Uzein Airport, as the Pau-Béarn Airport, or officially, as the Pau-Pyrénées Airport. The airport is also recognised by its official code of PUF. This French airport is not one of the largest, but is of medium size, handling around 700,000 passengers per annum. There are bus services and taxis available from outside the terminal building, but there is no airport train station. Passengers will first need to take the local bus in order to reach the train station and railway services found in the nearby city of Pau.
The airport is located in quite a prominent position, and serves the third largest economic hub of south-western France. It is a gateway to many nearby areas of attraction, including the inland Gers region, the beaches of the Landes and Basque Coast, the ski resorts in the Pyrénées mountains and the Pyrenean National Park. The airport is also nearby to the cities of Tarbes and Lourdes, and Lourdes is considered as a sanctuary by religious believers and is famous for being the place where a young girl had several encounters with the Virgin Mary, Mother of God. Pau Airport is well equipped to receive tourists and business professionals (it is also nearby to the Palais des Congrès convention centre), with shops and restaurants, meeting rooms, a VIP lounge, ATMs, tourism information and travel agencies. Although there is no Pau Airport train station, passengers can easily use the bus services available to travel into the city, and to continue their journey by rail, from the Pau Train Station.
The airport buses depart from just outside of the terminal building, and are available approximately every hour, with the first departure at 07:40 and the last at 19:40. The buses are run by the company Idelis, and are considered to be clean and comfortable. They take passengers to the Pau Train Station, and also make stops at the Avenue de l’Europe, the University and the ‘Pôle Bosquet’ central bus hub. The journey from the airport will take approximately half an hour. Tickets for the bus service will cost one Euro, and can be purchased from the bus driver. Buses are available in the alternative direction as well, and are convenient for passengers arriving at the train station and who need to reach the airport. The first departure from the station is at 06:33 and the last is at 19:50. Buses are available approximately every hour from the railway station to the airport.
The airport bus operates every day of the week, except on Sundays and public holidays. At these times, passengers can take a taxi to the train station. Taxis are recommended to be booked for travel on Saturday evenings, Sundays and on French public holidays, as they may not be waiting outside the terminal as usual. A taxi to the train station will cost around 25.00 Euro during the day, and about 30.00 Euro at night.
Pau Train Station is known as the Gare de Pau in French, and is located on the Toulouse-Bayonne and Pau-Canfranc railway lines. The physical address of the station is at Avenue Jean Birav, 64000, Pau, and it is managed by the French railway company, SNCF. Passengers have access to a wide variety of train services from the station, travelling to several important locations throughout the country of France. Intercity services (Intercités) travel from Hendaye on the western coast to Bayonne, Pau, Tarbes and then Toulouse, and the Lunéa, or night services, travel from Paris to Orléan, Dax and Tarbes, and from Hendaye to Bayonne, Tarbes, Toulouse, Valence, Lyon and Geneva, a city in Switzerland. The TGV train service is a very important part of railway transport in France, and are the high-speed trains which travel between the larger cities of the country. An advanced reservation is required for travel on the TGV. From Pau, passengers are able to travel by TGV to the Paris-Montparnasse Railway Station, via Orthez, Dax, Bordeaux, Libourne, Angoulême and Poitiers. There are usually several trains per day to the capital city of Paris from the majority of French train stations.
The local train services are referred to as the TER Aquitaine and the TER Midi-Pyrénées, and they travel to Oloron-Saint-Marie, Bordeaux, Dax, Bayonne, Tarbes, Toulouse and Saint-Gaudens. For each train, a ticket will be required, and apart from the TGV services, tickets can be purchased on the day of travel. All tickets will need to be validated in the machines on the platform before boarding the train. The machine will stamp your ticket with the time and date. Always keep your ticket with you for the duration of your journey.
Another railway service in Pau is the funicular railway, linking the Boulevard des Pyrénées in the city centre and the Château de Pau to the Pau Train Station. The funicular is used by around 500,000 passengers every year (about 1,500 passengers per day), and is a public service offered free of charge by the city of Pau. It has been operational since 1908, and its current cabins date back to the 1960’s, however, they were refurbished at the end of 2006. The funicular runs every three minutes, and thirty passengers can be carried in each car.
Although there is no Pau train station on the airport, passengers will find the buses to be a convenient way to reach the railway services of the city. The latest train schedules can be viewed online, at http://www.voyages-sncf.fr.