I was reading a brochure and timetable (yes, we still call them that) about the TGV Lyria high-speed train service from Paris to cities in Switzerland. Someone left it on a counter at work. It’s in French, and I can read about half of it.
The timetable asked that travelers board the train at least two minutes before the departure, “pour assurer les dÃ©parts TGV Lyria dans les meilleures conditions” (to ensure the train departs in the best conditions).
Two minutes? You only have to find your train 2 minutes before departure time?
Short story: Back in 1998 (I was 14), my mom and I were traveling from Paris to London on the Eurostar (travels under the English Channel). We’re walking down the ramp to the platform and one of the conductors sees us coming. He yells or motions for us to hurry up. We start jogging down the ramp and jump into the nearest car door.
About 45 seconds later, the train leaves.
A Eurostar train at Gard du Nord. Photo by Marcel Marchon.
More about being on-time:
- 87.8% of TGV Lyria trains were arrived on time in June 2010.
- 76.% of flights from 24 reporting airlines arrived on time in the same month. (U.S. DOT)