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Train tickets France

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KL
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Train tickets France

What is the website to buy online tickets ?

Can we book for December tickets now ?

Thanks for help

Sydney, Australia
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1. Re: Train tickets France

For the best prices, book direct with the train operator as far ahead as possible. Tickets go on sale 3 months before travel, and the cheapest tickets often sell out quickly. Discounted ticket prices keep going up as the travel date gets closer.

You can get train times and costs, and make bookings, in English at en.voyages-sncf.com/en but use Antarctic as the "Ticket collection country" in the first screen to avoid the possibility of being transferred to RailEurope, which may have higher prices and not list all the trains. For notes on online booking, see www.nickbooth.id.au/Tips/FrenchTrain.htm

If you have trouble with voyages-sncf, www.capitainetrain.com is a private website which links directly to the SNCF ticketing system.

Edited: 07 September 2013, 11:09
Paris 4th Arr
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2. Re: Train tickets France

Great website Nick.

Sydney, Australia
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3. Re: Train tickets France

For our holiday in 2011, I had to put a lot of effort into learning how to buy train tickets from SNCF. In view of the number of questions about train travel in France, I felt it was worthwhile putting some notes together.

I'm glad you like the site.

London, UK
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4. Re: Train tickets France

A possible complication is that railway timetables change in mid-December (this is standard throughout Europe). On many lines any changes are minor or non-existant. However, it can mean that the usual 90 day booking window can be curtailed a bit.

Calgary, Canada
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5. Re: Train tickets France

What train are you planning on using?

If Eurostar, go to their own website.

KL
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6. Re: Train tickets France

I am planning to take a train from Paris to Lyon to nice then over to Barcelona.

Thanks for the website nick. I will check if out.

Does the place of ticket collection make a difference ? Do we have to collect the tickets at the stations ?

Sydney, Australia
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7. Re: Train tickets France

The country you give as "Ticket collection country" on the first screen is only used to decide whether to transfer you to RailEurope. If you look at my web site, you will see that you are offered choices of how to get your ticket.

Perth, Australia
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8. Re: Train tickets France

If your particular train trip qualifies for the print-at-home e-ticket then this is a very nice way to get your ticket. You get emailed a PDF file with barcode and your name on it, a bit like an airline boarding pass. Anyone using it has to present photo ID with matching name to the ticket collector, so it's very secure. And you can save the PDF to your Dropbox or Google Docs account so that if you were to lose the printout you can just go to the hotel reception PC or nearest internet cafe and print out a fresh copy.

Sydney, Australia
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9. Re: Train tickets France

>>Anyone using it has to present photo ID with matching name to the ticket collector, so it's very secure.<<

I have never been asked for ID when travelling on a TGV. The train conductor comes around and checks tickets, but not ID. If there were two people claiming the same seat, ID would probably be checked.

I believe that, for travel on iDTGV trains, tickets are checked before you get on the train. Maybe ID is requested then.

Perth, Australia
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10. Re: Train tickets France

They don't check ID for the regular tickets, but they are supposed to for e-tickets. I suppose individual inspectors may be a bit slack. I've always had mine checked, and I've travelled on them a dozen times or more. From the SNCF help website:

"5- Finally ensure you have your printed "e-ticket confirmation" or "Billet Imprimé" when you board the train. The ticket inspector will ask you for ID. You are required to carry a valid photo-ID (identity card, passport or 'carte de séjour' residence permit)."

You are right, though, it would really only be an issue if two people claimed the same seat on the same train. The e-tickets are only valid for a specific date and train and seat. But that very fact does make them less desirable to steal, because the thief knows that the real traveller will probably turn up with ID and the thief will get thrown off or maybe even arrested.

Edited: 08 September 2013, 06:53