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Rail Europe

CWBuff

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances & Finisterre 05-07/22 Fran 26? d Nort 27?
For those Pilgrims who have been looking at the option of taking trains to SJPdP (or other places in France ) - I have received an email from Rail Europe re: Rail Europe France Travel Tickets have just been released for travel in France from 27 March to 31 May 2023. More to be released in February for travel until 7 July 2023.

Hope someone can take advantage

Buen Camino!
 
St James' Way - Self-guided 4-7 day Walking Packages, Reading to Southampton, 110 kms
Quick note, rail travel is free in Spain until end of 2023 is there a qualification for those tickets or do you have to be Spanish or EU resident.
 
For those Pilgrims who have been looking at the option of taking trains to SJPdP (or other places in France ) - I have received an email from Rail Europe re: Rail Europe France Travel Tickets have just been released for travel in France from 27 March to 31 May 2023. More to be released in February for travel until 7 July 2023.

Hope someone can take advantage

Buen Camino!
Because of free rail travel for Spanish citizens Trains have been fuller than normal due to this. So book early!
 
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Quick note, rail travel is free in Spain until end of 2023 is there a qualification for those tickets or do you have to be Spanish or EU resident.
As far as I can see, this offer is not available for long-distance trains (only on Cercanías trains, Rodalies trains and Media Distancia de Renfe).

You have to get an "abono" (season ticket) for which you must pay €20 initially. This sum is reimbursable but only when you have done at least 16 trips within 4 months (1 Jan until 30 April) on the connection that you have chosen when you bought the season ticket. The season ticket is only valid for travel between the two station that you have chosen. It cannot be used by more than one person and it must be the same person all the time.

I had a look at prices for Santiago-Ourense. There are single one-way tickets from €17.70 and even from €10.35. So it would not be worth to get a season ticket for €20 for free travel because you are unlikely to travel 16 times between the two towns to benefit from this offer which is meant to be used by commuters who will take public transport instead of going by private car.
 
PS: I cannot see anything that says that you must be a resident in Spain. The Renfe website lets me pay for the season ticket and lets me enter a non-Spanish mobile phone number: in addition to the Spanish identification documents, one can use a passport or an ID card issued by an EU country (this is what doc. comunitario stands for). They advice to pay by credit card because this will make it easy to reimburse the initial €20.
 
Also, note that when you want to travel under the "free travel" scheme (in Spain only - the system does not exist in France):
  • En trenes de alta demanda se podrán admitir viajeros de pie hasta un 10% más de las plazas sentadas. Para estos trenes no se permitirá reservar asiento.
 
Last edited:
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PS: I cannot see anything that says that you must be a resident in Spain. The Renfe website lets me pay for the season ticket and lets me enter a non-Spanish mobile phone number: in addition to the Spanish identification documents, one can use a passport or an ID card issued by an EU country (this is what doc. comunitario stands for). They advice to pay by credit card because this will make it easy to reimburse the initial €20.
Ivar was saying its only for Spanish citizens bit confused now.
 
Thanks for the heads up. I had registered for notifications with Rail Europe but haven't received it yet. I booked train tickets today for my group of 7 from Paris to SJPdP.
The fare was about €34 more than my ticket in 2019
 
Question, why use Rail Europe? The French rail website (SCNF or OUI) offers more trains and better prices?
 
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My perception of Rail Europe, going back 7-10 years, is that it is (a lot?) more expensive than a direct booking. I started using Capitaine Train (now Trainline) when booking direct after RENFE became nearly impossible because I couldn't use a European credit card. (My U.S. VISA wasn't accepted by RENFE starting around 2014-2015.)

If Rail Europe is now just as cheap as Trainline, please let me know. I will be using rail travel for a European trip either this fall or next year. TIA.
 
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My perception of Rail Europe, going back 7-10 years, is that it is (a lot?) more expensive than a direct booking.
I usually book directly with the train company, but this time I did book via Rail Europe. The SNCF site was not returning the same results as Rail Europe, and the Rail Europe site was easier to navigate than the last time that I booked tickets on the SNCF site. I didn't pay a lot more - just an $8.95 booking fee for the entire group of 7 that I booked for.
 
Rail Europe is good for Eurail or country-specific train passes. These can *only* be sold outside of Europe.

For induvial train tickets, it is probably better to buy them directly from European rail website which has more accurate scheduling. Rail Europe allows purchase of train tickets far, far in advance of the actual schedule, based on historical schedules. Why take the chance on a ticket that could be later changed? You are paying extra for the convenience.


-Paul
 
Rail Europe allows purchase of train tickets far, far in advance of the actual schedule, based on historical schedules
That's not been my experience. Last weekend I checked both SNCF and Rail Europe for train tickets for my date in May. Neither had availability. But after reading @CWBuff's post here I immediately checked both sites and train tickets for May are now on sale.
 
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Is there a simple way to go from Santiago to SJPdP by train?
Simply put? NO. 😬

Okay, I guess it’s how you define ”simple” and if you want to travel the entire way by train versus taking a bus at some point. By train ONLY, you could do Santiago to Bayonne and then onto SJPdP for a 12+ hour journey. If you don’t mind a bus part of it, then Santiago to Pamplona via Madrid with a bus over the Pyrenees to your destination.
 
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Simply put? NO. 😬

Okay, I guess it’s how you define ”simple” and if you want to travel the entire way by train versus taking a bus at some point. By train ONLY, you could do Santiago to Bayonne and then onto SJPdP for a 12+ hour journey. If you don’t mind a bus part of it, then Santiago to Pamplona via Madrid with a bus over the Pyrenees to your destination.
Most assuredly I appreciate your input. I am truely on a Pilgrimge. A time of discernment. I am starting at Lisbon to Fatima to Porto to Santiago to Lourdes then to Chartes some how. Thank you so much. God Bless asp always.

White Blaze AKA blue Blaze. USA
 
Having been to all of those locations (mostly on foot), you have picked a fabulous journey and one that will certainly give you pause to think on life and humanity. ULTREIA!
 
St James' Way - Self-guided 4-7 day Walking Packages, Reading to Southampton, 110 kms
Following along here and I'm wondering if I missed the boat on train booking -- I'm trying to book Santiago to Madrid on Friday, April 21 but am not seeing anything available on RailEurope or Trainline for that or any of the surrounding dates. Is it possible everything would have been booked up already, or are tickets only available in month-out batches (looks like there's a ton of tickets available between now and mid-March)? Anyone else running into a similar problem?
 
I’m on alert with Raileurope for Madrid to Leon late April . Not available for booking yet - tried Renfe two days ago. I’m guessing they won’t open until 60 days in advance - for me that’s early next week.
 

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