Voyages-sncf.com is a subsidiary of the French
SNCF selling passes and
point-to-point tickets for rail travel around Europe. It has
commercial links to major European rail operators including SNCF,
Eurostar, Deutsche Bahn, and Thalys, and is made up of four
independent companies in distinct geographical areas. It is the number
one French electronic commerce website in volume. One quarter of
SNCF tickets are sold by this website. In 2013 the group
expanded throughout Europe with 14 websites in 6 languages under the
Voyages-sncf.com brand, incorporating the former Rail Europe Ltd. Rail
Europe Continental and
1.1 In the United Kingdom
1.2 Rail Europe Chartered Operations
1.3 The Rail Europe Snowtrain
1.4 French Motorail
2 Rail Europe 4A
3 Rail Europe Continentale
4.2 Anti-competitive behavior
5 See also
7 External links
Voyages-sncf.com Group was founded as an
Internet travel agency
France in June 2000.
In the United Kingdom
Logo used by Rail Europe Ltd in the UK prior to the December 2013
rebranding as part of the
Until 12 December 2013,
Voyages-sncf.com in the UK was known as Rail
In 1893, the
Chemin de Fer du Nord
Chemin de Fer du Nord became the first French private
railway to be represented in the UK, establishing an office in
London's Victoria station. Almost 20 years later, the Chemins de fer
de Paris à
Lyon et à la Méditerranée (PLM) opened an office at 179
France nationalised its rail network and the Société
Nationale des Chemins de Fer Français (SNCF) was created by the
merger of the state railway company with five other principal
SNCF created French Railways Ltd, incorporating the UK
operations of its predecessors.
In 1995 French Railways Ltd opened a larger public call centre in
Leake Street (near Waterloo station) in London, and two years later
acquired British Rail International.
SNCF subsequently merged French
Railways Ltd and British Rail International to form Rail Europe Ltd.
In 2002 Rail Europe Ltd combined its Head Office operations from
Piccadilly and the call centre from Leake Street into new premises in
Kings Hill, Kent, and in December 2007 the Travel Centre in Piccadilly
moved to new premises shared with VisitBritain located within British
Columbia House, 1 Regent Street, London SW1. In February 2012, the
Travel Centre moved to 193 Piccadilly, London W1.
In December 2013 Rail Europe Ltd rebranded itself as part of the
Voyages-sncf.com Group in the UK. In November 2015 the Voyages-sncf
London Travel Centre closed, since then bookings can be made online,
via a mobile app, or through the
Voyages-sncf.com call centre.  The
North American, Australian and
World websites however still use the
Rail Europe brand.
Rail Europe Chartered Operations
Motorail Service in Marseille
Motorail loaded with cars in Calais
As well as selling and distributing tickets for
SNCF and other
European railways, until 2009 Rail Europe organised two chartered rail
services in France. Operated by
SNCF using standard French rolling
stock, both services were aimed at the UK market and staffed by both
French personnel (driver and guard) and English-speaking Rail Europe
representatives ("Rail Travel Supervisors").
The Rail Europe Snowtrain
This chartered service operated between December or January and April
to transport passengers directly to the ski resorts of the French
The journey took place in two stages; the
Eurostar on a Friday from
Ashford International to Paris, followed by a transfer to an
overnight sleeper service composed of 10 Vu-84 "Corail" coaches with
sleeping accommodation consisting of six berth "couchette"
compartments. The train included a Bar/Disco coach, with disco
lighting and DJ booth. This overnight service called at Chambéry,
Albertville, Aime la Plagne and Landry, terminating at Bourg St
Maurice early Saturday morning. The return service departed from Bourg
St Maurice on Saturday evenings, with passengers arriving by Eurostar
in London or Ashford on Sunday morning. The Rail Europe Snowtrain was
suspended in 2009 due to economic uncertainty.
British skiers wishing to travel by train to the
French Alps during
the winter can now instead take the
Eurostar to Paris and change for
high-speed or overnight services to stations like Chamonix, Bourg St
Moûtiers and Megève.
Eurostar also runs Direct
Ski services during the ski season, calling at Moûtiers, Bourg St
Maurice and Aime-la-Plagne, stations which serve ski resorts including
Courchevel, Les Arcs, Tignes, Méribel, Aime la Plagne and Val
'Motorail' services carry cars and motorbikes using car transporters
attached to the train. Operating from May to September, Rail Europe's
Motorail service was aimed at travellers wishing to take their
cars to the South of
France and onwards with a minimum amount of
The train departed from
Calais several times every week during the
summer months, terminating at
Nice (calling at
Avignon and Frejus) and
Narbonne (calling at
Brive la Gaillarde
Brive la Gaillarde and Toulouse.) The service was
cancelled in 2009 due to economic uncertainty.
Those wishing to take their cars to
France can now drive to Paris and
pick up an 'Auto-Train' service, whereby cars are transported on
overnight trains to Avignon, Bordeaux, Brive la Gaillarde, Fréjus/St
Raphaël, Lyon, Marseille, Narbonne, Nice,
Toulon and Toulouse. Unlike
Motorail service, passengers may then either travel on the same
route with a
Lunéa sleeping-car ticket or on a different train such
as a daytime TGV.
Rail Europe 4A
Created in 1995, Rail Europe 4A is a joint venture between the French
national rail company (SNCF) and the Swiss national railway company
(SBB). The head office of Rail Europe 4A is located in Paris. The
company has several local offices and General Sales Agents (GSA) in
Asia, Australasia, Africa and South America.
Rail Europe 4A is a leading distributor of point to point tickets and
rail passes. In 2012, Rail Europe 4A launched the Rail Europe
Connexion , a magazine and website for inspirational trips in
Rail Europe Continentale
This wholly owned subsidiary of the French Railways is responsible for
the marketing and distribution of French domestic and international
rail products in continental Europe. Rail Europe Continentale has its
headquarters in Brussels and offices in Cologne, Milan, Geneva and
The website saw several outages in its history, which were criticized
by French medias.
On 5 February 2009,
SNCF was fined € 5 million by the French Conseil
de la concurrence for "giving a preferential treatment to its
subsidiary voyages-sncf.com, created with the American online travel
SNCF did not appeal the decision, but
^ "Le Groupe Voyages-sncf.com, European Rail Expert" (in French).
^ "Voyages-snCf.com WHOIS, DNS, & Domain Info - DomainTools".
WHOIS. Retrieved 2016-10-02.
^ "Le site marchand
Voyages-sncf.com table sur une croissance
supérieure à 70 % en 2003" (in French). Les Échos (France). 16
July 2003. Retrieved 11 August 2009. Premier site marchand en France,
et parmi les principaux acteurs européens du secteur(First e-commerce
website in France, and among the main actors in the European
^ "L'accès de
Voyages-sncf.com limité en raison de
dysfonctionnements" (in French). ZDNet. 12 January 2009. Retrieved 11
August 2009. Voyages-sncf.com, premier site de commerce électronique
en France, reçoit 700 000 visites par jour, et 38 millions de billets
y ont été vendus en 2007, soit le quart des tickets SNCF.
(Voyages-sncf.com, first e-commerce website in France, see 700 000
visitors each day, and sold 38 millions of tickets in 2007, a quarter
SNCF tickets sold each year).
Voyages-sncf.com talonne les guichets" (in French). Le Figaro. 27
January 2009. Retrieved 11 August 2009.
^ "Retour à la normale pour Voyages-sncf.com" (in French). 01net.com.
21 November 2008. Retrieved 11 August 2009.
^ "Nouveaux bugs pour le site voyages-sncf.com" (in French). Europe 1.
12 January 2009. Retrieved 11 August 2009.
^ "Voyages-sncf.com : un site très utilisé mais critiqué" (in
French). Le Monde. 13 December 2008. Retrieved 11 August 2009.
^ "Lastminute.fr va saisir le Conseil de la concurrence contre
Voyages-SNCF.com" (in French). ZDNet. 26 May 2004. Retrieved 11 August
^ "Décision n° 09-D-06 du 5 février 2009 relative à des pratiques
mises en oeuvre par la
Expedia Inc. dans le secteur de la
vente de voyages en ligne" (PDF) (in French). Conseil de la
concurrence. 5 February 2009. Retrieved 11 August 2009.
^ "Voyages-sncf.com :
Expedia va faire appel de sa condamnation"
(in French). journaldunet.com. 9 February 2009. Retrieved 11 August
Spanish language website powered by Rail Europe.
Uk.voyages-sncf.com/en The UK website of
RailEurope.com The North America website of Rail Europe.
Voyages-sncf.eu The European website of Voyages-sncf.com.
RailEurope-World.com The world website of Rail Europe with links to
RailEurope.com.au The Australian website of Rail Europe.
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