I noticed that the French TGVs have no window that can be opened so the temperature is necessarily controlled with the air conditioning.

I am curious, is the air conditioning set to a specific temperature, cold like often in airplanes or a more ambient temperature? I'd like to figure if I should take an extra sweater for my trip. Is it the same temperature in winter and summer?

  • 2
    The first sentence does not fully make sense to me. I suppose you mean that you can't open them but TGVs obviously have windows and it does matter. Furthermore, even in trains in which you can open the windows, there is usually some air conditioning. When it breaks down or in very old trains you can find in poor countries, the temperatures can get very high indeed.
    – Relaxed
    Oct 25, 2016 at 10:36
  • 5
    Purely one man's opinion, I've always found it to be "just right". It seems that indeed the train staff can set it, it's not totally corporatized. When the heating/cooling is broken, it's really a pain.
    – Fattie
    Oct 25, 2016 at 13:10
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    The question whether it's too hot or too cold is opinion-based, but the absolute temperature is not. Oct 25, 2016 at 13:44
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    When in doubt, bring an extra sweater. You'll regret not bringing it an needing it, but you won't regret bringing it and not needing it.
    – SnakeDoc
    Oct 25, 2016 at 15:33
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    Now that the question appears in Hot network questions I think you can leave the sweater at home ;-)
    – Freddy
    Oct 25, 2016 at 17:41

5 Answers 5


I could not find any official information on how exactly the air conditioning is set (standard temperature? change with the season?) but many people complain that it is too cold (e.g. on the SNCF forum). It's all very subjective but personally I find it OK. However, it is indeed usually on the colder side, even when the weather is good. I would therefore recommend having a sweater on hand, just in case.

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    The temperature itself isn't that bad. The real problem is where the air comes from. It comes from vents that are blowing cold air from the bottom of the window, where you place your arm like in an armchair. That air blowing is very uncomfortable. One way to remedy this is to put something to block that air where you want to place your arm. The passengers that are not next to the window are usually fine temperature wise, and have no uncomfortable air blowing all over them.
    – MorganFR
    Oct 25, 2016 at 14:29

There is no official temperature setting for TGV trains because this setting is accessible to the conductors which set it to whatever value they find reasonable before the start of the trip. Now, since those guys have to wear full suit uniforms, the temperature that is comfortable for them does not necessarily correspond to the value comfortable for passengers, especially in summer when everyone is wearing T-shirts.

Personally I find this temperature comfortable, but if you know you feel cold before other people do, take extra clothes on the trip.

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    (+1) I have read this too, but I could not find any official confirmation anywhere. Also, it's one thing for the controls to be accessible but conductors could nonetheless have specific instructions (that's the case for toilets doors for example). Do you know anything about that?
    – Relaxed
    Oct 25, 2016 at 13:25
  • I don't think the problem would be in specific instructions (what instruction can there be, other than "keep the temperature comfortable"?). The hard part is to please everyone at once. Oct 25, 2016 at 13:29
  • I expect that conductors actually receive the instruction to keep it to a very specific temperature. This is not like a bus where the doors are often opened : a TGV has its doors open for maybe 10-15 minutes over the course of a 3-6 hours ride, so the temperature stays stable to whatever it is set. I see no reason to do otherwise.
    – Vince
    Oct 25, 2016 at 13:32
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    It's not particularly difficult to think of potential instructions: It could be anything from set the system to X°C, with the controls only there as a back-up if something goes wrong, to some sort of table based on the time of the year, the weather or some other factors. Or, indeed, no instructions at all. Surely, the SNCF has the means to determine what the best compromise temperature is instead of asking each conductor to decide what “comfortable” means for them. That's why I am asking.
    – Relaxed
    Oct 25, 2016 at 13:44
  • @Relaxed: This is France, not Germany. Oct 26, 2016 at 9:20

From what I can understand from the TGV FAQ, the temperature tend to be on the colder side.

Morning trains will be colder or hotter (depending on the season) inn the morning as the heater and AC are turned off when the trains are not in use.


  • 2
    There is a bunch of questions on this site but it seems to be mostly passengers discussing with each other, no official word either way.
    – Relaxed
    Oct 25, 2016 at 10:36

Approximately,and given the similarities (and that nowadays there's a barcelona-paris direct trip) , i'll base my response on the AVE, spanish TGV :

During summer, the temperature is set between 18 and 22ºC depending on the temperature outside ( the higher outside, the lower) , counting that a lot of people generate a lot of temperature and that human odour is less noticeable on cold air, and during winter, it's set between 20 and 25ºC. Atleast on the spanish trains tho, there's a display that constantly shows current weather, next stop, current outside temperature, current inside temperature, etc...

but yes, in general, and for the average person, it's cold. it's meant to be cold because it's better to keep people not sweating too much in a closed , plane-sized cabin without showers, for long streaks of time.

that black thing above the door is the data screen:

enter image description here

  • This doesn't answer the question at all. There existence of a direct train between two countries is no reason at all to assume that a train company based in one of the countries keeps its trains at the same temperature as that used by a different company, on different trains, in the other country. Oct 26, 2016 at 11:33
  • that's why i start with "Approximately", because it won't be accurate.
    – CptEric
    Oct 26, 2016 at 11:34
  • Having said that, I agree that it makes sense to have trains slightly cold, since a carriage full of sweaty people is unpleasant and it's easier to put more clothes on than to take clothes off. Oct 26, 2016 at 11:35
  • For all i know, both companies share drivers, trains, and crew all along the madrid - paris line, so it might be reasonable, althought completely made up by me, for them to have similar or almost identical cabin temperatures on both high-speed train services.
    – CptEric
    Oct 26, 2016 at 11:38
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    Oh, come on. They might be similar temperatures for all kinds of reasons. But that doesn't mean that they are similar. It's just complete supposition on your part. We're looking for answers, not plausible guesses. Oct 26, 2016 at 11:42

Firstly : Be grateful you cant open the windows at those speeds. The wind could really mess your hair....remove teeth...

Here is an article ( in French )


You can drop the link in to Google Translate and also discover why its quicker to learn a language than wait for Google to come up with a reliable translation engine.

Yes they ALL have aircon from super-sunny-hot South through the frigid High-Alps to the wet and clammy North. The conductor can change the settings. He/she may deny this because keeping a trainload of people happy is not a task for the timid.

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