You can only take high speed trains across France from Marseille to Lille station, but both the regular TGV InOui services and low-cost, but more basic, Ouigo services share the route.
It's particularly worthwhile to click on the Train Guides below so that you can compare the two train services.
Final Destination: Bruxelles or Lille
All trains also call at: Marne La Vallée and Aeroport-CDG
You can avoid having to cross Paris from the Gare De Lyon to the Gare Du Nord by taking these direct trains from Marseille to Lille.
Book early and save: Yes
Online bookings usually open: up to 6 months ahead of the travel date - but bookings can open sooner when SNCF is running a promotion.
The train service between Marseille and Lille is now split between these TGV-InOui services and alternative Ouigo services.
Both services can be compared and booked on Trainline and Oui.SNCF, though those Ouigo services are usually more than 50% cheaper on this route.
Booking these InOui services:
When booking 2nd class tickets only one type of ticket will be available per departure, discounted 'Prems' tickets or 'Seconde' tickets; though the price of Seconde tickets are also typically cheaper when they are first placed on sale.
When booking 1st class tickets there will be a choice of Premiere tickets and Business Premiere tickets.
The two key T&Cs of booking Prems, Seconde, or Premiere tickets are:
Though if you book Business Premiere tickets, the key T&Cs are that tickets can be exchanged and refunded free of charge up to 30 minutes after departure, so if you get to the station just too late to miss the train you were originally booked on to, you won't lose out financially.
Seats will automatically be assigned when booking tickets for this journey, but rail pass users will need to be pay a reservation fee prior to boarding these TGV trains.
The price is dictated by demand per departure, so book ahead and try and be flexible re: your departure and arrival times, as trains leaving earlier or later can be cheaper.
When making an online booking, check that you’re looking at booking info for the direct trains - if you particularly want to avoid the transfer across Paris.
Though those journey options via Paris, which involve...
....can be cheaper than taking these direct trains.
Travelling with Eurail and InterRail passes:
In theory, if you will be travelling with a valid Eurail or InterRail pass, you can book reservations for these direct TGV-InOui trains.
However, whenever we have tried to book rail pass reservations for these InOui services to Lille, we have instead been given the option to travel via Paris; though if that occurs, you will only have to pay one fee.
Rail passes cannot be used on the alternative Ouigo trains, but if you will be travelling with a 2nd class pass, our guide to using rail passes in France, explains why taking a Ouigo train can be worth considering.
|Ticket Provider||Approximate Cost|
|SNCF Connect||from €49|
|Download the SNCF Connect App||from €49|
|Save A Train||from €49|
|Rail Europe||from €49|
You can also now opt to travel from Marseille to Lille by Ouigo trains, they take the same high speed lines as these InOui services.
They're (much) cheaper than taking these standard InOui trains, but the on-board experience is more basic.
You also need to be at the station 30 mins prior to departure of Ouigo trains, so that you'll have time to pass through Ouigo's pre-boarding checks.
Final Destination: Lille-Flandres
When making a train journey from Lille to Marseille, you now have a choice of travelling by standard TGV InOui trains or by these Ougio trains.
So you can now opt to save money, but have a much more basic on board experience, and travel on a Ouigo.
Though a plus of taking a Ouigo for a Marseille to Lille train journey, can be that these Ouigo trains arrive at the main city centre station,
While most of those alternative TGV InOui services arrive at Lille Europe station.
Online bookings usually open: up to 9 months ahead of the travel date
Tickets for the alternative service of TGV InOui trains are usually made available 4 months ahead, so if you look up this journey more than 4 months ahead on SNCF Connect, you may only see these Ouigo services, but they are not the only option on this route.
What is particularly worth being aware of when booking tickets for journeys by Ouigo train services, is that:
Though these factors, and more, are why you can make big savings by opting to travel by these Ouigo trains and not on the standard TGV InOui trains.
Eurail and InterRail Pass Users:
Rail passes cannot be used on Ouigo trains, but if you will be travelling with a 2nd class pass, our guide to using rail passes in France, explains why taking a Ouigo train can be worth considering
|Ticket Provider||Approximate Cost|
|SNCF Connect||from €16|
Something not particularly obvious, is that these Ouigo trains are faster than the TGV InOui trains on this Marseille route (they actually skip more stations and avoid travelling through central Lyon).
However, this journey time saving will be negated by the need to be at the station 30 mins before the Ouigo train departs.
And that's because you need to pass through 'reception' before boarding a Ouigo train; the staff need to verify that all passengers are abiding by the 'rules' of travelling on a Ouigo train, no additional un-booked luggage, no bikes etc.
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This is one of more than 100 train travel guides available on ShowMeTheJourney, which will make it easier to take the train journeys you want or need to make. As always, all images were captured on trips taken by ShowMeTheJourney.