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TGV fare rise plan with tougher rules

A one-week cut off for refunds, a fee for exchanging tickets and the removal of the buffet service being considered

THE SNCF is considering increasing prices on its high-speed TGVs and making ticket conditions stricter in an attempt to boost revenue.

A leaked memo from the French rail operator's marketing department also suggests saving money by scrapping the buffet service on some second-class journeys.

The ideas, published by, come after the national auditor, the Cour des Comptes, criticised the running of the TGV network and its cost to the taxpayer. It called on the government to stop subsidising unprofitable high-speed routes.

The SNCF's leaked suggestions include a price rise, ranging from €6 to €12, on all tickets on the five main routes from Paris to Lyon, Marseille, Strasbourg, Lille and Bordeaux. This could make an extra €10 million a year.

First-class tickets would be made more expensive with a meal included as standard, except on Paris-Lille.

It is also proposed that the bar service be removed for second-class passengers on journeys under three hours, with the exception of Paris-Lyon.

The SNCF is also considering making it more difficult for travellers to obtain a refund or exchange for their ticket.

One option would be to ban refunds in the week before travel and charge up to €15 to swap on to another train, with exchanges not allowed in the 24 hours before the train leaves.

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