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I had thought that since both Loco2 and Capitaine Train have agreements with SNCF to sell domestic French train tickets (amongst others). However, I've noticed that sometimes the prices between them can vary a lot. Is there a reason for this?

As an example, Lille to Agen at 10:11 on Saturday 14th June, Loco2 want £101 (= €124.82), while Capitaine Train only want €111.10 (= £89.90) Loco2 prices CT prices

On the other hand, Lille to Tours at 08:42 on Saturday 5th July, Loco2 only want £46.50 (= €57.47), while Capitaine Train comes in at €89.70 (= £72.58) Loco2 prices CT prices

Given that they are in theory reselling the same tickets, how come they have different prices? And is there any way to know in advance which is likely to be cheapest when there is a difference?

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    looks like voyages-sncf has the same prices as capitaine train btw. – Vince May 23 '14 at 14:28
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    Is this after transaction fees are added? If yes, the presumably the same reason why some airline ticket resellers can offer lower prices - they've negotiated a lower rate. – Ankur Banerjee May 25 '14 at 22:15
  • Just noticed that the 08:42 departure is for a different train (different arrival time). – Kate May 30 '14 at 10:56
  • @Kate Ah, so it is! So, this case was one where Capitaine Train was cheaper on the same trains, and one where Loco2 and CT had different ideas of what trains you could take with Loco2 offering a cheaper option. I'm sure on another occasion I've seen Loco2 price out cheaper on the same train, and a few where CT priced out cheaper. Have yet to find a pattern... – Gagravarr May 30 '14 at 12:15
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I know this a really old thread, but thought it was still worth penning a quick update. Disclosure - I'm still associated with Loco2 :-)

This year, Loco2 has integrated with the French Voyages-SNCF booking system in addition to the UK subsidiary. That means that it's now possible to pay for tickets in Euros or GBP, according to preference (we set EUR by default if you're in Europe, and GBP for UK customers, but anyone may switch).

The same exchange rate variables still apply for tickets priced in Pounds, with a rate that is set by SNCF. Euro prices are identical to those found on Voyages-SNCF or Trainline (née Captain Train).

Having finally established a relationship with SNCF in France (it took ages!), all tickets on Loco2 (incl. Renfe, Trenitalia etc) can now be booked in Euros or Pounds.

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Disclosure: I am a co-founder of Loco2

French train tickets on Loco2 are sold via a connection to SNCF's UK subsidiary, Voyages SNCF UK. Via this connection, we can offer the same tickets and availability as the UK version of Voyages-SNCF.com, with prices in GBP. Capitaine Train is connected to the French SNCF booking system, with prices in Euros.

The underlying system is the same for the UK and French versions, so both sites should have the same availability, with some variation depending on the exchange rate (set by SNCF). However, we have come across various examples in which availability doesn't match up.

Neither site adds a booking fee, with both returning the cheapest price at the point the query is submitted. So the issue lies within the SNCF system that sits behind both of these sites. Loco2 can log specific examples with SNCF to resolve such inequities, but it's a challenge to ensure absolute parity. Unfortunately, in the absence of a comprehensive strategy that doesn't discriminate on the basis of location, there isn't an easy way to predict results.

We welcome such examples, so do let us know - especially if you spot any patterns as these are easier to address than one-offs.

  • +1, Thanks for the disclaimer; feel welcome to answer more. We love precision from people who can remain professional and give the info and somehow avoid spam. Nice answer, please crack on with more, thanks. – Gayot Fow Jan 8 '17 at 4:52
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Disclosure: I work at Capitaine Train

I would like to point out that what Kate has stated above is entirely correct. Capitaine Train does indeed not add any booking fees and we are connected to the French SNCF booking system. The exchange rate set by SNCF can cause discrepancies between the ticket prices available on both websites as Capitaine Train charges in Euros and Loco2 in GBP. In regards to the Lille - Tours example, the reason for the price difference is because these are actually two different routes and therefore two different fares. The Loco2 route takes 45 minutes longer and only includes a single connection. The route we offer arrives earlier but has two connections.

As we are connected to the core reservation system of SNCF, rather than Voyages-SNCF UK, we always offer the exact same nominal rate as SNCF. This means that all of the prices available on the French version of voyages-sncf.com will also be found on Capitaine Train.

We have previously been informed by our customers that there are differences in price between Voyages SNCF France and Voyages SNCF UK, though we cannot comment on this as we have not yet received enough examples to form a pattern. So we would also welcome any further information regarding this.

  • +1, thanks for the disclaimer. More answers like this are gratefully welcomed here. Consider a thumbnail in place of your default avatar, thanks again and crack on with more answers! – Gayot Fow Jan 8 '17 at 4:54

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