Winter trains on sale Wednesday 04 October 2023

By: Daniel Elkan
Tue 03 Oct 2023

 

A heads up about trains going on sale.

SNCF has confirmed to me that this Wednesday 04 October 2023, at around 6am French time, trains in France will go on sale, for the first period of winter.

This is the information that I have proactively managed to elicit from SNCF’s press office. Honestly, it’s been like trying to get that last bit of ketchup out the bottle: you have to try multiple times and never quite get all of it.

Across the travel industry, organisations that should have access to this info (rail-booking websites and agents) have been left in the dark by SNCF. Baffling really.

Booking dates

10 Dec 2023 - 09 Jan 2024          
 - sales open at around 6am on 04 October 2023

10 Jan 2024 - 09 Feb 2024          
'Sales open progressively' *

10 Feb 2024 - 24 March 2024      
- sales open 15 November 2023

25 March onwards                        
Sales open at a date that SNCF won't divulge yet

And for OUIGO (a low-cost TGV to some destinations) the entire winter season (and beyond, actually, until 04 July 2024) goes on sale on 04 October.  You can see a list of OUIGO destinations here: https://www.ouigo.com/destinations

*For the period 10 January to 09 February, I have tried – several times – to get clarification from SNCF about what ‘sales open progressively’ actually means, in terms of specifics.

For example, if you want to travel by TGV or by Intercites de Nuit sleeper train on 15 January by TGV, what date will you be able to book?  SNCF seems unable to say.

Why on earth does SNCF make something that should be simple, so complicated?  

Websites for booking trains

Eurostar
Rail Europe
Trainline
SNCF Connect

Rail-booking agents

The Travel Bureau
Helping people book rail travel since 1984, The Travel Bureau has an expert, knowledgeable team who can book journeys for you and can help with any journey.
The Travel Bureau charges a fee of £15 per traveller (sometimes less for larger groups).
Phone:  (+44) 01902 326 662 (10:00 – 16:00 Monday – Friday)
Website: rail-travel.co.uk
Email: rail@thetravelbureau.co.uk

Trainseurope
Helping people book rail travel since 1986, Trainseurope has an expert, knowledgeable team who can book journeys for you.
Can help with any journey.
Trainseurope charges a fee of £10 - £30 per traveller.
Phone: (+44) 01354 660222 (09:00 – 17:00 Monday – Friday; 09:00 – 15:00 Saturday)
Website: trainseurope.co.uk
Email: info@trainseurope.co.uk

Hope that’s useful info. When I get anything more useful from SNCF, I’ll let you know.

Best wishes,
Daniel Elkan
Snowcarbon Founder