Follow the rail routes of renowned French impressionist painters with Rail Europe

Rail Europe (External link) , the largest distributor of European rail products worldwide, invites travellers to follow in the path of world-renowned Impressionist painters by rail in Normandy to discover the region that inspired their masterpieces.

From April 16th through September 25, 2016, the French region of Normandy, in collaboration with the French National Railway Company “SNCF”, is holding the third annual Normandy Impressionist Festival, with cultural activities, art exhibitions, live shows, and more. The events highlight Impressionist art that was influenced by the steam trains that revolutionized the era, such as “Rain, Steam and Speed” by Turner, and Monet’s “The Gare St-Lazare” showcasing the Parisian train station. French trains are the perfect connection to enjoy Impressionist events in Normandy.

In celebration of the event, three French TER regional express trains have been wrapped in duplicates of paintings by Monet and Pissarro and are being referred to as the “trains of Impressionism”.On board, passengers can discover famous art work on the walls with descriptive captions while they whisk through Normandy’s colorful country-sides, following the path Monet, Renoir and Delacroix painters would have used 150 years ago to travel the region by steam train from Paris. Departing from the iconic landmark Paris Saint-Lazare train station, which happens to be the train station that inspired Claude Monet for a series of paintings, the train stops at Vernon-Giverny, site of the house and garden where Monet painted his Water lilies series, and the Normandy capital, Rouen. The train’s final destination is the town of Le Havre, just over two hours from Paris. This special train service makes daily departures from Paris on Saturdays and Sundays throughout the summer.

Whether travellers catch this Impressionist train, or hop aboard a more traditional local TER train to Normandy, all passengers can enjoy train stations that have been decorated in celebration of impressionism in Normandy, and occasional shows by the “Impressionne Moi” (Impress Me) art company.

For more than a century, trains enabled Impressionism masters to explore the Normandy countryside, discovering sceneries which eventually served as back drops for more than a hundred paintings. From the end of the 19th century onwards, rail has permitted painters and regular passengers to escape the French capital of Paris and explore the inspiring country. Today, SNCF offers a variety of trains and seating options to cater to every need, taking travellers anywhere they want to go in France and across Europe.

For travellers who wish to make this easy connection to Normandy from Paris, visit Rail Europe to purchase a point-to-point local train ticket or with a France Rail Pass, just board any Normandy-bound TER train with no reservation needed.

For more information on the Normandy Impressionist Festival, please visit our page Impressionists

For travellers who wish to book their own French rail travel, visit Rail Europe's website (External link)