Image by Georges Cramos and downloaded from Wikmedia Commons
These trains use 2nd class coaches that were once deployed on the IC routes in France.
The core idea is that when travelling between Paris and destinations which include Angers, Dijon, Le Mans, Lyon, Nantes and Saumur, these trains provide a slower, and therefore even cheaper to the Ouigo services which use the high speed lines.
They don't take the same routes as the full service Intercités trains.
Which country these trains operate in.
Attributes of the train
For those who want to prioritise saving money over travel time, these are the typically cheapest trains on the routes on which they operate.
The key things to know are about travelling on OUIGO Train Classique services:
(1) they are 2nd class only,
(2) have no Wifi
(3) have a lengthier boarding procedure than the norm (tickets are inspected at the access points to the platforms / tracks)
And some of the travel benefits, including a less restrictive luggage allowance, are only available when purchasing the more expensive type of Ouigo tickets:
The seven key things to be aware of are:
(2) Use the generic from and to city names when searching such as 'Paris' and 'Marseille' and not the specific station names.
(3) Tickets can also be booked on the Ouigo website but it seems though you cannot book ahead for journeys unless you are accessing the site from within France.
(4) Two types of ticket will ne offered:
(5) Tickets for Ouigo journeys cannot be booked at stations; and they also can't be be collected at stations; you either have to print them from the email you receive, or save them to your phone.
(6) The terms for refunds and exchange of Ouigo tickets on the SNCF Connect website are;
Tickets are not refundable.
Exchanges are possible under conditions for the same trip with a €10 per passenger fee until 1 hour before the beginning of embarkment. Potential price difference between old and new ticket to be added to this fee.
This is different to the terms and conditions of booking tickets for travel by TGV InOui services, as they can be refunded.
(7) Ougio has recently launched a ticket swap service, which can be used for fully booked trains
In effect those who no longer who wish to travel on fully booked departures, can sell their tickets to prospective travellers who have signed up to a waiting list, in the hope that someone will no longer want to use their ticket(s).
The booking window:
Tickets can be booked up to six months ahead of the travel date; usually.
In contrast tickets can typically only be booked only up to 4 months ahead for TGV inOui services - so when looking up the Ouigio routes on Oui.SNCF MORE than 4 months ahead on, you will typically only see Ouigo trains listed.
So don't assume in this scenario that only Ouigo trains will be an option for your journey, you will have to wait to see which alternative TGV inOui services will also be available, so that you can then compare departure times and prices with the Ouigo trains.
Unlike on other train services in France, children aged 3 and under don't apparently travel for free on Ouigo trains.
A flat rate price is charged for children aged 11 and under of €5 per child
If you will be travelling by Ouigo train you can be requested to be at the station 30 mins before departure as all travellers need to pass through Ouigo reception.
According to the Ouigo website accessing the train isn't permitted less than 5 minutes before departure.
The primary reason for the 30mins 'rule' at large stations is that you can't just walk on to a Ouigo trains, because in echoes of how budget airlines operate their boarding procedures, passengers in effect check-in.
Tickets are inspected along with what each passenger is bringing on board; primarily does the luggage they have with them exceed the limit, so the staff are checking whether an additional last minute luggage excess charges have to be applied etc.
If you book the more expensive Offre OUIGO+ Adulte tickets, you will have priority boarding, which can be particularly useful if you will be joining a train with a 30 minute boarding procedure at the starting point of its journey.
Though on less busy departures and station calling points, the queue for boarding will typically have cleared more than 10 mins before departure, so from certain stations the ticket booking sites now show a 10 minute check-in.
But take care, there will be big differences in volumes between the numbers of passengers boarding a Ouigo service in Marseille on a summer Saturday afternoon and those boarding in Agen on a winter Wednesday.
A snacking service is available, selling chips, cookies and drinks on board!
Book the the cheaper Offre Essentiel Adulte tickets and you can either board with two pieces of hand luggage not exceeding 36 x 27 x 15 cm (height x width x depth) OR 1 piece hand luggage 36 x 27 x 15 cm (height x width x depth) + 1 piece of cabin luggage not exceeding 55 x 35 x 25 cm (height x width x depth).
So in essence this means 2 pieces of hand luggage per passenger OR 1 larger bag + 1 piece of hand luggage.
Though you can pay an additional €3 when booking to increase the luggage allowance
If you present yourself for boarding with luggage which exceeds the limit and haven't paid the €3 fee, you will be charged €20.
In effect two types of 'bike tickets' are available for travel on the Ouigo Classique trains.
(1) Pay €10 to take non-folding bike without adjusting it.
Though spaces for the non-folding bikes are limited per departure, so if it's 'sold out' you won't be able to access this option.
(2) Pay €5 and prepare your bike for boarding as luggage.
In particular, the bike;
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