Hi, I am trying to buy train tickets from Colmar to Beaune and then Beaune to Nice in early Sept. I am using the ticket collection option of France as I don't want to be sent to the RailEurope site. My problem is there are only 2 collection options Ticket Machine or mail delivery. They don't mail to US and you need a credit card with chip to purchase from machine. Many websites and people have said you can still collect from person at a station in France but the SNCF does not make this clear and doesn't give the option, Collection at Station or Boutique. Should I take my chances and choose collect from Ticket Machine and then go to a person and hope I can get the tickets??
Yes, no risk at all. Have the confirmation number to show the agent. You should also carry the credit card which bought the tickets. In bigger reservation halls there likely will be an agent with a small Union Jack symbol on the wicket to indicate English is spoken.
You must show the credit card used to make the purchase. I agree that if picking them up at the window is fine, the website should spell that out; they make a point of saying that if you bought 'collection at station (agent)' that you can also use the Self Service Terminals with your chip and PIN card...so why not state that the opposite is true if it is? This is conclusive proof that the French do hate Americans/foreigners ;-)
Make sure you are buying only one ticket at a time (in other words, check out with only one ticket in the order basket, not both). When I tried to buy more than one ticket, I was not offered the "pick up at a French station" option; when I bought one ticket at a time, I was. Yes, you need the credit card, and having a printout with the order number speeds things up.
I had no problem with the first leg: Paris to Colmar and I could even print the ticket at home (had that option). However, the second leg, even though I only booked the one ticket from Colmar to Beaune it only gave me the ticket machine option. I went ahead and booked it with my regular credit card and kept my fingers crossed. My confirmation did say : You may pick-up this item in a SNCF boutique or in a train station. So I don't know why they don't clarify this when you are booking. I think the options have to do with the train destinations as I am having the same problem with my next destination, Beaune to Nice but now I know it is okay to book.
I picked up tickets at Beaune station last year. You can't use the ticket machine because it is P&C only, but I did get them from the agent with my original credit card, although one agents magnetic reader was out of order and did not know it (everyone else using P&C). The other agent's magnetic reader was working. Beaune is a regional only station, so you must connect coming and going at a TGV station. Thus no ticket home printing available. Going to Nice, you might want to buy a TGV ticket from Lyon to Nice, then just buying a regional ticket to Lyon at Beaune station. Leave a lot of time in Lyon for the change and you can do a bit of touring in Lyon before heading on to Nice.
Going Colmar to Beaune, there is a direct TGV train in the evening to Dijon. There is a regional to Beaune that departs 50 minutes after arrival. It only an 18 minute ride to Beaune. So you could buy the TGV ticket to Dijon and print at home and then buy the Beaune segment in Dijon.
I was able to book on 9/15 a ticket form the SNCF website for the following all on one ticket: local and high speed train 1st Class 8:56 leaves Beaune arrives Macon Centre 9:55 TRain TER 17807 10:22 leaves Macon Centre TGV Train 6821
15:33 arrives Nice Ticket was a Discovery senior (refundable) and total for 2 was $160 euro ($212 US) This ticket allowed me to pick up at SNCF train station and I plan on picking it up when I arrive in Paris the beginning of Sept Although this is a 6 1/2 hour journey I read that it is a beautiful ride and in first class it should be fine.