Current travel information

by Mick Aberman, posted 14 November 2015 | Add comment

Updated – 08:40 Tuesday November 17th

All domestic and international services are operating normally.

French borders are ​open with increased border checks. Please allow for additional time for international trains.


All services are running as per normal and security has been increased in stations and on trains.

Any passengers who were unable to travel over the weekend or who have a trip taking place before the 19th of November (and do not wish to travel), are eligible for a refund from SNCF. Please get in touch with us and we will take care of this for you.


All trains are running to all destinations, with increased security measures.

Thalys tickets to and from Paris for trips taking place before the 17th of Nov. can be refunded by Captain Train. Please contact us by email.   Trips taking place before the 22nd of Nov. can be exchanged directly by calling the following number: +33 8 92 35 35 35 


All services running normally. Eurostar advises all customers to allow 60 minutes for check-in and to regularly check Tickets can be exchanged for free (within 60 days) if you are travelling today, by contacting Eurostar directly at 03432 186186 (UK). No refunds are possible.  


All trains running. No refunds are currently planned.

DB Bahn

Normal traffic.

Trips to and from Paris taking place before November 21st are refundable without fees. Please contact DB directly at +49 (0)1806 101 111 or by email at Do not cancel your DB tickets on our website.  


Disneyland Paris is closed today in solidarity with the victims.

For more information on the traffic status of the Parisian metro, bus and local trains, please see the RATP’s website.



Captain Train

We can be reached by email and on Twitter.

Our thoughts are with the families and friends of the victims.

Round Two: SNCF Winter Sales Open on November 6th 2015

by Malin Schibler, posted 04 November 2015 | Add comment


Ladies and Gentlemen, it is once again time to announce another round of SNCF Winter Sales.

As of 6 o’clock on Friday morning (Central European Time), SNCF will be releasing a new round of tickets for the February winter holidays.

This sale will include tickets for travel between the 5th of February until the 6th of March. Those who are quickest to book will be able to find some really low priced fares: TGV train tickets start €25 and Intercité tickets will start at €15. 

As per usual, all of the cheapest tickets will be waiting for you on Captain Train.

The competition will be fierce

We recommend being quick to book because this sale is especially for the French school holidays, which is a super popular time to travel. On top of this, you’ll also have plenty of others (aka the entire United Kingdom) booking for their ski trips. So it’s important that you don’t wait too long as the trains will start selling out faster than normal.

To stay on top of your booking game, you can get a head start by downloading our iPhone or Android app and enjoy the comfort of booking from your hand.

You can also join our Facebook event to make sure you don’t forget!

Captain Train for Business in Beta

by Jean-Daniel Guyot, posted 04 November 2015 | Add comment


There used to be two worlds. On one side, the normal world, you could enjoy and benefit from the best technologies and the best designs in daily life. One the other side, in the professional world, you were using a 7.5kg heavy laptop, a monitor the size of a small house and a phone limited to sending 160 character SMS messages.

The corporate world, which has long been known to be outdated and well, overly corporate, has changed recently. Smartphones are the default (yes, even you BlackBerry users belong to this category now), firewalls are a bit less inept and the words ‘Please think of the environment before printing this 18-page email’  have slowly started to disappear. Despite all of these mini-revolutions, we found that many companies were still lagging behind when it came to buying train tickets.

When we asked some of our customers about the general procedure of buying train tickets in their company, the answers were staggering: long and unnecessary email exchanges, endless fees and charges popping up, incomplete access to fares, no smartphone solution, labyrinth-like websites that require a serious mental workout and in short, a big waste of time and money.

For more than one year, we have worked a new tool that is specifically created to simplify the purchase of train tickets for businesses. We have taken the time to recognise and understand all of the problems and all of the frustrations experienced by freelancers, business travellers, entrepreneurs, assistants, travel managers and accountants to develop a product that closest meets their expectations.

We are glad to announce and offer our business customers an early bird version of Captain Train for Business.

What is it?

Captain Train for Business is now the first solution in Europe that provides a train ticket booking platform for companies on the web and mobile. What does this mean for your company? It means that you can:

  • benefit from centralised invoicing to simplify your bookkeeping,
  • share tickets between colleagues, without needing to use Outlook,
  • take advantage of the purchase and validation features on your phone.
    Yes, you read correctly. Even you corporate and business travellers now can enjoy using a 4.5 star rated app, which you can find in the App Store or on the Playstore.

It’s necessary to view Captain Train for Business like an augmented version of the regular Captain Train. It’s not missing anything that you already know or hold dear. You’ll still find all of the best fares, for all of the rail operators in our system without an exception. And in case something goes amiss, our support team will be by your side.

Test it liberally!

This is a beta version. So it will lack a few polished touches before we put it on the market. Though it is completely sufficient for you to use and for you to give us your initial remarks and feedback. The first customers of Captain Train for Business can enjoy free use of all of the features throughout the entire beta testing period.

What’s the price? We thought about this a lot. The most common model for business travel is that you are billed according to the volume of purchases made, or worse, whenever you make or change a booking, you pay a fee. Cancellation? Another fee. Exchange? Fee. We decided to move away from this billing model as it seemed too inadequate and too rigid. To make sure that your payment reflects your use-case, you can choose a billing rate that suits your business and depends on the number of people booking through Captain Train.

Captain Train for Business costs €9.00 per month for each active traveller (plus an annual fee of €5.00 per active traveller). For that price, you’ll be free to purchase, cancel or exchange as many tickets as you wish. And we promise that there will be absolutely no surprises at the end of the month. You’re free to create as many accounts as there are people in your company because we’ll only charge you per traveller.

Enjoy buying your tickets again

We are still working on a few features to improve Captain Train for Business: centralised payments, managing multiple accounts, travel policies… Overall, our goal is simple: you should find joy in booking train tickets for your company.
If you’re interested in enjoying a free Captain Train for Business beta version for your company, simply email us at We’ve worked very hard on this and really look forward to hearing from you!

Nuts and bolts: our routing algorithm

by Tristram Gräbener, posted 23 October 2015 | 8 comments

Captain Train allows to book train tickets across Europe by automatically combining multiple carriers. All you need is a few clicks on your computer or a few taps on your phone and we do the rest.

Let’s assume you’re traveling from London St. Pancras to Roma Termini. Here’s what your journey looks like on our website.


From London to Roma with three carriers

This journey is made up of three sections and two transfers. Each section of this journey must be booked with a different carrier (Eurostar, SNCF and Trenitalia). A previous blog post explains in greater detail and in French how we combine those carriers.

How do we find the best ticket for you then? In order to pick the best carrier combination, the first step is to compute multiple routes. A route is the way taken by a train in getting from London to Roma. Today we’ll focus on the technical details of our internal routing engine.

Read more »

SNCF Winter Sales Opening on October 15th

by Malin Schibler, posted 02 October 2015 | Add comment

In short: SNCF winter sales start on October 15th, in the morning. Tickets for travel between December 13th 2015 until February 4th 2016 will be released.

We’re glad it’s this time of year again. Another SNCF sales round means another upcoming holiday season!

On the 15th of October, sometime in the early morning (judging from previous sales, we’re estimating around 6:00*) SNCF will be opening their annual christmas ticket sale. This will include tickets with departures from the 13th of December until the 4th of February, 2016. So if you’re planning a winter holiday in France, make sure you’re not late to the game. The competition will be fierce!

You can of course book your tickets with zero hassles on

*For those in other timezones, that’s 06:00 in French time, so GMT+2 timezone. Don’t forget to set an alarm!

If you need a little extra push (or reminder), we’ve created a Facebook event which you’re very welcome to join. Planning on travelling with some friends? Invite them too! We will also be sending out a reminder newsletter, so feel free to sign up here.

And to those who’d prefer to book from the comfort of their own bed, why not download our apps?

Are you planning on travelling after the 4th of February? Or not with SNCF?

No need to worry! SNCF will also be holding a second sale on the 6th of November. We’ll of course let you know more soon (and by email). In the meantime, you can find some important details here.

A few other operators will also be releasing a batch of winter sales tickets on the 15th of October, with varying booking horizons. So if you’re planning on travelling with another rail operator, such as Thalys or RENFE-SNCF, you can click here to see when your tickets will become available.

Good luck!

Two Exciting Announcements

by Malin Schibler, posted 15 September 2015 | One comment

When our founders Jean-Daniel, Martin and Valentin first launched Capitaine Train, no one could have told them that they were creating the biggest train ticket booking system in Europe.

They had only aimed to create a small reservation system; one which would allow them to quickly book their tickets and provide them with the functionality that other systems lacked. They wanted simplicity and speed. Booking a ticket shouldn’t be harder than sitting in your train seat, watching the landscape pass by. It shouldn’t take any longer than getting on board a train either. So they coupled this with their high standards and got to work. They used only the most robust technologies and hired only the best (😉). Both they and soon we had our work tested and tested and re-tested by our peers. Mediocracy wasn’t an option. And just like a new train on a rusty and ancient track, the wheels slowly but surely got moving.

The small efforts started to pay off. We, Capitaine Train, were establishing ourselves as a company that was growing by gradually changing the European rail industry.

We were the first to combine the offers and rates of multiple rail operators so we could offer our customers the best possible prices. We were the first to issue iOS Passbook tickets, to sell SNCF bike reservations and allow you to lock in your prices and seats by pre-booking your tickets. We were the first to accept American Express and PayPal, and we took care of you with our love for customer service. We also publicised our map data and our station directory, because nothing would be possible without the raw data to which we had access from the beginning.

So today, almost five years after the signing of our contract with SNCF, we have two announcements to make.


Ha. We know some of you’d like an alternate ending to the Norman Conquest but that’s a topic for later.

We’ve come to realise that as an international brand, we need an international name to go with it. So we’ve pulled a Jason Bourne and gotten our hands on a new passport. You can say goodbye to the Capitaine and welcome the Captain! But train stays the same, because the love for them is universal <3


So what happened? Well our original name was first used in and designed for France. Then we slowly began on our Napoleonic mission of European expansion, crossing the Rhine, the English Channel and the Alps. We solidified our international agreements with Deutsche Bahn, Eurostar, Thalys and Trenitalia, among others. Capitaine Train was launched throughout Europe.

Though we were quickly lost in translation with our newly found international friends. The Germans, Italians, British, Swiss, Spanish (and so on) had quite some difficulty with our name… It became clear that it would have trouble reaching anything outside of the French-speaking realm. So we did like all good things do and we got ourselves an English name!

We hope that this has made it easier for some of you to start pronouncing it.  We’re also glad that we no longer have to continously re-direct from

2. A new face

Our logo has evolved. It was beginning to get a little old and had lost most of its motor skills. So we had to put it to retirement. The new logo should now be able to take us a little further. Our own in-house designer, Enrico, led the mission in collaboration with Boris Forconi, from the agency StéréoSuper, who had already helped our friends at Drivy.



Although this is a very exciting and new step, we do remember our old logo fondly. For us it’s like selling our first car. It did its job for a long time and gave us a great ride, but we needed an upgrade.

The old logo was the product of two hours spent in Adobe Illustrator by Jean-Daniel, CEO, in 2009. It was a rudimentary logo, spontaneous and not exactly shiny. It was purely created for the sake of efficiency and love of minimalism.


The logo designed by Jean-Daniel in 2009

It’s important that we communicate that this is an evolution of our old logo, not a revolution. We’ve tried to maintain a connection with the old logo so that it remains in the same frame of reference, in the same evocations, while displaying a fresh face.


The logo designed by Enrico & StéréoSuper in 2015.


Black on white version.


White on black version.


The entire family.

Overall, we want to offer a more polished appearance to our identity because we want to present it in its best light. The new logo better reflects our new ambitions. But the new logo will be useless if we do not live up to our goals. We are not fooled. A logo does not change a company like magic.

By taking this step and clearly affirming our European ambitions with our new logo, we remember something very important. We need to work hard to have our customers associate positively with our new logo. And more importantly, positively associating with what the logo represents. It will forever be an incomplete mission as there’s always more to be done. Though for now, it symbolises our promise of being the best train ticket booking service in Europe.

If you are not yet a customer, why not take a quick tour of our site (and … logo!). We would love to welcome you on board. If you already are a customer, thank you for your confidence. The goals and ambitions of Captain Train can only exist thanks to your use (and feedback!!).

Meet The New Trains Of Our Homepage

by Brice Boulesteix, posted 13 May 2015 | One comment


We keep receiving great feedback about the trains we display on the home page of our website. They have been featured on various media websites in France including Capital and Le Figaro. But the time has come to make them evolve and add a few more trains. Do you know what’s cooler than two animated trains? Nine animated trains!

A big thank you to Enrico, our designer who made the illustrations below.

Meet the cast:


EurostarBuilt between 1992 and 1996, Eurostar’s fleet consists of 38 trains, designated Class 373 in the United Kingdom and TGV TMST in France. The units have also been branded as the Eurostar e300 by Eurostar since 2015.


ThalysThalys trains are operated by Thalys International, which capital is divided between SNCF (France) and SNCB (Belgium). The newest variant of their trains is the Thalys PBKA, which benefits from the motor technology of TGV Duplex sets, but without the bi-level carriages.

TGV Duplex

TGV DuplexIntroduced in 1995, the TGV Duplex is manufactured by Alstom, and operated by SNCF. It features bi-level carriages and a seating capacity up to 526 passengers.


TERThe TER (standing for Transport Express Régional) is the brand name used by the SNCF to denote rail service run by the regional councils of France. It began operating in 1984. Every day, over 800 000 passengers are carried on 5,700 TER-branded trains.


ICE DBThe ICE (for Intercity-Express) is the flagship train of Deutsche Bahn. Introduced in 2000, the ICE 3 variant is made by Bombardier and Siemens and has a maximum capacity of 460 passengers.


FrecciarossaThe Frecciarossa, or ETR 500, is a high-speed train introduced in 1993 and operated by Trenitalia. It speeds up to 185mph (300 km/h).


NTV ItaloThe Italo is operated by NTV. It is originally named AGV (for Automotrice à grande vitesse) and built by Alstom. The maximum commercial speed is 360 km/h.


RenfeThe AVE Class 100 of the Renfe is built by Alstom and was the first high-speed train put into service in Spain, back in 1992. Its maximum speed is 225mph (360 km/h).

Guest Star: TGV Atlantique

TGV AtlantiqueThis iconic TGV is the second generation of SNCF’s High Speed trains. Introduced in 1989 to serve the LGV Atlantique line, it was the first to wear the new “Atlantique” design (blue & gray) which replaced the original orange of the original TGV.