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Dettmann1 Apr 21st, 2005 09:24 AM

Information about booking train tickets

I am trying to book rail tickets for my trip in may, at least the first leg. However everytime i try to purchase the tickets on sncf, I get an error message. Is there anywhere else to purchase tickets that doesn't involve the really high prices that raileurope charges?

Also, the main train i am concerned about is from Paris to Barcelona. We are going to arrive in paris on the 17th and leave for barcelona on the elipsos train on the 18th. Could I wait and just make the reservations when I get to paris or would they be sold out by then?

twina49 Apr 21st, 2005 10:03 AM

Dettmann1: We booked our rail tickets for May in the U.K. through the Rick Steves website. It was quick and efficient.

ira Apr 21st, 2005 10:27 AM

Hi dett,

You can buy your PREMS 60E ticket at

Click on PREMS.

Are you entering the date as 05/18/2005 or as 18/05/2005 (the correct way)?


Intrepid1 Apr 21st, 2005 12:15 PM

Are you getting the message, "the train is closed to foreign reservations?" have to be aware that it is possible for you to pick up tickets in France BUT make sure that you will be there on the deadline date, etc.

I STRONGLY advise you to read the user's guide on the site about the CC requirements, etc.

Unfortunately, you may have no other choice (in the US) than to use RailEurope which is SNCF's North American marketing arm (and the reason they won;t mail tickets to the US, etc.)

You might try using another agency such as or Rick Steves..but these are all agencies just like RailEurope although their shipping and handling fees might be less.

If all else fails, call the SNCF reservation number.

AnselmAdorne Apr 21st, 2005 06:08 PM

The SCNF website can be a bit flakey, but we've always been able to buy tickets there.

On our last three trips we said we would pick up the tickets in France ("Quel est le pays de réception ou de retrait des billets"), and then went to the ticket counter, presented the clerk with the confirmation of reservation and the credit card we used, and they were issued to us. On all three trips we picked up our tickets just before our train left from the TGV station at CDG, but you can also pick up tickets at any station or SCNF boutique.

For our upcoming trip we were able to get first-class PREM fares, so we printed the tickets ourselves from a pdf file that we downloaded after purchase.


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