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I've got an Interrail 2nd pass global pass. I also have a TGV reservation from Turin to Paris. Could I join the TGV at a later station (Oulx) using the reservation from Turin to Paris (Oulx is a stop enroute), or do I need to book a new TGV reservation?

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  • In most cases, your reservation is cancelled/void if you don't use it nearly immediately after boarding.
    – gerrit
    Commented Jul 12, 2023 at 7:30
  • @gerrit, you lose the right to use the seat but in this case the reservation is actually paying a surcharge for the fast train.
    – Willeke
    Commented Jul 12, 2023 at 8:10
  • User137232, if you are already in Italy or France you can try to ask a railway staf member, like at a ticket window.
    – Willeke
    Commented Jul 12, 2023 at 8:12
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    @gerrit In both FR and IT, HST are only with compulsory reservation, there are no such things as getting your reservation void like in other countries (D, NL), since there is no concept of someone hoping on without an assigned seat, short of delay/cancellation transfer (sans place assignée). Commented Jul 12, 2023 at 10:32
  • @NicolasFormichella That's great! Mandatory reservations do not automatically mean that, so it's great to hear that travellers do have this freedom in France and Italy.
    – gerrit
    Commented Jul 12, 2023 at 11:24

1 Answer 1

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You absolutely can

In both FR and IT, HST are only with compulsory reservation, there are no such things as getting your reservation void like in other countries (D, NL), since there is no concept of someone hoping on without an assigned seat, short of getting switched into another train due to delay/cancellation (sans place assignée).

Contrairement à l’article 5.2.6. des Conditions Générales de Transport du GCC-CIV/PRR du CIT, la non revendication d’une place réservée dans un délai donné n’entraîne pas la perte de la réservation. Contrary to §5.2.6 of the CIV (international) conditions of carriage, the non-revendication (i.e. not get there) in a given timeframe doesn't lead to the loss of the reservation

Conditions of carriage of the SNCF §7.2.2

Could I join the TGV at a later station (Oulx) using the reservation from Turin to Paris (Oulx is a stop enroute), or do I need to book a new TGV reservation?

Even low-cost (OUIGO) trains allow it, I see no reason why full-service trains wouldn't :

Nos chefs de bord vous accueilleront avec plaisir dans n'importe quelle gare située entre la gare de départ et la gare d’arrivée de votre billet

Our train staff will welcome you with pleasure in any station between your ticket's starting station and arrival station


Note that you may have some issues if you decide to board your train at any station that is using ticket barriers :

Aéroport CDG 2 TGV, Aix-en-Provence TGV, Avignon TGV, Bordeaux Saint-Jean, Lille Europe, Lille Flandres, Paris Est, Paris Gare de Lyon, Paris Gare du Nord, Paris Montparnasse, Le Mans, Lyon Part Dieu, Lyon Perrache, Marne-la-Vallée Chessy, Marseille Saint-Charles, Metz Ville, Montpellier Saint-Roch, Montpellier Sud-de-France, Nancy, Nantes, Nîmes Pont-du-Gard, Rennes, Strasbourg, Toulouse Matabiau, Valence TGV.

From SNCF

Because I remember seeing a sign at a station stating that your ticket must start at that station, and if you want to board there with a ticket starting ahead, you must buy a new ticket/exchange that ticket.

Note that I am pretty sure you could negotiate with the agents there, and they would let you on

The above is very likely unenforceable :

Le voyageur peut se rendre d'un point à un autre de l'itinéraire figurant sur son Billet Papier IATA, son Billet Papier ISO, son Billet Électronique ou son Billet à Valeur par un itinéraire plus court sous réserve de se conformer aux éventuelles conditions particulières d'accès aux trains empruntés et aux conditions d'attribution de sa réduction éventuelle.

The traveler can get from one point of the itinerary to another on its ticket (IATA, ISO, Electronic and Value are specific format of tickets), by a shorter itinerary, under the particular condition of access to the trains taken and at the reduction conditions

Conditions of carriage of the SNCF §7.1

under the particular condition of access to the trains taken

Pour les trains TGV et INTERCITÉS à réservation obligatoire, quel que soit le tarif détenu, le voyageur doit être muni du titre de transport valable pour le train embarqué. For TGV and compulsory reservation INTERCITES, whatever the held fare, the traveler must hold a ticket valid for the embarked train

§8.3.6 It is, for TGV and compulsory reservation INTERCITES, just that you take the same train (named by its train number) for an itinerary that isn't longer than what's written on the ticket

With that, I even went ahead and contacted SNCF-Connect (the ticket-selling branch of SNCF) on WhatsApp and got that response :

If station x is on the train journey, you are free to do it

In Strasbourg, so I was successful in boarding the Stuttgart (D) - Paris (F) train from my ticket there.

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  • The current Ouigo policy is a change from the policy a few years ago (maybe before the brand name change from idTGV) which expressly forbid boarding at a later stop (or alighting at an earlier stop, but that side wasn't enforced). I can't find an official rule for InOui either, but I wouldn't be so sure that staff would let you through. Some agents are sympathetic but others like to enforce even non-existent rules. Commented Jul 12, 2023 at 10:57
  • @Gilles'SO-stopbeingevil' In the state of development that ticket barriers are now in, most are terminals for a huge majority of services, so you're less likely to have a ticket on a train that passes through those stations. Rennes, Lyon, Le Mans are, in my opinion, the most likely stations where you'd want to do that. Outside of that, in non-equipped stations, you are absolutely free to board without a ticket, so you are obviously free to board with a ticket starting ahead Commented Jul 12, 2023 at 11:09

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