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Booking french train tickets online please

Rugby, United...
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Booking french train tickets online please

I need to book train tickets for a journey from Calais. I have been using the voyages SNCF website as the prices on here seem to work out cheaper than if I book from a UK website.

My french is basic but I can manage enough to book on a french website and from what I understand I will just need to pick the ticket up at Calais Ville train station but I wanted to double check this final bit.

Has anyone used this website to book tickets from outside france before? Am I understanding it right, that I can pick up tickets from the train station of departure if I book through the website.

If anyone has any experience or advice or if anyone with better french that mine could take a look at the website then it would be much appreciated! :) www.voyages-sncf.com

Many thanks for your help!

Sydney
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1. Re: Booking french train tickets online please

Hi Laura,

I bumped up Morgan B's guide to booking French rail tickets which you might find useful. I got my own tickets through the TGV Europe website and I'm pretty sure the prices were the same as the SNCF site.

My tickets were PREMS which I printed off at home. If you aren't buying PREMS tickets, I understand you take your booking confirmation and the exact same credit card you used to make the booking to any SNCF station, and they will issue your ticket for you.

Washington state
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2. Re: Booking french train tickets online please

Laura,

As Nibbles just said, you can use the TGV-Europe.com website to get the same prices (at least for this summer) you would on voyages.sncf, but it's in English.

But I've also purchased tickets several times through the sncf site and had no problems, even though I didn't speak any French at the time.

New Hampshire
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3. Re: Booking french train tickets online please

Go to http://www.seat61.com/

for step-by-step directions for purchasing tickets and printing them at home on www.voyages-sncf.com

Rugby, United...
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4. Re: Booking french train tickets online please

Thank you for your help everyone. The TGV site wouldn't work load when I tried to use it and when I went to the UK Rail Europe website it worked out more expensive. I will try the TGV site again. Pleased to hear that if I do book through the Voyages SNCF that it should be OK to pick up the tickets. I'm organising this trip for 4 other people and after telling them all how great train travel is in mainland Europe (hard to believe when the train travel is so bad over in the UK!!!), I don't want to mess it up.

Much thanks.

Metro Vancouver
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5. Re: Booking french train tickets online please

To be fair to UK railways.. the European trains are great on a few high speed lines and there are numerous commuter train lines, with frequent trains, around major provincial towns, but if you need to go to some small village out of the way the local trains are not so hot, if there is one at all.

A couple of years ago we took the only morning train to a small town at 6:30 am (leaving our hotel in the dark, without breakfast) and arrived at a dark and closed station (we had to jump over the fence to get out. Contrary to what we had been told there was no taxi at all in that little place so we walked 15 km to our final destination..then walked 15 km back as fast as we could after lunch in order to take the only afternoon train back...Mind you we had a grand time at the silliness of it all..

Rugby, United...
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6. Re: Booking french train tickets online please

3Conils - your right, they are not perfect. I am yet to come across a train network that is!

But after using the french trains for many years to travel on holiday with my family, I absolutely love them. Slightly biased as I suppose to me french trains just equal holidays with family so happy times. I do see your point though. :)

The problem with our trains in the UK is that nothing is done to encourage people to use them. Here they are so expensive, it is difficult to change your reservation without incurring extra cost, if you miss your train and haven't got an open return you basically have to pay again. There is little advantage to using them (unless you are going into London and can't be bothered wiht the hassle of a car).

By contrast I was on the Belgian train website the other day. The journey I want to do was half price at the weekend which was the first surprise. Secondly, young people up to the age of 25 got a reduced rate without needing a rail card (from what I could see) and thirdly a family rail card could be bought and used with children over the age of 18. Also I can't remember which website it was (I have been looking at several for northern Europe), but one offered a 100% refund up to the time of departure and a 50% discount afterwards.

Anyway, I'll stop ranting and get back to work!

Thanks for everyones help.

7. Re: Booking french train tickets online please

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