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libmac May 16th, 2005 07:59 AM

SNCF Train tickets online
I live in the USA and I am trying to buy train tickets from Annecy to Beaune in June on the SNCF website. I cannot figure out why they won't seem to let a US resident do this? Do you have to live in France to buy tickets online? Do I have to wait to buy them the day of departure? Thanks! Libby

Underhill May 16th, 2005 08:34 AM

No, you don't have to live in France to buy tickets from the SNCF site. Just enter "France" as your country of residence when asked and indicate that you'll pick up the tickets at a train station instead of having them mailed.

Intrepid1 May 16th, 2005 09:06 AM

To answer your question further, the "reason" you cannot buy tickets if you are from North America (and Underhill's advice is excellent in terms of collecting your tickets at an SNCF "boutique" office, regular ticket office, etc., in France after you arrive to avoid this barrier) is the fact that RailEurope is the North American marketing arm of the rail consortium (meaning, mainly SNCF and the Swiss Federal Railroads) that was put together after WWII for just this purpose: to promote European rail travel by North American tourists.

This is why they try to funnel all the business from North America through RailEurope which is wholly-owned by the railroad(s).

mde May 16th, 2005 09:26 AM

I live in the US and recently bought TGV tickets from the SNCF website. I stated that I would get the tickets in France, but typed in my US address. I received my tickets in the mail about 10 days later. The envelope showed "Maryland USA France." By the way I was not allowed the option of picking up the tickets in France (maybe because I was buying tickets for 4 people, including a child).

MorganB May 16th, 2005 09:44 AM

Set the country of residence to france.

Select to either pay for the tickets immediately and pick them up in the train station or on certain fares (prems or iDTGV) you will be allowed to print them out at home. If you do have to pick them up, then be sure to take your credit card that you used to pay for them online as well as the reservation number.

Intrepid1 May 16th, 2005 10:26 AM

PLEASE DO NOT set the screen to say you will "pick the tickets up immediately" UNLESS you are going to be in France before the cut-off date for picking those tickets up!!!!

Better to pay on-line and then you can pick them up up until about 1/2 hour prior to the train's departure.

libmac May 16th, 2005 11:07 AM

These answers are SO helpful! Thank You! I will buy them now and pick them up at the station. Cheers, Libby

elle May 16th, 2005 11:09 AM

We set ours to "France", but then chose the option of printing them out ourselves rather than picking them up an SCNF boutique, since we'll be picking them in an unfamiliar city where we won't actually be spending much time, rather than in Paris.

libmac May 16th, 2005 12:16 PM

Good idea, I will try to print them. Thanks.

ira May 16th, 2005 12:24 PM

Hi lib,

You can only print the nonrefundable ones or the ones that are reserved seat only trains.


francophile03 May 16th, 2005 12:33 PM

Too bad it's only those non-refundable tickets like the Prem tickets that are printable!

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