A bloke frequently travelling Brussels-Paris with the Thalys told me there is a second hand market.

I can't find any such thing? Any idea? Would it be a French thing or a Thalys thing?

I am going from Brussels to south of France. (I am kind of thinking that there should be some cancellations after recent events).

  • (+1) Wouldn't people have even more reasons to leave Brussels now thus filling the trains instead of cancelling their trip? I actually have a friend from Brussels who did just that…
    – Relaxed
    Mar 24, 2016 at 8:15
  • Probably a Thalys thing, there is a steep difference between tickets booked in advance and last minute fares so you might even make a profit by selling a ticket bought a long time ago for a lower fare than what is currently available through official channels. And tickets are kind of expensive so the amounts are not ridiculously small. The same is true of some French high-speed trains (at least to an extent) but I don't see it happening for other trains in France. I have personally witnessed the second-hand market for *Schönes-Wochenende Tickets” in Berlin, though.
    – Relaxed
    Mar 24, 2016 at 8:21
  • 4
    Besides I think (all?) tickets mention the name of the passenger and I seem to recall that there is an ID check when boarding the train so I am not sure how it's supposed to work. I am also curious to know about this second-hand market but I would be very careful with it.
    – Relaxed
    Mar 24, 2016 at 8:24
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    Given the current events, border control can be reinstated between Schengen states. That is, all Belgian borders. Mar 24, 2016 at 16:07
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    There's a website for this. Can't remember the name though.
    – JoErNanO
    Mar 26, 2016 at 8:26

3 Answers 3


A quick google turned up http://www.kelbillet.com/. Searching for Brussels-Paris gives a price comparison including train, bus, air, and car sharing. The train option includes tickets being privately resold by other site users ("billets d'occasion"), sometimes at quite attractive prices.


A word of warning: while regular train tickets in France are not nominative, some may have a name on them (and require an ID to be presented on board), or only be valid for specific groups of people (students, elderly, holders of specific discount cards etc). You'll be in trouble if you travel with such a ticket.

Online ticket markets are relatively safe (they don't allow such tickets to be traded), but double-check will never hurt, as realizing your ticket is invalid is much cheaper before you actually board the train. Needless to say, extra caution should be taken when buying tickets from individuals.

Also note that most second-hand tickets are non-refundable, so you'll be at loss if you're late or your travel plans change.

  • 1
    I am not sure this directly addresses the question, Thalys does not work like a regular French train, even a TGV. For starters, you won't board the train without a valid ticket, there is someone to check them at each door.
    – Relaxed
    Mar 24, 2016 at 21:49
  • @Relaxed OK, but it's still possible to buy a ticket only to discover it's not valid and be denied boarding, right? Mar 26, 2016 at 16:44
  • Yes, indeed, it's even more likely you would be found out I think. Which is why discussing Thalys specifically rather than generalising from French trains would be best.
    – Relaxed
    Apr 3, 2016 at 13:51
  • @relaxed there are no longer any checks at the door at least in Brussels and Amsterdam.
    – jcaron
    Feb 9, 2019 at 9:33
  • @jcaron There are in Paris... and checks are always possible, there was one yesterday evening at Schiphol.
    – Relaxed
    Feb 11, 2019 at 7:39

Trocdetrains is the best website for secondhand Thalys tickets. It's only in French, though. Tickets can't be sold for more than the original price paid by the seller.

Thalys officially requires an ID with the same name as on the ticket but, practically, they never check. Upon boarding the train, they check the date and time on your ticket; inside the train, they scan the bar code. They might, but typically don't, notice if you are travelling with a ticket in the name of obviously the opposite sex (e.g., female passenger with a secondhand ticket in a male name).

  • Tickets do not always have a name on them though. Tickets bought at the station are anonymous. Sep 29, 2020 at 6:41

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