When taking a train from Marseille to central Lyon there is a choice between:
(1) Taking TGV trains, which use the high speed line between the two cities.
Final Destination: Various including Lyon, Bruxelles, Dijon, Strasbourg, Le Havre, Luxembourg and Geneve
When taking a train from Marseille to Lyon Part-Dieu station there is a choice between:
If you will be buying tickets last minute at the station, those TER trains will be cheaper, but if you can book online in advance, particularly more than 10 days ahead, you will save by taking these TGV trains.
However, rail pass users should target those TER trains
Mon-Sat: 13 x trains per day
Sunday: 12 x trains
Book early and save: Yes
Online bookings usually open: 4 months ahead of the travel date - but bookings can open sooner when SNCF is running a promotion.
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.
Taking the alternative TER services:
There are also slower TER trains between Marseille and Lyon, but the discounted 'Prems' tickets for these InOui services will be (much) cheaper, unless you're buying tickets no more than a few days before the travel date, OR on the day of travel.
So if you'll be buying last minute at the station, booking tickets for those alternative TER trains will be a much cheaper option.
Rail pass users can save money by taking those TER trains.
|Ticket Provider||Approximate Cost|
|SNCF Connect||from €20|
|Download the SNCF Connect App||from €20|
Taking the 'alternative' Ouigo services:
When you up this journey on Oui.SNCF or Trainline, you will see alternative (much cheaper) Ouigo services.
But three* of these four daily Ouigo services don't arrive at Lyon Part-Dieu station - instead they call at St.Exupéry station at Lyon airport; which is linked to Part-Dieu station by the Rhonexpress tram service.
*The Ouigo train which departs daily at 18:44 arrives at Perrache station in Lyon city centre, so if that timing suits, it can be a particularly good option on this route.
The high speed line by-passes the city of Lyon, so the train will come off it around 15 -20mins before it arrives at Part-Dieu station.
Final Destination: Lyon-Part Dieu
When taking a train from Marseille to Lyon there is a choice between:
(1) Taking alternative TGV trains, which use the high speed line between the two cities.
If you will be buying tickets last minute at the station, these TER trains will be cheaper, but if you can book online in advance, particularly more than 10 days ahead, you will save by taking those TGV trains.
However, rail pass users should target these TER trains.
3 x trains per day
Book early and save: No
Tickets will cost the same price if purchased at the station immediately before departure on these TER trains.
These TER trains between Marseilles and Lyon are slower than the TGV InOui trains, and the limited numbers of discounted 'Prems' tickets for those alternative TGVs will be (much) cheaper.
So if you're booking ahead, it's likely that those TGV trains will be a better option.
However, if you'll be buying at the station on the day, these TER trains will be around €10 cheaper.
Rail pass users should take these TER trains.
|Ticket Provider||Approximate Cost|
The railway travels through the valley carved by the River Rhone, but the glimpses of the river itself are fleeting, though south of Montélimar comes the most spectacular part of the journey where the railway travels through a narrower rocky gorge.
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