Want a French train schedule? Ask the Germans.

So this morning, I am sitting in Parc Monceau, perusing Paris’ public-park-wide open wifi, trying to pull the schedule for my afternoon train.

Trying, because despite being on my twentieth online ticket booking for the month, trying to get anything out of French National Railway’s website feels like trying to get freshly squeezed OJ from a stone. I am not sure how exactly the whole “prevent users from getting a ticket online at all cost” fits into their business plan, but I guess if you take in account their laughably bad track record in all areas of service, it is merely brand identity on their part.

Twenty minutes and still no luck trying to get a single schedule for a local train departing 10 times a day from Paris (website timing out or randomly crashing at varying levels of the 50-step process), I had an epiphany and remembered a friend telling me about how it was probably easier booking a French train through Deutsche Bahn, German’s national railway company. At the time, I thought it was a joke.

Well, it’s not.

In approximately 1/100th of the time I spent attempting unsuccessfully to get a schedule for a French local train (from a French city, to a French city) on the official French website, I got the exact same info (available in 4 languages) on a German website.

It would be funny if it wasn’t so lame.


  1. Ahah I got to try and book a ticket from CdG to the new Lorraine TGV station for Xmass… Looks like the train (which my mum took a month ago) doesn’t even exist…
    I guess to buy french rail ticket you have to be in France, speaking to some guy behind a glass panel…
    Good luck with yours, I’ll buy mine when there next weekend! See you at the desk 😉

  2. Hi. I’m new to your blog. I love your style of writing. As for hern42’s comment… usually the dweeb behind the glass isn’t much help either. The Parisians are the worst of the bunch though.

  3. Incredible! We will be going to Cannes this fall, and although legend has it that there is train service there you would never know by looking at the SCNF site. I’ll give the Germans a try!

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