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French reservations

  • 11 January 2022
  • 6 replies
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  • Rail rookie
  • 2 replies

Hey - very new to this pass and getting slightly frustrated.  I’m trying to book a train from Paris to Nice at the end of March.  I’m not able to book any of the trains listed (there’s seats available but not with the eurail pass).  Is there a workaround that may get me there that I’m not aware of?  Fully booked via eurail seems to be a common affliction with anything I try to book through France - is this normal?

Cheers

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Best answer by rvdborgt 11 January 2022, 23:35

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Userlevel 7
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Hey - very new to this pass and getting slightly frustrated.  I’m trying to book a train from Paris to Nice at the end of March.  I’m not able to book any of the trains listed (there’s seats available but not with the eurail pass).  Is there a workaround that may get me there that I’m not aware of?  Fully booked via eurail seems to be a common affliction with anything I try to book through France - is this normal?

There should be plenty of availability when you book such a long time in advance.

Please tell us what exact train your trying to book (date, departure time) and what message you see. Or just post a screenshot containing this information. I just tried Paris - Nice on 23 March and saw plenty of available trains.

Yeah you do.  The dreaded exclamation mark begins to present itself starting on the 28th of March (I’m trying to book the 29th). Am I trying to book too far in advance?

Userlevel 7
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Thanks. It looks like French railways haven't opened their trains for booking yet. I can't even book normal tickets from 28 March.

Normally you can book trains in France 3 months in advance but maybe the COVID crisis intervenes with that. Just try again later, nobody can book right now.

Great! Thanks for the help - I was starting to lose my nut. 

Userlevel 4
Badge +5

Hey - very new to this pass and getting slightly frustrated.  I’m trying to book a train from Paris to Nice at the end of March.  I’m not able to book any of the trains listed (there’s seats available but not with the eurail pass).  Is there a workaround that may get me there that I’m not aware of?  Fully booked via eurail seems to be a common affliction with anything I try to book through France - is this normal?

Cheers

 

Today it is possible to book a ticket. Both via B Europe and via Interrail.

Have a good trip in advance!

Userlevel 7
Badge +4

Remarks like this fairly often are posted on SNCF-esp. the long-distance HiSpeed TGV etc. It has to do with french logic-and some knowledge of how computers and railways work. WORK-that is the magic word-anywhere along the line has to happen every now and then. The logic of SNCF is that no times will be posted (and remember that old law of computers; you can only get out what someone has bothered to put in before) untill they think its 111% sure that the train will run and to that time-maybe some 10/15/20 mins longer as usual or a bit earlier/later arrival or whatever to compensate for slower timings. On the other hand f.e. DB=german rails, also with some hi-speed trains, will simply post old timings, well knowing these may be changed and then inform you about it later. Italian railways are notorious for keeping times unavailable untill maybe a week or so before the new timetable or works start. The solution is thus quite simple: keep on trying. Beginning young IR-users are notorious for over-anxiety and wanting to have everything arranged monthes advance.

When that IR-scheme started this was simply not possible as most trains were not reserveable and if yes, were in some far away other country where you had to mail to.

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