Just been struggling to buy a ticket from Saarbruecken (D) to Forbach (F) online - it appears that this ticket - like many cross border tickets, is not (unless you buy an uber expensive ICE ticket) available on line. All the more annoying because the train my partner wants to catch actually runs Saarbruecken to Metz, it's just she can't buy tickets in advance (unless you pay €4.90 for them to be posted to you, or you collect them from a ticket machine in France - bit difficult if you're not actually passing through France enroute). The Forbach to Metz segment is available as a downloadable ticket or barcode on the phone, as is the Pirmasens to Saarbuecken. It's just this 9 minute segment that appears unavailable, unless you go to a travel agent or ticket office and pay a hefty supplement for a ticket that's neither available online or from a ticket machine. So it got me to thinking where this is and isn't possible, and my adventures in purchasing cross border tickets. I remember flying to Biarritz to go to San Sebastian once, and going to the SNCF station, attempting to buy a ticket to the Spanish border station of Irun (from where I would be able to buy a Renfe ticket to San Sebastian). Firstly, the ticket seller told me "there are no trains from Biarritz to Irun" - and then, one popped up on the screen, she conceded that, yes, there were indeed trains from Biarritz to Irun, but she couldn't actually sell me tickets to there. We ended up taking the train to the French border, (Hendaye) and then "El Topo" (the narrow gauge railway) from there to San Sebastian. We arrived to find our hostal directly opposite the Renfe station, and we would have been there an hour previously had we been able to purchase a ticket for it. Bizarrely, SNCF were able to sell me a ticket to Portbou in Spain from Perpignan, but the Renfe ticket seller wasn't able to sell us a ticket from there to Perpignan - only to Cerbere at the French side of the frontier. Have any of you had similar experiences and/or suggestions to get round this nonsense? Other than pleading with the conductor ?