France - Lines with Obscure or Sparse passenger services

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Timetable Information

It has not been possible to obtain access to the working timetable in recent years. The entries in this list therefore derive from:

  • services which can be adduced from public timetable information (such as occasional pre-planned engineering diversions where these are shown in the journey planners) for which an explanation is given
  • services where the same train / timings apply as in the last accessed working timetable and where it may therefore be assumed that the same "obscure" routing applies
  • services for which the routing has been confirmed subsequently.

For some entries where the service is particularly sparse or difficult to deduce, individual trains are listed and the compilers will endeavour to update these entries with each timetable change. Entries marked FR24/ are based on the timetable 10 December 2023 to 14 December 2024, unless otherwise stated. Standard abbreviations are explained here.


From 1982 the Départements in metropolitan France were grouped into 16 Régions, which were merged and renamed into 13 metropolitan Régions in 2016. SNCF continued to use the 1982 names for a while after 2016, but now use the new names.

Regions are listed geographically, north to south, and there is a separate page giving details of obscure services in each.

Hauts de France Includes Lille and Amiens Entries referenced from FRxx/001
Normandie Includes Caen and Rouen Entries referenced from FRxx/051
Île-de-France Includes Paris Entries referenced from FRxx/151
Grand Est Includes Metz, Strasbourg and Mulhouse Entries referenced from FRxx/201
Pays de Loire Includes Le Mans and Nantes Entries referenced from FRxx/251
Centre - Val de Loire Includes Orléans and Tours Entries referenced from FRxx/301
Bourgogne Franche Comté Includes Besançon and Dijon Entries referenced from FRxx/351
Nouvelle Aquitaine Includes Poitiers and Bordeaux Entries referenced from FRxx/401
Auvergne Rhône Alpes Includes Lyon, Chambéry and Valence Entries referenced from FRxx/451
Occitanie Includes Toulouse and Perpignan Entries referenced from FRxx/501
Provence Alpes Côte d'Azur Includes Avignon and Marseille Entries referenced from FRxx/551
(Lignes à Grande Vitesse) Lignes à Grande Vitesse clockwise from north to west Entries referenced from FRxx/601

The following regions currently have no Obscure Services: Bretagne and Corse (Corsica)

Dates of Running

SNCF has one of the most complex patterns in Europe of dates on which some trains run, such that they can be very cumbersome to express in words. The entries thus show just the basic pattern, such as weekdays only or weekends only. The letter 'D' denotes a train whose dates of operation are seasonal or variable. Users should use the SNCF journey planner to determine on which dates a train runs.

The timetable fiches do not normally cover the whole year. A new series usually comes into force in July, but not all régions seem to adhere to the same July date. These summer/autumn fiches are not normally available until June. Check also when reading the timetable fiches for dated entries, fiches being reissued after they have come into force (and hence not necessarily available at the time of compiling details of obscure services) and gaps in the period covered (which can give rise to a 'hidden' suspension of service). Owing to this complex situation users should not rely on details herein being up to date at all times and should check on the SNCF journey planner. Check for alterations in consequence of strikes, engineering works and of service reductions at holiday periods at SNCF Grandes lignes, Île de France or the TER regional websites.


Detailed schematic plans of all LGVs can be found via this list; these plans should be consulted to identify all the various spurs on and off LGVs. TGVs normally make maximum use of LGVs on their line of route, but overnight services may use classic lines for part of the journey, in order to allow for infrastructure maintenance. A TGV calling at two stations reasonably close together on a classic line may not use a parallel LGV.

Where reference is made to TGV services, this should be taken to include Eurostar, Thalys and Ouigo trains as appropriate, where the context so permits and unless otherwise indicated (but remember that Ouigo trains may not show up on Voyages-SNCF or HAFAS-related on-line journey planners - only on their dedicated websites). In lists of trains herein, TGV Inoui services are shown as TGV and TGV Ouigo as TGO.

Table Numbers/Fiches

No overall French public timetable in tabular form is now issued, so table numbers cannot be quoted. Lines are listed by local government Région so, for local services, the number of the TER fiche is quoted. These can be downloaded through the TER regional websites: select the relevant Région and follow Horaires & Trafic then Fiches Horaires or Votre Fiche Horaires or Fiches Horaires à télécharger or Horaires / Travauz / Grèves.

Where a service is shown in the European Rail Timetable this is indicated by 'ERT' and the table number.


Map references for each route entry are given in parentheses ( ). References prefixed "ERA-E" refer to the European Railway Atlas (All-Europe Edition) by M.G. Ball. References prefixed "ERA-R" refer to the European Railway Atlas (Regional Series: Book 1) by M.G. Ball.” References prefixed "S+W", or in italic, refer to Eisenbahnatlas Frankreich Band 1: Nord by Schweers + Wall.

SNCF's most recent on-line passenger destinations map is diagrammatic and does not show lines used only by local trains: see the General Information Maps page for mapping information.


See France - Tram services over obscure routes

Other sparse services

Away from the LGVs and main lines to and from Paris, SNCF provide some of the least frequent services in Europe on their cross-country, secondary and tertiary lines. To list those with a poorer frequency than might be expected elsewhere would be tedious. However, the following lines have - on several working days of the week - no more than a single round trip, or have no service on some working days, or are restricted to seasonal or "dated" service. Careful study of the Régional TER fiches is therefore strongly recommended. "Better service" may still be limited compared to standards elsewhere.

Readers should also take particular notice of lines listed as Particularly Threatened.


ERT 332, fiche 81 Neussargues - St Chély-d'Apcher


fiche ** Clamecy - Corbigny ** (fiche CORBIGNY/CLAMECY/AVALLON-AUXERRE-PARIS BERCY)


ERT 285 Auray - Quiberon Summer service only. Details are found in the Les Trains Touristiques section of the TER Bretagne website.

Grand Est

ERT 915, fiche L02 Thionville – Apach – frontier (– Perl [Germany]) Weekend service only


ERT 276a, fiche ** Trouville-Deauville - Dives-Cabourg ** (fiche Dives Cabourg-Trouville Deauville-Paris). Daily in July and August; more limited, mostly at weekends, in spring and autumn; no winter service
fiche ** Beauvais - Le Treport ** Only three round train trips a day from 1 September 2020, with the rest buses.


ERT 307, fiche 42 Le Verdon - Pointe-de-Grave Summer service only; Pointe-de-Grave does not appear on the fiche outside the summer
fiche 25 Busseau-sur-Creuse - Felletin Limited weekday service; Since 10 December 2023, on Saturday three trains run through to Limoges with two returning. On Sunday there is a service in both directions.


ERT 332, fiche 31 Mende - Le Monastier-Pin-Moriès [ - Marvejols]

Pays de Loire

fiche 14 Chantonnay - Bressuire Better service on summer weekends

Deletions since previous edition

Obscure services

FR19/455 Montmélian avoiding line - Raccordement de Montmélian There has been no use of this route since summer 2018

Other sparse services

Bretagne Retiers - Châteaubriant Bus service pending track renewals
Grand Est Saales - St Dié-des-Vosges A reasonable train service was reinstated in November 2019 or earlier
Nouvelle Acquitaine Hendaye - Irun (Spain) Now included in Obscure Services

See also