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>>Different types of trains

27 mai 2007
Carrying you bike on board of SNCF trains can be either free, or forbidden, or require a mandatory reservation.

Content of this page :
- regional trains TER
- general features of long distance trains
- high speed TGV
-  interregional Corail, Teoz and Lunea
-  international trains.

>> Version française de cette page

Unless otherwise stated, "accept bikes" means : without charge. Last update of this page : december 2012.

Click on a picture to enlarge it, then click on "return to the previous page" of your browser -do not close the window.

Regional trains TER

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A recent duplex regional train. TER 2 niveaux, modèle 2007.

In the regions :
- Auvergne
- Centre
- Languedoc-Roussillon
- Limousin
- Rhone-Alpes

all TER accept bikes.

(*) Since 2007, SNCF tries to convince Regional Councils to reject bikes from TER during peak hours. Cyclists users’ groups are lobbying against this project.

In Alsace

Alsace was one of the leader regions where all TER trains accepted bikes. Unfortunaltely, since december 2007, a few TER during peak hours, between Basel - Mulhouse and Strasbourg, are forbidden to bikes.

In Aquitaine

All TER trains accept bikes except if they are not equipped for carrying bikes. But : if SNCF is not able to tell you before you purchase your ticket which TER are not equipped, then according to International Union of Railways Charter for passengers transport, which SNCF signed, you should be allowed to take the train you want.
Download the IUR passenger charter (PDF 108 ko)

In Nord - Pas de Calais

All TER trains accept bikes except a few express regional trains named TER-GV, where GV stands for grande vitesse.

In Provence Alpes Cote d’Azur

All TER accept bikes except trains circulating between 7:00-9:00, and 16:30-18:30, Monday through Friday.

In Ile-de-France

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All regional RER trains accept bikes, except peak hours, Monday through Friday
- trains towards Paris during morning peak hours 6:00-9:00 according to SNCF Transilien web site, or 6:30-9:30 according to SNCF national web site. Choose whatever is more convienient for you, but note that the inspector might pretend that SNCF web is not a valid reference (which unfortunately makes sense...)
- trains from Paris 16:30-19:00
- trains in Paris during both morning and evening peak hours

Subway 1 accepts bikes on Sunday before 16:30, but accessibility with a bike is difficult in some stations.

Other regions

A majority of regional trains accept bikes, free of charge. What can be quite tricky is to find which ones do or don’t. The regions Midi - Pyrenees and Picardie publish a cyclits user’s guide which lists trains carrying bikes.

Local users groups of FUBicy or AF3V might be able to help you if you need more informations, as well as Tourist Offices.

Regional car TER

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Rear bike racks are very rare, and french coaches never have front racks. Racks arrière rares, et racks avant non homologués en France.

Some regional trains have been replaced by buses : they are noted car TER in timetables. They almost never have a bike rack, except on a small number of lines in Alsace or Pays de Loire.

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Bike in a "car-TER". Vélo dans la soute d’un car-TER.

Although private coaches companies generally accept bikes in the luggage space, SNCF car TER drivers may refuse, even if there is enough room. It may help if you can take off the front wheel, and load you bike as quickly as possible.

Be careful : doors of luggage space are in the blind spots for the bus driver.

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Long distance trains SNCF Grandes Lignes

So far, the majority of long distance trains do not accept bikes. An increasing number of those who do accept bikes require a mandatory bike reservation. Unlike in Germany or Switzerland, the bike reservation costs 10 € per train, not 10 € per journey or per day. If you have a connection between long-distance trains, you will have to pay several times 10 €...

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It is not possible to purchase the mandatory bike reservation on internet, nor at ticket machines in stations. FUBicy has been asking this for several years, but SNCF renewed all its software + hardware without including bike reservation.

If you purchased your train ticket on internet or at a ticket machine, and thus could not take a bike reservation, look for the inspector as soon as the train starts, and ask to pay for your bike reservation on board. Depending on the inspector, you will pay either just the 10 € bike reservation, or the bike reservation plus a 8 € fee because you purchase your reservation on board. If you find it unfair to pay this extra 8 €, see the Complaints section.

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High speed trains TGV

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Mandatory reservation : 10 €. You may sometimes find other luggages or SNCF carriage stuff in the cycle space. TGV Duplex (trains with lower + upper floor) have no places for bikes. In other TGVs, there are either 0 or 4 places for bikes, in carriage 8 or 18. Some TGV are composed of 2 trains : in this case, up to 8 cyclists can travel on board.

Bikes in High-Speed trains :

Train nameDestinationsPlaces for bikes ?
TGV EstStrasbourg, Germanyyes, always
TGV LyriaSwitzerlandyes, always
TGV NordLille, Amiens...yes, often
TGV Méditerranée Valence, Marseille, Nice, Montpellier...sometimes
TGV Sud-estGrenoble, Chambéry, Annecy...sometimes
TGV Sud-estLyonno
TGV AtlantiqueNantes, Rennes, Bordeaux...not yet
TGV Artesia...Italyno
ThalysBelgium, Germanyno
EurostarGreat-Britainas registered luggage

About Eurostar : we did not re-test this service since 2009, but it should now be possible to register a bike, and require that the bike is carried in the same train as you. Before, the bike travelled in another train and could arrive one day later lthe cyclist...

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Interregional trains Corail Teoz or Lunea

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Non-renewed Corail trains sometimes accept bikes without fee. Renewed Corail Teoz have places for 5 or 6 bikes. Mandatory reservation : 10 €. You may sometimes find other luggages or SNCF carriage stuff in the cycle space.

Night trains Lunea :
Same as Teoz trains, except that you are obliged to book a "couchette 2e classe", because SNCF will not give you a couchette in another carriage than the one with cycle space.

Note : the booking system of SNCF is very poorly designed. For both Lunea and Teoz trains, SNCF will tell you there is no cycle space left as soon as seats or couchettes are booked in the carriage with cycle space, even if the other passengers have no bikes, and if there are seats or couchettes in other carriages. So, you may find empty places for bikes in trains where SNCF told you there is no cycle space left !

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International trains

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Brussels-Basel trains stop in 4 french stations but you cant get a ticket for your bike from SNCF. Les Bruxelles-Bâle desservent 4 gares françaises, mais la SNCF ne vend pas de ticket vélo pour ce train...

A small number of international trains have places for bikes. SNCF is unable to sell bike tickets for foreign trains, even if the bike reservation is mandatory... and even if the train goes through France !

If part of your journey is in Switzerland or Germany, you may order passenger’s + bike ticket by phone from CFF or Deutsche Bahn, pay with your credit card, and receive the ticket by mail 2-5 days after your order. Booking is also possible on the CFF or DB web site , except for quite complicated international journeys.

Other "Train+bike" pages of this site
(english version)

- timetables and booking , web servers
- how carrying your bike on a train
- other intermodal solutions  : velostations, parking, hiring, delivery
- complaints

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