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Airport Train Watching


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#1 brianpmcdonnell17

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Posted 24 October 2017 - 04:13 PM

I will soon be travelling from Tampa to Dublin round trip with transfers in Philadelphia and Paris on the way there and London Gatwick on the way back. I know all three of the transfer airports have rail connections, so is there anyplace within security where these trains are visible? I would be especially interested in viewing the TGV if that is possible.

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#2 jis

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Posted 24 October 2017 - 04:59 PM

London Gatwick, you can may be able to see Southern Railway trains and Gatwick Express at Gatwick Airport Station, which is right by the main terminal building. No high speed trains there.

 

At Paris CDG, it depends on the terminal. One of them, unfortunately I forget which one right now, is close to the Roissy CDG TGV station. Take a look at Google Map and see what the possibilities are. Since I have never transited through CDG I don;t know whereabouts in the airport you transit through. I have always exited the airport and headed straight for the RER B Station to go into Paris.



#3 trainman74

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Posted 24 October 2017 - 05:42 PM

I think your best bet at Philadelphia would be the front portions (nearest security/baggage claim) of Terminal A-West, where you'd be looking across a roadway toward the SEPTA train tracks. Definitely not high-speed rail, though! Here's a Google Street View image, with a red arrow pointing toward A-West, to give you an idea.

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#4 Devil's Advocate

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Posted 25 October 2017 - 01:58 AM

I will soon be travelling from Tampa to Dublin round trip with transfers in Philadelphia and Paris on the way there and London Gatwick on the way back. I know all three of the transfer airports have rail connections, so is there anyplace within security where these trains are visible? I would be especially interested in viewing the TGV if that is possible.


You might get lucky but in my experience rail connections to major airports are generally underground or on the opposite side of the terminal from the aircraft gates. You might be able to find some airside trams to spot, but those are usually trackless rubber tire contraptions. In my view your best bet is to get a window seat and see what you can on arrival and departure. It's really unlikely you'll have any sort of meaningful view for train spotting from the airside areas. At my own hometown airport you can just barely spot the Texas Eagle from the airside portion of Terminal A, but it's much too far for most people to notice and if you tried to take a photo it's almost completely drowned out by all the interior lighting and gate area spotlights.

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#5 XHRTSP

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Posted 25 October 2017 - 03:03 AM

I will soon be travelling from Tampa to Dublin round trip with transfers in Philadelphia and Paris on the way there

 

I was going to reply that you need to specify which Paris, but actually you don't.  The train to CDG is underground, and the train to ORY is an elevated but completely uninteresting people mover to a nearby station.

 

The best views you will get will be out of a window seat.  Book accordingly.



#6 jis

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Posted 25 October 2017 - 07:57 AM

Yeah, the TGV and RER station is right under CDG T2 AFAIR, so there is nothing to see from above.

 

Depending on which approach your flight takes into CDG, you may fly directly over the LGV towards Lille/Brussels/London. If you are lucky you may see a TGV, Thalys or Eurostar running on it.



#7 Seaboard92

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Posted 26 October 2017 - 06:31 PM

There is no chances of seeing it off the plane I'm afraid because like others have said the stations are underground in the presecurity side. Now depending how long your connection is could go to the station to railfan and go back thru security again. I wouldn't but that's an option.

Europe does have a handful of airports where they taxiway and runway cross over an active mainline. I know Leipzig-Halle has that. Of note there is a hanging train as the shuttle at DUS. But none of that helps the OP.
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