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rail travel in France

1626 Views 11 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  hils
Hi All

I've been checking out discount cards for rail travel and am a little confused. Can someone please confirm whether the SNCF Escapades card only gets discounts on rail journeys on weekends, and on distances of at least 200k? It sure looks that way to me.
If this is the case, does anyone know of any other discount rail cards for those in their 30's? Thanks.:)
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Thanks all for your comments. I was hoping I was wrong about the conditions of the card. I hope to travel home regularly, likely on a Friday afternoon and therefore a discounted journey from Nancy to Paris would have been very nice. Rail travel in France seems very expensive indeed.
At least the summer travel may be a little better.
Hi all. Thanks for all the help and suggestions, they're all appreciated.
I contacted the company that provides the SNCF Escapades card, RailEurope by e-mail. They've been very helpful, plus I now have it all in writing, just in case they try to deny what they've told me!
It seems that the SNCF Escapades card is not restricted to travel on any particular days (yay)
Secondly, while the website suggests that the card cannot be used online to book tickets and you'd have to go to the travel centre in London, or book by phone (incurring a fee of £8), you can purchase the ticket at the local station in France. They weren't sure about whether the latter would charge a booking fee, but if they do I can't imagine it would be so steep as £8.
This makes me feel a little better about travel options now, especially since booking my trips home 3-4 months in advance is not something I've ever done
Here's the original responses from RailEurope
Thank you for your email.

"The only SNCF rail card that would be available would be the Escapades card. This card does not specify travel on any particular days. You can find details here: Escapades Card, French rail discounts | Rail Europe
Discounted fares can only be booked by 'phone with us, which would incur an £8 booking fee. You can also purchase the discounted fares locally at the station."

I then asked "So if I may use my SNCF Escapades card to purchase my ticket at the local rail station in Nancy (or elsewhere in France), how far in advance must I book it and secondly, will there be a booking charge?" and received the following
"Tickets on French trains can be booked up to 3 months in advance. I'd recommend booking early to get the best fares. Unfortunately, as we do not manage the station - you would be booking directly with SNCF - I cannot advise if a fee is charged. As far as I am aware, there is not, but I cannot guarantee this."
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