Help! Giverny trains all booked!

Old Jun 9th, 2014, 12:38 PM
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Help! Giverny trains all booked!

I bought my Giverny tix and have been trying to buy SNCF tickets on line. They show no tickets available to Vernon anytime pretty much during the week of June 16th. What to do??? Am I doing something wrong? I read French and have bought tickets before. 1st class not even available, although by the time I pay for that I might as well take a tour. Is there a small tour anyone would recommend that would solve this? Thanks so much
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Old Jun 9th, 2014, 12:42 PM
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Trains to Vernon are not bookable. They are just local trains. You buy your ticket, you get on the train and if there are no seats left, you stand up all the way to Vernon.
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Old Jun 9th, 2014, 12:48 PM
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There are plenty of tickets. They cost 14.30€, trains depart St Lazare starting at 06h09 and continuing throughout the day at one to two hour intervals. The trip takes from 50 minutes to one hour depending upon which train you select.

I had no difficulty with this website:

www.voyages-sncf.com

or try:
www.capitainetrain.com
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Old Jun 9th, 2014, 12:57 PM
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I just looked and it seems that there are plenty of trains available with bookable tickets. This will be a very busy time of year in Paris with visitors heading to Giverny so it looks like the seats are all gone but these trains cannot sell out. On the TER, there is no seat reservation so you can't reserve a seat. On the Intercities train the "seats" are sold out but you can still buy a ticket -- not surprising given the timing. You are traveling during a very busy time to a place that is quite popular in June and most people want to take the same morning trains. So, for example on June 18th you can take the 8:20 and arrive in Giverny at 9:09 and will not have a seat assigned. Here is what the SNCF says to do in that situation: "When all seats are booked, you will be offered an "no fixed seat booked " seat. In this case, your ticket will have a coach number and be marked "sans place attribuée" (no fixed seat booked).

Rest assured, to ensure we continue to deliver a quality service, the number of "no fixed seat booked " seats is limited. When you board the train, locate the ticket inspector who will help you find a place."
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Old Jun 9th, 2014, 01:16 PM
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You buy your ticket, you get on the train and if there are no seats left, you stand up all the way to Vernon.>

It seems the commuter traffic in morning would be going to Paris not to Rouen/Giverny. Like those above say this is a train that cannot sell out - put angst to rest.
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Old Jun 9th, 2014, 01:28 PM
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I had to stand all the way to Rouen once.
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Old Jun 9th, 2014, 01:32 PM
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I guess if the train has first class it seems well worth the extra money to sit where there will always be seats IME. Some trains seem to have first class but slower regional trains do not.
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Old Jun 9th, 2014, 01:47 PM
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From where are you traveling to Vernon?

Which web site did you use to believe there are no tickets?
If from Paris, www.voyages-sncf.com and www.raileurope.com both show trains available. While they show tickets available for purchase, there is no advantage in purchasing online. This type of ticket is not self-printable. You go through the same process at the station to retrieve the ticket as if you purchased tickets (or pay additional shipping if from RE) from scratch at the station at the same price.

You do not have to wait until the travel day to buy tickets if you worry about having to wait in queue (if you don't have a chip and pin credit card to use a ticket machine) and miss the train. You can just as well pre-buy these tickets at any SNCF stations or in town boutiques. If, for example, you are arriving CDG in terminal 2E, just descend to the station below and buy these tickets. They are not active until you validate your ticket using the validating machine at the station just before you get on your train to Vernon.
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Old Jun 9th, 2014, 01:59 PM
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"It seems the commuter traffic in morning would be going to Paris not to Rouen/Giverny. Like those above say this is a train that cannot sell out - put angst to rest."

Yes, commuter traffic will be heading to Paris but tourist traffic -- and there is tons of in June heading to Vernon in the morning -- is quite heavy. But the ride less than an hour so standing should not be too bad.
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Old Jun 9th, 2014, 02:03 PM
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Wow, this site is the world's greatest free vending machine of expert advice--I salute you all!
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Old Jun 9th, 2014, 02:18 PM
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Greg, I see what you mean--I thought I would save myself stress if I bought them in advance, because I know this is tourist season. If the number of tickets sold without seat reservations is limited, as JAMH notes, am I not taking a risk to wait to buy tickets, even though I have to go through a process at the station (since I don't have a ship and pin card, sadly)?

Also, does anyone know if there is a SNCF boutique near the Pompidou museum--I am staying on Rue Beaubourg? I arrive on the 11th, so that would give me time to get the tickets well before the 20th, which is the day I wish to go.

Last but not least, does anyone recommend the restaurant at the American Impressionist museum in Giverny, or is there such a thing as a not too touristy lunch to be had?
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Old Jun 9th, 2014, 02:46 PM
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OK, Sarastro wins the prize. The site CapitaineTraine.com is brilliant, because after registration and payment for the train tickets, one picks up the ticket at the station with a reference number--no chip and pin credit card needed! Thus, one can use the self-service machines, even in advance, and then validate at the time of the trip. I will get tix to Versailles like this too.

Bravo! still interested in restaurant recos, though. Thanks so much!!!
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Old Jun 9th, 2014, 03:01 PM
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Turns out Versailles tix not available on Capitaine Traine. C'est la vie!
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Old Jun 9th, 2014, 03:53 PM
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Still though there is no need to pre-book any regional train to Vernon since there are no reserved seats possible and by buying a tickert at Gare Saint-Lazare it's the same as buying before and less the hassle.

Versailles RER Line C terminates right near the Palace itself - it's part of the Paris metro system not French Railways - the Versailles Chantiers station is a SNCF or French railways mainline station but is much much farther from the actual palace. Good however if wanting to twin Chartres with Versailles which is very possible as trains to Chartres only go from Chantiers station.
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Old Jun 10th, 2014, 08:35 AM
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Years ago, on a rainy day trip to Giverny my wife and I stopped in Vernon at Hotel d'Evreux on the way back to the train station. We had a wonderful meal that remains one of our "best dining surprises" of our travels. The food was excellent, the service was extremely good and we were introduced to Calvados, which remains our favorite degustif. We have been back to Giverny several times since and always stop by Hotel d'Evreux for a drink (usually Calvados)before our very happy train ride back to Paris!
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Old Jun 10th, 2014, 09:30 AM
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Regardless of the epicurean delight in one of Vernon's hotels the town itself IME is nothing to linger in - oh there was a nice outdoor market but as a town it is one of the least interesting I've seen in the Paris area. It did give its name to Mount Vernon I believe but the relationship is tenuous.
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