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Help with train from Barcelona to Arles

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Apr 1st, 2012, 03:01 PM
  #1
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Help with train from Barcelona to Arles

I can usually figure out things with enough effort but this is frustrating beyond belief! I want to go from Barcelona to Arles, and I have found the route and trains I want to take on Bahn.de. I heard to stay away from Rail Europe because they charge higher prices, and when I search on this site this particular route cannot be booked anyway. I figured out how to buy the first leg of the journey from Barcelona to Figueres on renfe.com, but from Figueres to Arles is my problem. I can see the route on tgv-europe.com but you can't buy a ticket from them if you are in the US, and if I put in Canada for example, the only option to get the tickets is through the mail (which Americans can't do). So I know this is complicated but can anyone please advise me?
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Apr 1st, 2012, 03:06 PM
  #2
 
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You absolutely can buy a ticket from tgv-europe.com, or www.voyages-sncf.com if you are in the USA. What makes you think otherwise?
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Apr 1st, 2012, 05:16 PM
  #3
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I read that they will not ship tickets to the US. Is that incorrect?
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Apr 1st, 2012, 08:20 PM
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I don't know if they'll ship or not because I never ask for that, but you can print your tickets out right from your computer. No need for a US address or shipping or anything like that - buy, print, you're set to go.
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Apr 1st, 2012, 08:51 PM
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You will have to book through the French language site, or they will redirect you to Rail Europe!

I just did a test at: www.voyages-sncf.com without any problems, but again, it must be done in the French language.
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Apr 2nd, 2012, 02:04 AM
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> you can print your tickets out right from your computer.

When it comes to non-TGV prem tickets, I usually don't get "print at home" option. Only sent by post, at a machine at station or at SNCF boutique. With this international + no TGV train route, I suspect it would be the same.
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Apr 2nd, 2012, 03:17 AM
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Do you really want to book everything in advance?
Imho, doesn't necessary, since you can just catch regional train from Barcelona to Cerbere (first French station), no reservation is need + fare is relatively cheap (12 EUR). Then just get either direct TER train from Cerbere to Arles or quite a few options with one change (Avignon, Tarascon sur Rhone etc.), also no seat reservation isn't obligatory. Thus allows you to avoid all the tgv-europe or voyages-sncf websites
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Apr 2nd, 2012, 05:50 AM
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Yes just buy that ticket once in Barcelona - you could save money perhaps but what are the shipping costs> And there is no way to pick up an SNCF French ticket in Spain I believe - if you take the slow train to Cerbere and change it takes a whole lot longer than taking the Catalan Talgo train that goes straight thru the border to Montpellier, where you change to a TGV (you could pick up a SNCF ticket there in the station) - the Talgo leves Barcelona about 9am daily and again is much faster than changing at the border. Check out these great sites for lots of great info on European trains - www.seat61.com; www.budgeteuropetravel.com and www.ricksteves.com.

There are TGV trains that currently I believe go into Spain from France to Figueras where you change trains for Barcelona but again I think you cannot retrieve the SNCF online ticket at that Spanish station. Soon there will be (if not already perhaps) thru trains Barcelona to many stations in France once the high-speed tracks are finished.
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Apr 2nd, 2012, 06:24 AM
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Talgo Barcelona-Montpellier currently takes 4:32 and full fare ticket is 61 EUR, while regional trains Barcelona-Cerbere take 2:40-2:50 depending on departure (12 EUR) + another 2:20-2:30 for Cerbere-Montpellier leg (full fare 30 EUR). The later option gives you multiple connections (morning, daytime, evening) and in most cases you won't need to way in Cerbere for more than half an hour. So the choice is yours whether to pay like extra 20 EUR just for the direct connection (only once a day) and be in Montpellier 30min.-1 hour faster or travel a bit slower with a change, but cheaper.

And another thing, Montpellier-Arles segment is not served by any TGV trains, but only direct TER or InterCites
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Apr 2nd, 2012, 07:51 AM
  #10
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Thank you, this has been very helpful! I tried the French language site, it still doesn't give me the option of printing at home--only delivery or pickup at any French train station, which I can't do. We want to use the high speed trains since they make the trip from Barcelona to Arles in under 5 1/2 hrs. The guidebooks all say to book these in advance lest they sell out. Is that really not necessary? We are going in July (high season).
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Apr 2nd, 2012, 08:29 AM
  #11
 
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> it still doesn't give me the option of printing at home--only delivery or pickup at any French train station ..

As I already wrote above, because it involves non TGV train segements. I just tried to book only the TGV part Figueras to Nîmes and I got all the 4 options including self printing. So you can book/buy only that TGV part in advance and print yourself, then buy when your are there on the spot Nîmes - Arles part. In Nîmes you arrive at 16.49 and the connection for Arles leaves at 17.10. 20 minutes seems ok but with lugagge and at a station you are not familiar, ticket machine problem, am long line at manned counters, etc... I would prefer to have all the tickets before the trip but I don't see how in this case unless you agree to pay marked up RailEurope price.
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Apr 2nd, 2012, 08:32 AM
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> We are going in July ....

Only now you say you are going in July? TGV train are bookable only 3 months ahead so are you doing this train travel on 1st or 2nd of July?
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Apr 2nd, 2012, 08:37 AM
  #13
 
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Always ask the "when" question FIRST! I've learned that one the hard way on here.
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Apr 2nd, 2012, 09:57 AM
  #14
 
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and no it is unlikely that TGVs will sell out - they could in 2nd class but in years of riding in first class with a railpass I have really never seen any completely full first-class car.

kappa has given you all you need - print your own ticket from Figueras to Arles and then just buy the local Spanish ticket in Barcelona - and those never sell out - at least the local trains to Figueras.
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Apr 2nd, 2012, 10:21 AM
  #15
 
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> print your own ticket from Figueras to Arles

To Nîmes, not to Arle, as Nîmes - Arles is non TGV train.
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Jul 10th, 2013, 10:38 PM
  #16
 
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Railway companies and their booking agencies on line in Europe generally do not tell customers the estimated date when journeys between particular towns are likely to become available. You have to check every day. Then, if you are able to book, and even if the company requests an authorisation registered by your bank, you may not be able to buy the ticket on line. Sometimes the reason of 'technical problem' is given, but this is not very convincing, and you may end up thinking it is about betting on changing currency rates. Not all modes of receiving your ticket may be available. If you try long enough, you may be able to get into e-mail and telephone contact with the company. If you can, you need to phrase your communication very simply, in their language or in English. It is advisable to keep your mobile phone, if this the kind you use, well primed. You may need to be subscribed to a final card checking service, like Verified by Visa, which ostensibly is something optional for extra security but which turns out to be demanded by the card company or the rail company or both. Booking is not the simple thing it was a few years ago. It is more problematic, probably because of complex commercial agreements involving multiple interests, including those of on-line security services.
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Jul 11th, 2013, 02:37 PM
  #17
 
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still no thru trains Bareclona to Paris I hear!
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