The intended meaning is The train is going to arrive on track two.

In general, arriver is followed by à. For instance Il est arrivé à Paris or Elle est arrivée à la gare.

So why there is no preposition before voie in the sentence Le train va arriver voie deux ?

2 Answers 2


It is just an idiomatic construction that has very possibly come into being as a result of the heavy use of "arriver sur la voie x" in train stations. You can still say "arriver sur la voie deux" (ref. 1, ref. 2) . "Arriver à la voie" is not said when you are talking about trains (ref.).

  • Thank you. If sur is the correct preposition, then it is similar to English. According to the links you provided Arriver à la voie looks possible for other vehicles or humans. Can we also say "arriver sur la voie" for other vehicles or humans in some context?
    – Xfce4
    Sep 4, 2021 at 21:38
  • @Xfce4 In general , no; if the meaning of "arriver" is different then there is a possibility. ex. quand nous sommes arrivés sur la voie qui nous avait été indiquée il commença à pleuvoir. — you'll have to find the difference in the meaning of "arriver" in this example.
    – LPH
    Sep 4, 2021 at 21:49
  • What is the meaning of "arriver" in your comment? It is possible for a non-native speaker to interpret the sentence in several ways.
    – Xfce4
    Sep 4, 2021 at 21:58
  • @Xfce4 Whereas in your question the verb means "to have reached a destination, that is a place where you are going to stay for some time", in the example it means "to have reached a place", but nothing more; however the place must be of a special sort (voie, boulevard, avenue, passage,…). Nevertheless, there is a matter of usage involved in this context and, for instance in the case of rue, you use "à" rather than "sur". (1/2)
    – LPH
    Sep 4, 2021 at 22:05
  • @Xfce4 books.google.com/ngrams/… (2/2)
    – LPH
    Sep 4, 2021 at 22:06

Voie 2 is a complément circonstanciel de lieu. It answers to the question:

va arriver le train ?
Le train va arriver voie 2.

Voie 2 can be removed or moved without breaking the sentence:

Le train va arriver.
Voie 2, le train va arriver.

That sentence uses no preposition because voie 2 is similar to an address, here a track, just like would be a street or a building with which we would also typically avoid any preposition:

J'arrive rue Lafayette.
On se retrouve bâtiment D.

If you insist to use a preposition, à is is rare but usable:

Descendu du train à Brainel'Alleud, j'entends un message rassurant, annonçant que le direct pour Charleroi arrive à la voie 2., Pierre Guilbert, Denis Mayeur, Didier Colart , Le B.A.-Ba de la communication, 2013

but en or sur la would be less uncommon, despite being definitely much rarer than just voie 2:

Le train va arriver sur la voie 2.
Le train va arriver en voie 2.


La train va arriver (au) quai numéro 2. (platform #2)

With my two examples, à would be the best preposition (if any):

J'arrive à la rue Lafayette.
On se retrouve au bâtiment D. (or dans le if you make clear it will be inside the building)

See also: Omission de la préposition après le verbe « aller »

  • Thank you. As far as I know "voie" is a generic word and not confined to train tracks only. So is it possible that we can use "à" with "voie" in any context? Also, it is kind of weird that we can use "à" with "rue" while we can't with "voie" -as "rue" itself is a kind of "voie".
    – Xfce4
    Sep 7, 2021 at 2:48
  • 1
    Yes, voie means "lane", "way" (as in railway). Actually, it is not really forbidden to use à with voie, it is just very rare but il arrive à la voie deux is possible.
    – jlliagre
    Sep 7, 2021 at 6:46

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