France's SNCF adds 10,000 extra rail tickets to €1 sale

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France's SNCF adds 10,000 extra rail tickets to €1 sale
A "Ouigo Train Classique" train. (Photo by Eric PIERMONT / AFP)

French train operator SNCF has put 10,000 more tickets on sale for €1 a day after it sold thousands sold out in a matter of hours


SNCF celebrated the first anniversary of its slow Ouigo-Train-Classique service between Paris and Lyon and Paris and Nantes with a one-day sale on Tuesday that was so successful it has added a second day, putting an additional 10,000 tickets on sale on Wednesday, June 24.

The additional tickets are for journeys between May 24th and July 5th.

The Classique service offers cheaper prices but slower journey times - from Paris, it takes nearly four hours to reach Nantes using the Classique service, which run at the same speed as TER or Intercite trains, and just over five to get to Lyon. It would take the same time to drive. 

But that hasn’t put off customers. In the first year, 1.3 million tickets have been sold for the slow train service. A third of those have been younger customers. 

It has been so successful that SNCFis already considering about adding other cities to its Classique roster, including Bordeaux, Marseille, Rennes, Lille - and even Brussels.

But customers hoping for a cheaper, slower service to these cities will have to wait. The two-year trial for the services between the capital, Nantes and Lyon is not due to end until 2024, and SNCF is not planning to add new services until after it concludes.

The operator also currently does not have enough trains to offer additional services. Deliveries of brand new trains from Alstom to Hauts-de-France and Grand-Est, among others, in the coming months should gradually unblock the situation.

Even after the €1 ticket sale ends, travellers on OUIGO Train Classique services pay between €10 and €49 to travel, while children under 12 all travel for €5. Nearly two thirds of customers pay less than €20, according to SNCF.



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