All aboard! Thousands of cut-price French rail tickets put on sale

Up to 200,000 tickets, priced at €19, are being made available for travel in July and August

The tickets could take you across the country to over 100 towns and cities
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Tens of thousands of cheaper French railway tickets were put on sale on Friday (July 7).

Transport Minister Clémént Beaune announced up to 200,000 would be made available, priced at €19.

The tickets - for France’s Intercités trains - are on average half the normal price and the initiative is being financed by the government.

The sale is “a popular measure, helping to ease holidaymakers' wallets and encouraging an environmentally-friendly mode of transport,” said Mr Beaune at Gare d’Austerlitz in Paris.

The tickets will be available for journeys between today and August 31, covering dozens of lines.

Eager travellers will have to be quick, however, as the tickets will only be on sale until July 15, if they are not all scooped up before then.

Tickets can be purchased via the SNCF website.

Where could the tickets take you?

The tickets are for Intercités routes – non high-speed rail lines linking French cities, including Paris, Nantes, Bordeaux, and Toulouse.

In total, 135 cities will be served by the discounted tickets, with these routes often stopping at smaller towns bypassed by more direct high-speed services.

The discounted tickets will also be available for French night trains – all of which run as Intercités.

The long-awaited announcement is part of the government’s response to criticism over high train ticket prices this year.

Despite the increased cost, rail travel is becoming more popular, with an estimated extra 500,000 tickets sold on TGV services alone compared to last year.

SNCF has offered an extra 450,000 tickets on high-speed routes (to make up for the increased demand not covered by last year’s empty seats), equating to an extra 900 trains being run this summer.

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