Trains to and from Tours Airport (TUF)
Tours Airport is a French airport found nearby the city of Tours, and approximately 120,000 passengers pass through the airport every year. It is also nearby the cities of Angers, Le Mans, Orleans, Chateauroux and Paris, and serves a number of towns in the Loire Valley region of the country. The airport is found in the Indre-et-Loire department, about 6km from Tours. It is commonly known as the Tours Val de Loire Airport, and has the IATA code of TUF. There is no Tours Airport train station available, but buses provide a connection between the airport and the Tours train station in the city, from where many railway services are available.
Tours Airport receives passengers on Ryanair and Flybe airline carriers, and has a single terminal and runway. The terminal is about 1,500 square metres, and is therefore quite small and easy to find your way around. The ground transport options are found outside the passenger building. Taxis and buses are available, and both are a convenient way to reach the city centre of Tours. The bus services are not extensive, but the one in operation is useful, as it takes passengers to the Tours Train Station. By train is a very popular way for many people to travel in France, and high-speed TGV trains connect all the larger cities of the country. The trains can easily be used by locals, or by tourists who would like to tour France.
Between Tours Airport and the Tours Train Station
Buses known as the ‘Blue Wire’ provide public transport in Tours, and provide a bus service between the airport and the Tours Train Station. The buses leave the airport about twenty minutes after each Ryanair flight arrival, and take approximately twenty minutes to reach the city centre. They stop at the Tours Bus Station, which is also nearby the Tours Train Station for connections to the railway services of the country. Passengers of the airport can purchase a single bus ticket from the bus driver. In the alternative direction, the airport buses leave the Tours Bus Station about two hours before every Ryanair departure, and arrive with about an hour and a half to spare for passengers to check-in and pass through security controls. Depending on the number of passengers who need to travel, the buses could be the most cost efficient means of transport to or from the airport or train station.
Taxis, however, also offer a convenient way to reach the Tours Train Station, and are quite inexpensive since that Tours is only 6km from the airport. Taxis are available from the taxi rank outside the terminal building, and don’t usually require an advanced reservation. A journey by taxi to the city centre will cost about 15.00 Euro. This price is for a normal sized vehicle carrying up to four passengers, and at times which are not subject to higher rates, for example, on a Sunday or public holiday. Taxis are also available at the Tours Train Station.
The train stations of Tours
There are two train stations for the city of Tours. The Gare de Tours is found in the city centre, and is the one that is served by the airport buses. The second station is just outside the city centre, and about three kilometres from the Tours Train Station. It is referred to as the Gare de Saint-Pierre-des-Corps, or the St Pierre Des Corps Train Station. This station is used for trains which do not terminate in Tours, and is where the TGV services to Paris can be found. Although the buses from the airport do not serve this station, passengers can travel to the Tours station and then use the shuttle service available for transfer to St Pierre Des Corps. The shuttle service is free for passengers who have railway tickets. However, if travelling by taxi, passengers of the airport can go directly to this station. Passengers arriving at Saint Pierre Des Corps station will need to take the shuttle to Tours Train Station for connections to the airport.
From Tours, it is possible to travel to many locations in France, including to destinations along the west coast, such as Bordeaux, which is about a two and a half hour journey by train. To the Mediterranean coast past Avignon, connections are available to the country of Spain, or to the French cities of Lyon, Strasbourg and Lille. Many passengers travel between Tours and Paris, and this journey is just less than an hour. Trains run to the Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris, and to the Montparnasse Paris Train Station. Slower regional trains also run from Tours to many areas, such as Poitiers, Vierzon, Bourges, Amboise, Loches, Chinon, Azay le Rideau, Nevers, Saumur and Orleans.
The future years of Tours may see a new tramway system as well, as this project is currently being initiated. Some of the areas which will be served by the city’s new light rail train will be North Tours, the hyper-centre, Tours Station and the neighbourhoods of Sanitas, Europe and Rabiere. Trams are electric and are therefore environmentally friendly and quiet to operate. They can also be accessed by disabled passengers. It is expected for the tram to carry up to fifty thousand people a day.
Although there is no Tours Airport train station, airport buses and taxis are adequate for the transport needs of passengers, and allow a convenient connection to the Tours train stations. Details for trains in France can be found at http://www.sncf.com.