Collecting French train tickets

This guide contains step-by-step instructions for collecting French rail tickets from SNCF self-service machines in French railway stations. For information about ticket types and their availability, see also: Ticket delivery options.


Where to find SNCF ticket collection machines

SNCF self-service machines can be found at 1,400 stations across the French rail network. They feature the SNCF logo and are bright yellow (though we've heard reports that some newer machines are white) so are easily located. 

SNCF collection machine

Collecting tickets - Quick guide

  • You can collect tickets from any SNCF machine, not just at the departure station.
  • Tickets are usually available to print a few minutes after your online booking is complete. They can be picked up at any time prior to departure. 
  • Your payment card is not required for picking up French rail tickets purchased via Loco2.
  • To collect your French rail tickets, you will need: booking name, collection reference (“PNR”) 
  • You must validate your tickets prior to boarding the train. See: Validating tickets at the station.

Collecting tickets - Step-by-step guide

Select your language 
To select the English option, firmly press the UK flag on the touchscreen menu. 
Main menu 
Select “File and Electronic ticket collection’” from the menu on the right-hand side. Then select the third box down on the left-hand side: “Collection with a file reference number.” SNCF tickets booked on Loco2  do not require you to enter the credit or debit card.
Enter your collection reference
Your collection reference, sometimes called PNR (Passenger Name Record) or TOD (ticket on departure) reference, is a six character code which can be found in your booking confirmation email. Please note that it is different from your Loco2 order reference, which is eight characters beginning with “LO-"). 
Enter your booking name
Use the keyboard to input the booking name (surname) of the lead passenger exactly as it appears in your confirmation email, even if it is mis-spelled or shortened. If you encounter difficulty please head to the nearest SNCF ticket desk and present your collection reference (PNR).
Printing your tickets
Your booking reference may contain several journeys. Make your selection and press “Print tickets for this journey.”
Receive your tickets
Your tickets will now print and dispense from a slot beneath the screen. Each ticket and its print status will be displayed on screen. Make sure that all of the tickets have printed before leaving the machine. 

Validating your tickets

Before boarding you must validate your ticket at the yellow “compost” or “automat” machines which can be found at the entrance to the platform area or on the platform itself. See also:  Validating tickets at the station.

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