Rail travel in France - About French Railways
SNCF (Société nationale des chemins de fer français/French National Railways) is the principal operator of rail passengers services in France and one of the largest companies in the country. Using SNCF services one can visit almost all of France, whether you want to travel between major cities such as Paris or Lyon, and end up in small, colourful town in Province. Wherever you wish to go, SNCF can get you there quickly and comfortably.
SNCF offers various train categories for your travel:
- TGV - Train à Grande Vitesse (high-speed train)
- Intercités i Intercités de Nuit (fast inter-city trains)
- TER - Transport express régional (regional trains)
High speed trains
In spite of their speed, TGV trains are very quiet, and thanks to this you can expect an extremely comfortable trip, whether you wish to relax or do some work.
Each TGV train carries reserved seating, a buffet serving snacks and drinks, a special baby-changing area, accommodation for wheelchair passengers, and a WC accommodating disabled passengers.
All seats are large and comfortable, have armrests and are controlled electronically. Every traveler has access to a sufficiently large table and to a power socket to comfortably use a laptop or charge a mobile phone. If you need a little privacy, for example, to use a mobile phone, there is a separate room with a small couch in each coach.
All seats are fitted with armrests. The passenger has access to a fixed or fold-out table, allowing the use of a laptop. Some seats have a power socket. In every car there are two toilets, and the end of the train there is a baby-changing area.
Traditional trainsThere are traditional, non-high-speed trains, travelling to places not served by the TGV network. You can travel to every corner of the country while enjoying the scenery of France.
Intercités are a network of long-distance trains connecting more than 330 French cities. They operate in the day. On most services it is possible to reserve seats, and a buffet car is available.
Intercités (daytime inter-city trains)
Riding the night train is the best way to maximize your travel time in France—travel and sleep through the night to save time and avoid a hotel stay. The wagons and couchettes are extremely comfortable and offer travelers maximum privacy. After a night on the train you'll be refreshed and ready to continue your journey. Professional and friendly staff will welcome you on board and take care of every detail to make your journey a pleasure. If you wish, the train attendant will wake you at a certain time.
Intercités de Nuit (intercity night trains)
When you board the train, your comfortable berth will already be waiting for you. You will also get ear plugs and hygienic towelettes. In first-class compartments on the way to and from Paris, the attendant will serve you breakfast, included in the price of the ticket.
For your peace and security, all compartments are equipped with locks.
In addition to couchette compartments, you can also travel in special reclining seats that will guarantee you comfort. The seat can recline to 45 degrees, and has a footrest and headrest. A personal light allows you to read or work, without disturbing other passengers.
If you are traveling with friends or family, it is no problem to book the whole compartment for your group. In first class, there are four beds, and the second class there are six.
Even if you are traveling alone, or two or three people, you can book the whole compartment for yourselves! Each person will pay the lowest price possible for your own ticket, along with a flat-rate fee for booking the entire compartment.
Especially for solo female travellers
TER (regional trains)
Contact Polrail Service today and plan your rail voyage around France!
To book an SNCF ticket, request a Custom Price Quote, and we'll work on an itinerary and pricing for you.