No trains available from Spain to France.

  • 4 November 2021
  • 5 replies
  • 61 views

Badge +2

Just to let other people know there is the possibility of no trains. I am in Spain and wanted to leave in 10 days to France. I could not find a train. I went to the French train app and it seems they were sold out for 5 days. I went to the train station in Spain to reserve the first available day after that. 
 

I was told there are available seats for purchase but not for global pass holders. And this was true for every day for at least a week. 
 

The result is that there is a two week period where the pass is useless. I ended up buying a full price ticket without the pass and cutting my trip short. 
 

I guess I can come back in a few years to see Southern Spain the next trip. 


5 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +5

There are engineering works 10-14 November in the south of France and customer-friendly railways RENFE ans SNCF cancelled all TGVs between Barcelona and France on those days, without any replacement. Of course, the trains before and after this period will fill up pretty quickly and the Interrail quota (a French speciality) fills up even faster.

If you wanted to use these trains: they were not full on those 5 days but non-existent.

Userlevel 5
Badge +2

You could use regional trains to the spanish/french border and from there the next regional train to the next TGV station or you continue with regional trains, which don’t need reservations. 

Badge +2

Thanks for the information. I visited 3-4 different RENFE offices, and no one mentioned the tracks being down. In fact, they said that SCNF (France) completely controls the tickets for those trains.

 

Note, I checked for any and all trains - not just TGV, and nothing came up. 

 

Several did mention that there were open seats but not available for Eurail pass holders. 

 

I considered looking into buses to get across the border. 

Userlevel 7
Badge +5

Thanks for the information. I visited 3-4 different RENFE offices, and no one mentioned the tracks being down.

You're not the first one who ran into uninformed RENFE staff :(

Maybe it's their reservation system that's not user-friendly (like the RENFE website, which is horrible) and they have to make assumptions about why reservations are not possible.

Note, I checked for any and all trains - not just TGV, and nothing came up.

That's because the same “customer-friendly” RENFE doesn't deem it necessary to send the timetables of all their trains to he European Timetable Centre, such as of the regional trains Barcelona - Port-Bou.

@Nanja, is their any chance RENFE could be persuaded to send all their timetables instead of just a selection?

Userlevel 6
Badge +7

Rvdborgt, we do communicate issues notified by our customers but whether they will do something with it, is up to them. I recommend you to also send the request/complaint to RENFE directly. 

Reply