SNCF Reveals Details Of Low Cost TGV

French national rail operator SNCF has revealed details of its upcoming low-cost TGV service. Dubbed Ouigo, the service targets travellers aged between 18 and 45 years old with the concept based on a single travel class and a single piece of baggage.


Services will launch on 2 April 2013 using refurbished double-deck TGV Duplex train sets from Marne-la-Vallée Chessy station on the eastern outskirts of Paris to Marseille and Montpellier. Operating in pairs, the trains offer a total of 1,268 seats in a 2-2 or 1-3 layout, with the bar area removed for additional luggage space and no catering facilities are provided.


There will be 3 return services on weekdays and 5 on weekends. Tickets can only be booked online, with fares priced according to demand and ranging from EUR 10 to EUR 85, while children accompanied by an adult pay a flat fare of EUR 5. In line with its low-cost positioning, SNCF announced that 25% of the seats will be sold at less than EUR 25.


Ouigo passengers are required to arrive at the stations at least 30 minutes before the scheduled departure time for ticket checks before boarding, during which they will be entitled to take 1 piece of baggage free of charge. Like its airline counterparts, Ouigo will charge for additional services, with a second bag costing EUR 5, the use of a power point costing EUR 2 and pet carriage at EUR 30.


Despite several limitations, Ouigo marks a milestone in European rail travel and intensifies the ongoing competition between high-speed rail and the airlines.


For more information, visit (available in French only).

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