Sleepers in France

yoyothehobo

Member
Joined
21 Aug 2015
Messages
348
Just saying I have just recently come back from a trip to the South of France (Lourdes) on the night sleeper.

It was a really interesting (and cheap) way of travelling, especially if you discount the cost of hotels for 2 nights from your trip.

Pros
Cheap
Saved nights of accommodation
Reasonably comfortable Couchettes for 6
Relaxing and 8pm/9pm departures.
There was someone selling food and drinks on board, though i didnt partake
Met people

Cons
Not a huge amount of luggage space
No private compartments
The Corail coaches i travelled in were not refurbished so didnt have power sockets except in the main corridor
The outward journey my bed was above a wheel set with an almighty wheelflat, imagine that for 10 hours...
Air conditioning not the most powerful (especially in the 35 degrees just had in France)
Can be quite unreliable on journeys heading towards Paris (i had a 3 hour delay on the northbound trip)


However would I do it again, absolutely. I loved it.
 
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hexagon789

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2 Sep 2016
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13,401
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Glasgow
Glad you enjoyed it, I have considered the idea myself.

The fact France has no sleeping car trains, only couchettes is a little off putting.

Very unfortunate your coach had a flat, Corails are generally very smooth riding but perhaps 1970s WSP isn't quite up to scratch.
 

30907

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30 Sep 2012
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13,655
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Airedale
There are (were?) private compartments, but only bookable via SNCF. And not cheap for a solo traveller.
 

AndrewE

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9 Nov 2015
Messages
4,148
There are (were?) private compartments, but only bookable via SNCF. And not cheap for a solo traveller.
I have a feeling that "abroad" you just have (had?) to pay the reservation fees for the whole compartment in addition to your fare, whereas here you have to have tickets for all the berths too!

We made quite a few internal French journeys by couchette, first to the Auvergne then to the Pyrenees for walking holidays and also to get to Barcelona overnight, also many into Switzerland from the Channel ports.

Brilliant way to travel for much less than the price of a sleeper, but yes, not a lot of luggage space, especially as children could sleep nose-to-tail with parents for no charge (although they had to have tickets!) Got quite cosy when there were 2 families plus 2 others in a 6-berth compartment...
 

hexagon789

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Joined
2 Sep 2016
Messages
13,401
Location
Glasgow
There are (were?) private compartments, but only bookable via SNCF. And not cheap for a solo traveller.
Espace privatif, but not always available and still not proper sleepers.

I have a feeling that "abroad" you just have (had?) to pay the reservation fees for the whole compartment in addition to your fare, whereas here you have to have tickets for all the berths too!

We made quite a few internal French journeys by couchette, first to the Auvergne then to the Pyrenees for walking holidays and also to get to Barcelona overnight, also many into Switzerland from the Channel ports.

Brilliant way to travel for much less than the price of a sleeper, but yes, not a lot of luggage space, especially as children could sleep nose-to-tail with parents for no charge (although they had to have tickets!) Got quite cosy when there were 2 families plus 2 others in a 6-berth compartment...
The fees for private occupancy are:

First Class (4 berth compartment):

One person + €70 surcharge
Two " + €50 surcharge
Three " + €40 surcharge

Second Class (six berth compartment):

Four or five persons + €45 surcharge

The surcharges are fixed irrespective of distance.
 

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