The high-speed TGV (Train à Grande Vitesse) trains connect over 150 cities and towns in France. A journey from Paris to Bordeaux will take only 3 hours on these trains as they travel up to 300km/h.
For 20 years it has regularly linked more than 230 destinations in France and Europe safely, quickly and comfortably.
I don't have any first-hand knowledge for other countries.
Remember the Europeans use the day/month/year format.So the trick is: once you are on your platform, look for the coach indicator, an electronic panel displaying the map of the train. The inspector may charge you a small on board validation fee, but that will still be cheaper than getting fined.