France - Lines with Obscure or Sparse passenger services
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.
Therefore for some entries this list does not represent the service for any specific timetable period and it is not planned to update these entries with each timetable change. 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 FR20/ are based on the timetable commencing 15 December 2019, unless otherwise stated. Standard abbreviations are explained in General Information.
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|
|Normandie includes Caen and Rouen|
|Île-de-France includes Paris|
|Grand Est includes Metz, Strasbourg and Mulhouse|
|Pays de Loire includes Le Mans and Nantes|
|Centre - Val de Loire includes Orléans and Tours|
|Bourgogne Franche Comté includes Besançon and Dijon|
|Nouvelle Aquitaine includes Poitiers and Bordeaux|
|Auvergne Rhône Alpes includes Lyon, Chambéry and Valence|
|Occitanie includes Toulouse and Perpignan|
|Provence Alpes Côte d'Azur includes Avignon and Marseille|
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.
Details are not generally given of spurs linking to Lignes à Grande Vitesse (LGVs) (except in the cases of a few little-used or particularly obscure spurs). 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, Ouigo and Izy trains as appropriate, where the context so permits and unless otherwise indicated (but remember that Ouigo and Izy 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 TGVI and TGV Ouigo as TGVO.
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" refer to the European Railway Atlas France & Benelux Regional Series 2017, by M.G.Ball (ISBN 978-1-9997875-1-6). An additional map reference in italics for some entries refers to the Schweers+Wall Atlas Ferroviaire de la France Band 1 Nord, dated 2015.
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.|
|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|
|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; none at weekends|
|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
|FR19/501||Nîmes (Bif. de Grézan) – Raccordement Fret de Saint-Gervasy – Nîmes Pont du Gard||This route was used on a temporary basis by a few trains pending compltion of the Contournement de Nîmes et de Montpellier.|
|FR19/502||[Beaucaire –] Raccordement de Jonquières – Nîmes-Manduel (west junction)||Following completion of the Contournement de Nîmes et de Montpellier IC trains no longer run via Montpellier Sud de France.|
Other sparse services
|Bretagne||Retiers - Châteaubriant||Bus service pending track renewals no earlier than 2021|
|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|