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How to book train tickets on SNCF Connect

French national rail operator SNCF updates its ticket booking service

SNCF Connect has replaced OuiSNCF as the national train ticket booking service for France, and ushered in multiple changes to how rail tickets can be purchased and used on French journeys.

| Last Updated: 9 months ago
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SNCF Connect is now the national train ticket booking service for journeys within and to and from France, it is a total overnight replacement for the prior ticketing service, OuiSNCF; registered users on OuiSNCF with upcoming tickets can use their account log-in details on SNCF Connect.

The new service is way beyond a re-design, as a core aim of SNCF Connect is to combine a journey planning service and a public transport ticket booking service across France.
Hence SNCF Connect is a multi-modal service, journeys can be booked which combine both bus + train travel, or solely bus travel; rail journeys can also be compared against car-sharing services, but in an echo of the French government transport policy SNCF Connect doesn't allow for comparison with flights.

With a fresh start required for what is in effect a state managed digital public transport service for France, for those who have previously booked rail tickets on OuiSNCF, the two key changes on SNCF Connect are:

  1. The step-by-step process for booking tickets for a train journey in France (and international journeys) is radically different, beginning with the fact that it commences by selecting a destination and not a starting point!
  2. The rail tickets which can be booked and their specific T&Cs have also been revised.

The associated key changes to how French rail tickets can be booked and used are:

  • the type of tickets which can now be booked are more closely aligned to the type of train service, including both Ouigo and TER services having specific types of ticket available.
  • when booking 2nd class tickets for long-distance journeys by InOui (TGV), Intercités and other TGV trains, only one type of ticket will be available per departure; Prems OR Seconde.
  • Though the Prems and Seconde tickets have very similar T&Cs, including options to claim refunds pre-departure (time limits apply), meaning that, if the conditions of the ticket can be met), any ticket booked for InOui (TGV), Intercités and TGV trains can be refunded.
  • In contrast neither of the two types of tickets, now available for journeys by the cheaper Ouigo services can be refunded; thereby a clear distinction has been created between booking tickets for the Ouigo and InOui services; which is particularly worth keeping in mind when both services share the exact same routes
  • Other changes to tickets for journeys by Ouigo trains include a more expensive type of ticket, which offers additional benefits such as complimentary seat selection.
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