Travelling on an Intercités train
At a glance
- Regional train
Intercités services are run by SNCF on medium to long-distance routes within France. The name Intercités is an umbrella term that now embraces most classic (ie. non-TGV) long-distance services. It includes trains previous marketed as Téoz and Corail. The former Téoz trains are fast, air-conditioned, modern and comfortable and require a seat reservation. However, the majority of Intercités services require no advance booking.
Styled as ‘classic’ French trains, daytime Intercités trains often serve cities that lie beyond the extremities of the high-speed network. Former Téoz services run on the routes from Paris to Clermont-Ferrand, Bordeaux to Nice and Paris to Toulouse. Slightly lower-grade Intercités trains, not requiring advance reservation, serve other routes the length and breadth of France. The best Intercités trains convey a special carriage offering a number of compartments reserved for families travelling with children and a play area. Those same carriages also offer excellent space for people with mobility difficulties.
All Intercités services have good luggage space above your head or in the centre of each carriage. Please note that your luggage has to be labelled. First Class is available on all but a handful of Intercités routes. You can always take your bicycle on board an Intercités train, though often this means taking off the wheels and packing the bike into a bicycle bag.
Seating and sleeping on Intercités
Seating in Standard Class on Intercités trains is arranged in airline-style seats (which recline on former Téoz services) in open-plan carriages with four seats across the aisle, either in pairs of two or as a group of three and a single. The number of carriages offering power sockets is increasing as SNCF is now modernising the older Corail carriages.
Food and drink on Intercités
A trolley service is available on those Intercités services formerly branded as Téoz (ie. on those trains that require advance reservation). They provide a selection of sandwiches, snacks, confectionary and hot and cold drinks directly at your seat – in both First and Standard Class. Other Intercités trains do not offer any catering, so come prepared and bring your own food and drink.