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On the night trains in France, the so-called "Intercités de nuit", you have three comfort classes: reclining seats, 6 berth sleepers and 4 berth sleepers.

The railway company SNCF is advertising with a possibility to book privative compartments ("espaces privatifs"). This means that if you are alone or in couple, you can have a whole compartment for yourself, by paying a supplement.

However, when I try to book a trip online I can't see this option. I can only see an option for single female travelers. That's not of great use to me. Thus, could someone please explain me how to book this privative compartments online?

P.S. I know that it is possible to book four or six persons in one compartment and only effectively use one or two places. That will be very expensive. I am not interested in this option.

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

It looks like it's now available online (fr).

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Thanks for the answer. I found out what I made wrong ... – André Peseur Apr 21 '13 at 14:32

@mouviciel brought me on the right track ...

You can book the night train either via the dedicated website (only in French) or via the standard SNCF website, which is mutlilingual.

If you want to have a private 6-berth compartment, you have to be a group of at least 4 travelers. If you are less than four, you can only book 4-berth compartments as private compartments. This means that at the beginning of the reservation you have to choose first class, rather than second class. Then, when picking your train and your ticket, a special box appears, where you have the possibility to choose the "private area" option.

It does not always appear. Reading the fine-print it turns out that on some trains this possibility may not exist. And where it exists, there may only be a limited number of compartments available for this service.

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