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Calais - Lille train, anyone done this?

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posts: 38
reviews: 2
Calais - Lille train, anyone done this?

Hi all,

Rather than the expensive eurostar trip I'm planning on getting the train from Calais to Lille (after arriving at Calais via ferry). Has anyone done this or has any advice tips??

posts: 1,609
reviews: 17
1. Re: Calais - Lille train, anyone done this?

There are more trains each day from Calais Ville to Lille than from Calais Frethune.

When you book make sure it's a direct train, without changes, which should take around 30 minutes rather than one involving changes that can take over 3 and half hours.

Allow time to get to either Calais Ville or Calais Frethune as neither is walkable from the Ferry.

posts: 38
reviews: 2
2. Re: Calais - Lille train, anyone done this?

Hi Keith,

thanks for that! I've just had a nose and there seem to be an array of trains with very different durations of travel. Ideally I want to get the 30 minute one.

How far/easy is it to get from the Ferry to Calais Ville?

posts: 10,198
3. Re: Calais - Lille train, anyone done this?

Most of the local (slow) trains cost 17€ and that will be the same price whether or not you book in advance - so just buy at the station and hop on the next train. The fast trains will generally either be Eurostar or TGVs and will need booking in advance. The cheapest tickets are only valid for the train you book so make sure you allow time for any ferry delays and for the transfer to the station.

posts: 38
reviews: 2
4. Re: Calais - Lille train, anyone done this?

Thanks Diz,

The fast trains all seem to go from Calais Frethun, so I'll probably stick with the slower ones (though avoiding the 3 hour one!!). I'm into being flexible, do you know of anywhere I can get a generic timetable of trains from Calais??

Seems that all the websites only show them if you're buying a ticket. Would be helpful to have something like you see on the platforms.

Bucks, UK
posts: 4,449
reviews: 5
5. Re: Calais - Lille train, anyone done this?

the sncf website allows you to access the timetable. Even if you do a dummy booking (ie pretend you are buying a ticket) there is no obligation on you to purchase the thing until you have entered all your credit card details and pressed accept, and you don't reach that stage until after you have looked at all the train times, so don't be afraid of browsing through them.

posts: 10,198
6. Re: Calais - Lille train, anyone done this?

Hmm, for most lines there is a nice one or two page timetable that's easy to read. The best I can find here is this one, presumably taken from a published booklet:


There is a diagram of the stations on the line on the final page, which is the only page you can read without your head on one side!

Alternatively, if you know the approximate time you will arrive, try the SNCF website, fill in Calais (Toutes gares) for departure and Lille (Toutes gares) for the arrival, then click 'HORAIRES' (timetables) rather than the reservez button, so you see more services on a page:


Edit: As PoolLounger says, you can use the reservez button to check prices and details without actually buying a ticket.

Edited: 5:29 am, September 22, 2011
posts: 38
reviews: 2
7. Re: Calais - Lille train, anyone done this?

thanks a lot for this - really appreciated!!!

8. Re: Calais - Lille train, anyone done this?

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