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300,000 train seats on sale at €5 for launch of ‘slow Ouigo’ in France

The tickets are available today and tomorrow for journeys from April 11 to June 19, on the new Paris-Lyon and Paris-Nantes ‘classic train’ lines

The new ‘slow Ouigo’ trains will be renovated former Corail carriages, decked out in the distinctive Ouigo colours, and operate on the Paris-Lyon and Paris-Nantes lines Pic: EQRoy / Shutterstock

French train company SNCF has put 300,000 tickets on sale at just €5 today and tomorrow (March 3-4) to mark the imminent launch of its new ‘slow Ouigo’ service on April 11.

Ouigo is SNCF’s low-cost, high-speed (train à grande vitesse, TGV) service. But from April 11, it will operate regular-speed (e.g. non-TGV) train services across its network, dubbed “Train Classique” as opposed to “Grande Vitesse”.

The €5 tickets can be purchased from the website for 48 hours, for journeys between April 11 and June 19. In comparison, Grande Vitesse tickets for the same dates and journey are available from €19 (Paris-Lyon single journey).

The ‘new’ Ouigo trains will actually be renovated former Corail carriages, repainted in the Ouigo colours. They will travel at a maximum speed of 160km/h (compared to 270km/h for TGVs).

They will serve 14 stations on two lines: Paris (Austerlitz)-Nantes, and Paris (Bercy)-Lyon (Perrache). There will initially be two return journeys on the Paris-Nantes line, and one return on the Paris-Lyon line.

From June, there will be five return journeys every day. 

  • Paris (Austerlitz)-Nantes: Three return journeys per day. Journey time of between three and a half hours to four and a quarter hours. One line will stop at Juvisy, Massy-Palaiseau, Versailles-Chantiers, Chartres, Le Mans, and Angers. The other line will stop at Juvisy, Les Aubrais, Blois, Saint-Pierre-des-Corps, Saumur, and Angers.
  • Paris (Bercy)-Lyon (Perrache): Two return journeys per day. Journey time of between four and three-quarter hours and five and a quarter. Stops at Villeneuve-Saint-Georges (from June), Melun, Dijon, Chalon-sur-Saône, and Mâcon.

In a statement, SNCF said: “This will strengthen connections between the Paris region, Burgundy-Franche-Comté, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, Pays de la Loire and Centre-Val de Loire. In 2022, more than a million tickets will be on sale, of which 60% will be sold at €19 or less.”

Tickets for the new services will go on sale 45 days before the train journey, and will be exchangeable under the same terms as the current Ouigo TGV services. These allow the changing of the time or date for a ticket of the same journey, for an exchange fee and payment of any difference in price.

Adult tickets are expected to always cost between €10 and €30, depending on the time, date, booking date, and service.

They will be available to buy from the website, the Ouigo app, on the SNCF Connect website and app, and from SNCF-participating travel agencies.

Extra luggage will be free until the end of 2022, after which it will cost €5.

Bikes will cost €5 for those that are foldable and stored in their bag; and €10 for a full-size bike that can be stored in a dedicated bike space.

The trains will offer a “mobile snacking trolley service with a simple menu and accessible products”, SNCF said. However, there will be no Wi-Fi provided.

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