I am planning a trip with my wife and three sons to Europe in June. I have purchased 7 day Eurail passes and made the necessary train reservations except for one problematic leg of our trip. I am having great trouble making train reservations to Normandy and hope you can help.
We want to travel from Paris to Bayeux or Caen the afternoon of Thursday, June 23 and return to Paris on Sunday morning, June 26. The Eurail trip planner shows SNCF TER trains available in and out of St. Lazare in Paris but when I try to book the reservation, it says “prices unavailable. It is possible that all passholder seats are sold out.” Upon investigation, it appears that SNCF isn't sharing information to allow reservations to be made online and you can only make a reservation in person at the train station. On SNCF’s website, it appears that some of these trains only require reservations on the weekends but the Eurail app shows that reservations are needed on almost all trip options.
This leads me to the following questions:
How much is the reservation fee if I book with SNCF on the day of travel at the train station? Will I pay the typical 10 or 20 euros to reserve (as a Eurail passholder) or will I have to pay the full price of a ticket?
What are the chances that there will be room on the train I need if I can not book the reservation until in person on the day I need to travel? How often are the trains full?
Are there any other ways I can book my reservation in advance of my travel so I can be certain not to miss my connections?
I did see a couple of trains from Paris to Rouen that appear not to require advance reservations. However, I am worried that those routes may also require reservation since all the other Paris - Normandy routes I can find appear to require reservations and not allow me to make them. Can you confirm whether reservations are required, or not, for this route?
This is making me rethink the Normandy leg of my trip or wonder if a car rental from Paris is a better option.
Any help you can provide would be greatly appreciated.
Best answer by rvdborgtView original