Train travel is one of the best ways to get from here to there. There’s no driving involved, you get to enjoy beautiful scenery, and it’s an environmentally friendly way to go both short and long distances.
France has great options when it comes to train journeys, and it’s an easy and cheap way to travel. Learn all about France’s train systems and which will allow your dog to come along for the ride.
SNCF – Société Nationale des Chemins de Fer Français
The Société Nationale des Chemins de Fer Français (French for “French National Railway Company”), or the SNCF, is France’s national state-owned railway company. It operates the country’s national rail traffic along with Monaco.
The railway network consists of about 22,000 miles of track, with about 14,000 trains operated daily. They run the TGV, Intercités or TER trains. If you’re traveling in France, chances are you’ll be riding one of these trains. But what happens if you want to bring your dog along? Are dogs even allowed on these trains?
Luckily, the answer is yes. Your dog can ride any SNCF train in France except the Eurostar, as long as they have a ticket. You’re allowed to bring up to two pets or two containers per passenger. Here’s the low down:
The following animals are authorized to travel aboard SNCF trains: small domestic animals (dogs, cats, pet rabbits and rodents, birds, reptiles and amphibians) traveling in a closed bag or basket; muzzled dogs; and guide dogs for the blind.
It’s best to buy you pet’s ticket when you buy your own ticket. Their fare is based on weight:
- If your pet weighs less than 6 kg: It must travel in a bag or basket no larger than 45 cm x 30 cm x 25 cm, placed on your knees or at your feet, and its ticket costs €75.
- If your pet weighs more than 6 kg: Your pet must be muzzled throughout your journey, and it must travel at your feet. Its ticket is priced at 50% of the full 2nd class fare, calculated using the standard rate per kilometer.
- If your animal is a guide dog: It travels at your feet aboard all trains. There’s no charge, and it doesn’t need a ticket. If your guide dog usually goes without a muzzle, that’s fine aboard your train.
Once on the journey, you must abide by the following rules:
- You must stay with your pet, which is your responsibility at all times.
- Dogs, cats and other domestic animals (such as hamsters and guinea pigs) may travel with you, provided your fellow passengers do not object.
- You must bring all of your pet’s identification papers.
If your dog is traveling in a pet carrier, be sure of the following:
- Ensure that it is well ventilated and that the animal has enough room to turn around.
- Mark the inside of the carrier with your animal’s name, its registration tattoo, your name, your telephone number and your final address.
If you plan to travel abroad with your dog or cat, there are a few extra things you have to take into consideration. In some countries, for example, your pet must:
- Be identified by a microchip.
- Be vaccinated for rabies.
- Have a European passport, provided and completed by a veterinarian.
- Have an up-to-date health certificate.
Ligne de Cerdagne
The Ligne de Cerdagne, also known as Le Petit Train Jaune or Little Yellow Train, is a 1,000 mm gauge railway that runs from Villefranche-de-Conflent to Latour-de-Carol-Enveitg in the French Pyrenees.
The line serves 22 stations, fourteen of which are “request stops,” where the train only stops when specifically requested by passengers. The train passes through 19 tunnels and two bridges, as well as the highest railway station in France, at 1,593 meters (5,226 ft). The views are epic and while this train is used for transport, some have ridden it simply for the experience.
The Little Yellow Train is a TER train (Transport Express Regional), meaning it’s operated by the SNCF. Dogs are allowed, as long as you buy your dog a ticket. You can purchase a ticket directly at the Villefranche de Conflent train station.
Ligne de Savoie
This train runs from France to the Swiss alps, via Chamonix-Mont-Blanc. The line is operated by the SNCF, so dogs are allowed, as long as they have a ticket. Keep in mind that the train runs internationally, so if you plan to go to Switzerland, international travel rules are in effect.
BA -Chemin de Fer du Blanc-Argent
The Chemin de Fer du Blanc-Argent is a 1,000 mm railway in the Centre-Val de Loire region of France. Part of it is operated as a heritage railway, meaning it preserves railway scenes of the past.
The Chemin de Fer du Blanc-Argent is part of TER, meaning it is dog-friendly, so long as you buy your dog a ticket.
CFC – Chemins de Fer Corses
The Chemins de Fer Corses is the main train line on the island of Corsica. It has two lines that serve 16 stations and 49 stops.
Their pet policy is as follows:
[Pets] are accepted, with the exception of 1st and 2nd category dogs. However, the transport of animals in the cabin is not included in the price of your ticket. You will have to pay for a half-price ticket. Dogs must wear a muzzle throughout the journey. For small dogs, they can travel for free in a container.
In France, dog breeds are listed by category. First category dogs are breeds labeled as attack dogs, and second category dogs are those labeled as guard and defense dogs.
First category dogs include:
- American Staffordshire terrier breed. This type of dog can be commonly referred to as “pit bull.”
- Mastiff breeds. These dogs can be commonly referred to as “boerbulls.”
- The “Tosa” breed.
Second category dogs include:
- American Staffordshire terrier dogs registered in a pedigree book recognized by the Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries.
- Rottweiler dogs registered in a herd book recognized by the Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries.
- Dogs of the Tosa breed registered in a genealogical book recognized by the Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries.
- Dogs which can be assimilated by their morphological characteristics to dogs of the Rottweiler breed, without being registered in a genealogical book recognized by the Minister responsible for agriculture.
CMB – Compagnie du Mont-Blanc
The Tramway du Mont-Blanc takes passengers directly to the slopes! It’s the highest cogwheel train in France, bringing visitors and skiers to the Les Houches-St Gervais ski area.
Dogs are allowed, as long as they’re kept on a leash.
CP – Chemins de fer de Provence
The Chemins de fer de Provence is a train that runs from Nice to Digne-les-Bains. The scenic route takes you through charming Mediterranean villages and across beautiful landscapes. To travel on their trains, you must first make a reservation no later than 36 hours before your departure.
The Chemins de fer de Provence is dog-friendly! Their pet policy is as follows:
- Dogs are accepted on trains, muzzled and on a leash.
- You must have a half-price dog ticket if they weigh more than 5kg.
- Dogs cannot occupy a seat.
The EuroStar is an international high-speed rail service the connects multiple countries in Europe. The EuroStar takes thousands of people a day to Paris, Brussels, Lille, Calais, Disneyland® Paris and more, and they also run much-loved seasonal trains to the South of France in summer and the French and Swiss Alps for skiing in the winter.
The EuroStar is also well known for traveling through the Channel Tunnel, or the Eurotunnel, the longest undersea tunnel in the world that connects Great Britain and Europe. It is actually composed of three tunnels, each 50km long, that link Folkestone (Kent) to Coquelles (Pas-de-Calais).
Unfortunately, the EuroStar is not dog-friendly.
However, if you’re looking to travel through the Eurotunnel with your dog, you still can! The Eurotunnel welcomes dogs traveling in cars. If you’re traveling from France to the UK via the Eurotunnel with your dog, you’ll need to bring proof of the following:
- A microchip.
- A Pet Passport or Animal Health Certificate.
- Proof of vaccination against rabies.
- A tapeworm treatment administered 1-5 days before travel.
Le Petit Train de la Rhune
The scenic line offers up a panoramic view across the Atlantic Ocean and the Pyrenees.
They are dog-friendly, so feel free to bring your four legged friend along!
RATP – Régie Autonome des Transports Parisiens
The RATP Group, also known as the RATP or Régie Autonome des Transports Parisiens, or Groupe RATP, is a state-owned public transport operator in Paris.
The RATP is responsible for most of the public transport in the Greater Paris area, including the Paris Métro, Île-de-France tram, and RATP bus network, as well as part of the regional express rail (RER) network.
Dogs are allowed on RAPT. Their pet policy is as follows:
|Situations||Usable networks||Prices for the dog|
|Small dogs, suitably enclosed in bags or baskets (max. 45 cm), provided that they cannot soil or inconvenience travelers.||Bus, funicular, metro, RER and tram||Free|
|Guide dogs for the blind or assistance (see specific rules below).||Bus, funicular, metro, RER and tram||Free|
|Dogs kept on a lead and muzzled.||RER and metro||Free|
Trenitalia France (formerly Thello)
This young train company used to offer night trains between Paris, France and Italy. They have rebranded and will be offering new routes soon!
Have you traveled on the train in France with your dog? We’d love to hear about the experience below!
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