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Struggling with voyages-SNCF.com? Capitainetrain.com now in English!

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As well as the usual problems with the French Railways website trying to divert you to their various Rail Europe subsidiaries, I'm getting a string of 'voyages-SNCF.com rejected my credit card' reports.

This is just a heads-up that the privately-run alternative to voyages-SNCF, www.capitainetrain.com, originally only available in French, has just added an English version in the last few days. Not that there are many words to read anyway, the booking process is pretty streamlined and simpler to use than many booking sites.

It sells train tickets within France and to (sometimes also from) neighbouring countries, at exactly the same prices as voyages-sncf itself, with the same absence of any extra fee, with the same wide choice of trains and seating options, the same print-at-home e-ticket or collect-at-station delivery options. Just without the Machiavellian tendency to divert you to higher-priced agencies, or reject your credit card.

The history is that capitainetrain was allowed to connect to the SNCF ticketing system when SNCF lost a court case about anti-competitive behaviour. So capitainetrain is a David to SNCF's Goliath.

All this means it's well worth using for train travel to from or within France, instead of voyages-sncf or other overseas agency, if your journey is e-ticket able or collectable - which these days, is the majority.

Oh, and no, I'm not connected in any way with capitainetrain, beyond exchanging emails with them, and them telling me yesterday that they'd done as I suggested and got their site translated! And probably becoming a customer next time I need French train tickets, of course!

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