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I hate to ask for help, but... the SNCF site!!!!

I hate to ask for help, but... the SNCF site!!!!

May 28th, 2004, 04:39 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 32
I hate to ask for help, but... the SNCF site!!!!

I'm a fairly intelligent 50'ish male who has made it this far without having to have someone else solve my problems - but now I'm stuck...and I need help! My wife and I are trying to take a train to Gramat, France. We will land either in Paris or Nice, by 0900 hrs. Either city - doesn't make a difference. Can't get the scnf site to accept any of my information, no matter how much I swear at the screen, in French, English, even pig latin, just doesn't work.
Can anyone tell me what the schedule would be on 09/17/04 from Nice or Paris to Gramat and how much - and then how I make a reservation.
Thanks in advance. I'll go back to gumming my food now and cleaning the drool from my chin.
Bigdog is offline  
May 28th, 2004, 04:51 PM
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 20,275
Sure. Just call the English line at SNCF:

011 33 8 92 35 35 39

Be sure to ask for a discount for 2 people traveling together. There are other discounts, too, depending on the date and time you travel. Good luck.
Underhill is offline  
May 28th, 2004, 04:53 PM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 10,007
try making it a round trip--when i tried one way the screen went blank and lost my info--when i randomly put in a return date, then info on the outbound portion of the trip appeared. *then* the screen gives you the option of one way, but apparently not until you put in a (fantasy) return voyage date.
socialworker is offline  
May 28th, 2004, 05:01 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 13,194
I must not understand the question. You can depart almost hourly - - for example, 3601 (7:03 am) or on 3611 (8:15 am) or 3621 (9:09 am) and either change trains in Brive La Gaillarde (in the case of the first two - - 3601 to "ter" 70155 is the fastest option at total travel time of 5hrs, 8 mins) - - or in the case of 3621, make no change and arrive in 5 hrs 35 minutes.

The fare, on 3621, is 49,50 euro (2nd class). I did not use September 17 as the travel date, so if that creates the problem, then hopefully, this info is at least useful in some way to you.

Best wishes,

rex is offline  
May 28th, 2004, 05:05 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,765
Bigdog, I'd like to help you because I'm a "bigdog" person myself! I just went into the SCNF site (the English language version), and had no trouble bringing up a schedule of Paris/Gramat. There are trains leaving from Paris Austerlitz via Brive-la-Gallarde to Gramat, and I saw one direct to Gramat at night. They all seem to take about 6 hours. Try again on the site, key in "information and booking", and then fill in the blanks about "to" and "from", and the time you want. It actually works pretty easily for me, and you can book and pay for the tickets on site, (but not further than 60 days out).
Sue4 is offline  
May 28th, 2004, 05:21 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 1,091

If you want to make a one-way trip instead of a round-trip you may find the site works better if you click on "advanced search" at the bottom of the screen and then input your information on the next screen. Works fine for me. Just bought a one-way ticket on-line Paris to Avignon. If by chance you are over 60 you might want to buy a "Senior Carte" on-line. It will pay for itself with one long train ride. Save 50% on most trips and 25% on the others.

Larry J

LarryJ is offline  
May 28th, 2004, 05:32 PM
Original Poster
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Posts: 32
Now I know I'm headed for the "home". I'll get my paper slippers and walker ready.
By plugging in Paris to Gramat I now managed to get the same info that Rex mentioned, but...then I go to the next screen - hopefully to price out the trip - and I get this statement emblazoned in red, just so my feeble eyes can see it:
- To consult the next day's trains, plaese change your search opposite and enter the new date of the journey. -
Haven't got a clue what this means - changing the date just causes my computer to emit a cackling sound, almost as if it's laughing at me. I think I'll have to call them and speak English very loud and slow, which as we all know compensates for us not being able to speak their language...or I could just bypass the Dordogne.
Thanks for all of your help. I may be now cured of my male avertion to asking for help. Can the recognition that peach is a fruit and a color, be far behind?
Bigdog is offline  
May 28th, 2004, 06:14 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,765
Bigdog, You are having that problem by putting in a date too far in the future. I had that same problem before, and you have to just go out less than 2 months for the schedules to come up. When I was looking up schedules, I put in the date as the next month. Then make your reservations 2 months ahead, later! They rarely change the schedule.
Sue4 is offline  
May 28th, 2004, 06:47 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 1,091

Sue4 is right. The website won't tell you this but you cannot access train information over 60 days out. SNCF runs a great railroad but a less than friendly website.

Larry J
LarryJ is offline  
May 29th, 2004, 03:49 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 8,863

By chance we drove within 20 km or so of Gramat. I should warn you that it's about the same distance, at least, from the Dordogne river - but of course you know this (?)
Sue_xx_yy is online now  
May 29th, 2004, 07:07 AM
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 20,275
IMO, the SNCF web site was easier to figure out before the recent redesign. The French version has info that doesn't seem to appear on the English one, but I don't think either one tells you about the only-60-days-before rule. Very frustrating for new users.
Underhill is offline  
May 29th, 2004, 12:57 PM
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 4,573
Bigdog- it's not you! I had an awful time trying to book my round trip ticket to Brussels in April. Two words of warning when you are finally ready to book:
1. Remember the site is based on the time in France, so if you are purchasing a ticket say 14 days in advance, make sure to take any time change into account. ( I saw my 14 day-advance rate disappear in front of my eyes at 12:15, or after 6 pm time in France, as it rolled into day 13)

2. If you opt to print the ticket yourself and are unable to do so, just go to any sncf train booth with your email confirmation and they can print it for you.

No need to switch to creamed corn and a hot water bottle just yet- it's not entirely you!
ninasdream is offline  
May 29th, 2004, 06:58 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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I've never had that much trouble with the SNCF site myself.

I think if it tells you about the next day's trains which you should consult, it is possible you have put in a time very late at night, like 10-11 pm. It only lists schedules for two hours after the time you input, as I recall. Of course, it is true, you may have trouble if you are trying to find schedules for next September.
Christina is offline  
May 29th, 2004, 08:29 PM
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 20,275
What you can do to get schedules is use a fictious date that's within the next 60 days--just use the same day of the week on which you want to travel. That will enable you to pull up the train schedules and at least know what your options will be once you can actually make reservations in the 60 days preceding your trip.
Underhill is offline  

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