Which is best Eurostar or SNCF?

Discussion in 'International Transport' started by jrh2254, 17 May 2015.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. jrh2254

    jrh2254 Member

    Messages:
    97
    Joined:
    31 Dec 2014
    I am travelling Eurostar St Pancras to Lille, then SNCF Lille to Marseille. Treating myself to Premier which means the SNCF leg is 1st class. Which is the best service (comfort. meals, drinks, wifi etc? Thanks.
     
  2. Bald Rick

    Bald Rick Established Member

    Messages:
    5,965
    Joined:
    28 Sep 2010
    In my experience, Eurostar by a mile (or kilometre), in comparative classes.
     
  3. jrh2254

    jrh2254 Member

    Messages:
    97
    Joined:
    31 Dec 2014
    OK thanks. too bad most of the journey is SNCF! Do you know how I book a seat on the top deck of SNCF? as I have now booked via Eurostar and it seems I only have seats booked on Eurostar and not the SNCF leg?
    Thanks.
     
  4. NicholasNCE

    NicholasNCE Member

    Messages:
    88
    Joined:
    29 Jun 2012
    If you have a TGV ticket you necessarily already have a seat reservation as these are compulsory for TGVs. It should say something like "voiture (coach) XX", "place assise (seat) YYFENETRE/COULOIR" (Window/aisle), and in the case of a double-decker "DUPLEX: EN Haut/Bas" (Upper/lower level).

    As for domestic TGV, the only perks in 1st class are the lower density seating (2+1 instead of 2+2), the higher seat pitch and power sockets. No meals or refreshements are included (you can purchase these in the buffet car at highly inflated prices) and neither is WiFi...
     
  5. theageofthetra

    theageofthetra Established Member

    Messages:
    2,290
    Joined:
    27 May 2012
    I would suggest getting a seat upstairs near a luggage space where you can clearly keep an eye on it. The southern end of the Marseille route is notorious for vermin boarding quickly and rifling through and stealing your valuables. I know a regular user who uses a cable lock on the zip and a thin bike lock to attach it to the rack in case they fall asleep. On the fastest sections, and particularly where it criss -crosses the Saone/Rhone try and sit downstairs for a bit-you really get a great impression of the speed. Enjoy Marseille it has undergone a transformation the last year or two and try to visit Cassis, Arles and Aix-en-Provence whilst there.
     
  6. 30907

    30907 Established Member

    Messages:
    4,174
    Joined:
    30 Sep 2012
    Location:
    North Lancs Loop
    Too late for the OP, but Loco2.com and the various SNCF sites will allow you to select upper or lower deck.
     
  7. jrh2254

    jrh2254 Member

    Messages:
    97
    Joined:
    31 Dec 2014
    Found what I needed in FAQ on Eurostar where I booked the tickets. It says :

    If your booking includes travel on a TGV, Thalys or other continental train, we’ll reserve a seat for you when you book and you’ll see the seat number on your ticket.
    We don’t have access to seating plans for other train companies, so if you’ve got a seating preference or any special requirements, just let staff know when you check in or just before you board the train.

    So cant I now book a seat on the top deck of the TGV? I have not yet picked up my tickets so dont know what seat I have on the TGV 1st class.

    Appreciate knowing what 'too late for the OP ' mean?

    Thanks.
     
  8. 30907

    30907 Established Member

    Messages:
    4,174
    Joined:
    30 Sep 2012
    Location:
    North Lancs Loop
    OP is Original Poster ie you. Too late because you've booked already. Sorry If I confused you.
     
  9. jrh2254

    jrh2254 Member

    Messages:
    97
    Joined:
    31 Dec 2014
    ok thanks. still learning the acronyms! Could I just visit SNCF London office :

    Full address:
    193 Piccadilly
    London
    W1J 9EU

    and ask them to give me new reservations? or does it not work like a UK booking office on SNCF?

    Thanks.
     
  10. Peter Mugridge

    Peter Mugridge Established Member

    Messages:
    8,280
    Joined:
    8 Apr 2010
    Location:
    Epsom
    It's worth a try; I've always found them very helpful myself although I've never had reason to try what you want so can't be sure they can. But they have done specific seats on ( single deck ) TGVs for me at the time of original booking.
     
  11. NicholasNCE

    NicholasNCE Member

    Messages:
    88
    Joined:
    29 Jun 2012
    TGV tickets and reservations are not independantly issued as is the case for tickets in the UK so changing seat would require reissuing the whole thing, shouldn't be an issue as most SNCF tickets can be rebooked or refunded but you may need to pay the cost difference if the price of your train has gone up.
     
  12. jrh2254

    jrh2254 Member

    Messages:
    97
    Joined:
    31 Dec 2014
    OK thanks. Perhaps I will just turn up and try and get a seat on the top deck. Are the TGVs from Lille busy or not? I am in 1st class travelling at the end of July at about 3pm on a Saturday afternoon?
     
  13. 30907

    30907 Established Member

    Messages:
    4,174
    Joined:
    30 Sep 2012
    Location:
    North Lancs Loop
    I presume you have a bottom deck seat? It's just possible it might be a single deck unit.
    you can find out by doing a test booking with SNCF.

    If it's a Duplex and you chance it upstairs, bear in mind that IIRC seat reservations aren't indicated.
     
  14. Gerald Fiennes

    Gerald Fiennes Member

    Messages:
    257
    Joined:
    7 Jan 2009
    You might be lucky by asking Rail Europe in Piccadilly to issue a boarding card with a new seat reservation on it but otherwise in France the fare you have, I expect, is a low-yield, non changeable one and you are expected to take the seat reserved for you which cannot be altered. Eurostar allows seat changes online but neither SNCF or DB does. SNCF ticket offices in France are not much help with such things in my experience. But I suspect you will probably be fine to move upstairs during the journey. The busy bit will be CDG-Aeroport to the first stop beyond Lyon (whichever that is), but from my experience I would expect the 1st class only to be about 2/3rds full even in this bit. And it will only be 25% full from Lille to CDG. Your are travelling in an offpeak period, which will help.:p
     
  15. Peter Mugridge

    Peter Mugridge Established Member

    Messages:
    8,280
    Joined:
    8 Apr 2010
    Location:
    Epsom
    They're called "Voyages SNCF" now; they dropped the Rail Europe name a few months ago.
     
  16. Gordon

    Gordon Member

    Messages:
    855
    Joined:
    11 Feb 2011
    Location:
    Sutton
    If you want to choose TGV seats you need to book SNCF TGV separately , preferably via the French version of the SNCF site as UK versions of french railway web sites give you a poorer service.

    It can also be cheaper to book Eurostar and TGV separately
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page