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European Railroad Discussion > An e-mail from SNCF/OuiGo


Date: 04/15/13 11:30
An e-mail from SNCF/OuiGo
Author: Focalplane

I received this e-mail from SNCF this evening. OuiGo is the new low cost budget high speed train serving a limited network southeast of Paris.

The promotion is selling AS (single tickets) for €10 which is about $12.50. It maybe Southwest Airlines/Ryanair on wheels, but it is inexpensive and, because the trains are to the same design as the regular TGVs, just as fast as the rest of them.

As a regular user of the TGV's premium services I see this as a big advantage - fewer sold out trains in high season.




Date: 04/15/13 12:19
Re: An e-mail from SNCF/OuiGo
Author: McKey

Wow, what an offer from Ouigo! Everyone wins!



Date: 04/15/13 12:21
Re: An e-mail from SNCF/OuiGo
Author: Steinzeit

That is interesting. It appears you received this as an "existing SNCF customer" -- yet I would have thought SNCF would market Ouigo to those who weren't !

Best, SZ



Date: 04/15/13 13:01
Re: An e-mail from SNCF/OuiGo
Author: Focalplane

You are right, SZ, I would have thought so too. But the Paris-Lyon corridor is the sector that carries the most passengers. For example, a TGV from Paris to Perpignan loses most of its passengers at Nimes and Montpellier.



Date: 04/15/13 23:19
Re: An e-mail from SNCF/OuiGo
Author: McKey

One of the interesting things here is that using Ouigo does not help too much to the severe LGV-PSE high speed line congestion during the rush hours, except that the benches are so tight inside trains that additional 200 people fit there per unit. +400 per train for standard double unit. Ouigo fleet consists of 4 double decked TGV -Duplexes (200 series) and 4 double decked TGV-Dasyes (700 series) trains, for now.

But of course Ouigo helps on always congested Gare de Lyon station of Paris.

Focalplane: are you thinking about a test drive aboard one of the new Ouigos?



Date: 04/16/13 01:57
Re: An e-mail from SNCF/OuiGo
Author: Focalplane

McKey Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Focalplane: are you thinking about a test drive
> aboard one of the new Ouigos?

Not in a hurry to do so! Marne la Vallée Chessy is not a very useful destination. Paris Roissy (Charles de Gaulle Airport) is a few kilometers north and would be a useful destination for me. However, I carry luggage, albeit not too much, and that would inflate the price.

One possibility would be to use Lyon St. Expury (at the airport) but direct Air France flights no longer go to the UK. It's ironic that one service stops when another starts, so, for me at least, I am no better served.



Date: 04/16/13 15:47
Re: An e-mail from SNCF/OuiGo
Author: spandfecerwin

ÖBB competitor Westbahn offers tickets for seniors for 9,90 Euro Salzburg - Wien and vice verse. You must buy the ticket in a Trafik (newspaper and cigarettes kiosk).

Erwin from Austria



Date: 04/17/13 01:52
Re: An e-mail from SNCF/OuiGo
Author: 86235

From all I've read about Ouigo it seems self evident that it isn't aimed at rail travellers, it's target is the British and Irish low cost airlines which fly domestically in France. Focalplane mentions Lyon St Exupery airport. Easyjet fly to London Stansted, Gatwick and Bristol in Britain from St Exupery and to Toulouse, Bordeaux, Nice, Nantes and Brest internally. Ryanair have an even more extensive domestic network based at Paris Beauvais, Paris Vatry and Marseille.



Date: 04/17/13 03:00
Re: An e-mail from SNCF/OuiGo
Author: McKey

Aha, just the target that it was originally: the super fast trains in France & Central Europe killed much of the air traffic in the segment of under 3 hours / <1000 km travel distances. I think Lyon - Paris flights were once very lucrative relatively high volume business for the French airlines. After LGV-Est was opened a few years ago, the decline started for example to Strasbourg - Paris flights. I remember reading in Today's Railways Europe that in some other smaller cities the airlines with relatively steady fairly good volumed traffic simply gave up once the TGVs started rolling the line and branches in its immediate vicinity.

The pictures were taken at Strasbourg by my wife. The city has "a station inside a station". The powerful TGV-POS units (here the unit 4405) were the first to run here until passenger volumes developed high enough for using higher volume units.








Date: 04/17/13 03:11
Re: An e-mail from SNCF/OuiGo
Author: McKey

And of course the use of TGV-POS is explained by the fact that the route was at the time on the way to Swiss destinations. However, unit 4405 just ran between Strasbourg and Paris this time.



Date: 04/17/13 10:55
Re: An e-mail from SNCF/OuiGo
Author: Focalplane

Easyjet is an OK airline, but Ryanair doesn't do much for me! I recently opted for Aer Lingus from Dublin to Birmingham, Ryanair being their competition. I soon realized that the two airlines are competing to see who could be the worse! I am really tempted to take the high speed ferry and train next time.

I agree with who the real competition is, Nick, but the irony for me was that Air France used to fly from Lyon to Birmingham, now they don't. Three years ago I remember trying to work out how to get from Béziers to St. Exupery without changing trains. It wasn't possible. Of course, it probably still isn't as OuiGo doesn't go to Béziers.



Date: 04/17/13 18:07
Re: An e-mail from SNCF/OuiGo
Author: Steinzeit

1. "Just for fun" I tried on the Ouigo site to see if I could find any 10 e tickets for some arbitrary dates 3 to 4 weeks in advance for a Marseilles - 'Paris' one way trip. The best I could do was 40 e; most were 50 to 60 e.

2. I wonder about the following scenario:
A private operator buys a few trainsets of Corail coaches, rents some SNCF-qualified locos, and runs a train overnight / during the day between 'Paris' and the south of France, using the classic lines via Dijon/Lyon. The trip would take about 8 - 10 hours. A purpose built, simplistic station [ one platform ] in the Paris area would be necessary; I would suggest Juvisy. Assuming SNCF didn't put any big roadblocks in their way [ BIG assumption ! ], could they sell tickets for 10 to 20 e and make money, I wonder ?
Edited to add:
- all seating 2+2 in VTU's; minimum of 10 coaches + a centrally located BDs with secure storage space for the "vente ambulant" and supplies. No passenger stops north of Tarascon/Nimes. Assuming Marseilles St Charles is unavailable due to "capacity problems", wouldn't serve it anyway to obviate reversal.

Best, SZ



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/17/13 19:32 by Steinzeit.



Date: 04/17/13 23:15
Re: An e-mail from SNCF/OuiGo
Author: McKey

Interesting creative vision! With big iffs of the counter actions of the French. They are even agitated of Trenitalia actions for similar services, which are only a droplet in the ocean.


Would this work for cheap Ouigo tickets: order their marketing email? As with low cost airlines this sometimes gives good results, as with TGV-Lyria (SNCF+SBB Franco-Swiss service).



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/18/13 05:08 by McKey.



Date: 04/18/13 04:52
Re: An e-mail from SNCF/OuiGo
Author: Focalplane

That sounds interesting. There is an SNCF overnight service from Toulouse but I am not sure about the prices being so competitive!



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