Destinations, rules: All about €49 French rail pass on sale from June 5

The pass - inspired by the German D-Ticket and the UK’s 16-25 Railcard - is aiming to encourage more train travel during the summer

The pass will allow unlimited discounted travel (with a valid ticket) on TER and Intercité trains for people aged 16-27 in July and August 2024

A new €49 rail pass is to go on sale in France tomorrow (June 5) in a bid to encourage more young people to use the train network this summer.

The pass, Le Pass Rail, will cost €49 per month for unlimited use on trains across the country, and will be available to everyone aged 16-27.

Inspired by Germany’s similar Deutschlandticket (D-Ticket, also €49 per month), and also similar to the UK’s 16-25 Railcard (£30, around €35), it will enable users to save money on train tickets on everyday journeys as well as longer-distance trips.

The Pass Rail is to be funded to 80% by the state (a cost of €15 million), with the rest funded by the relevant regional councils. Of the income generated, 85% will go back to local authorities, and the rest back to the state.

‘Good for the environment and for savings’

The pass was first proposed by former Transport Minister Clément Beaune and received support from President Emmanuel Macron last year. 

Read also: Flat rate rail pass could be introduced in France next summer 

As the pass is intended for younger people, the president has been using social media channels to publicise its introduction.

In September, he publicly promised that the pass would be introduced, to French YouTuber and journalist Hugo Décrypte, and today (June 4) he wrote on Instagram: “Commitment kept, the Rail Pass has been introduced. It's good for the environment and it's good for savings. Sign up now!”

Current Transport Minister Patrice Vergriete has described the pass as a way to access special “pricing for young people to enable them to discover all the regions of our beautiful country”.

When can the pass be used?

In contrast to the D-Ticket and 16-25 Railcard (which are valid year-round), the Pass Rail is - so far - only set to be available for the months of July and August 2024.

The pass will cost €49 per month from the date of purchase. For example, a card bought on July 14 would be valid until August 14.

What trains can the pass be used for? 

Pass holders will have unlimited travel on regional TER and Intercités trains.

The existing Intercités routes are: 

  • Nantes > Lyon
  • Nantes > Bordeaux
  • Marseille > Toulouse > Bordeaux
  • Clermont-Ferrand > Paris
  • Béziers > Clermont-Ferrand
  • Paris > Limoges > Toulouse
  • Bordeaux > Toulouse > Marseille
  • Night train services (from Paris to Toulouse, Rodez, Latour-de-Carol, Cerbère, Tarbes, Briançon, Nice and Aurillac).

Users will also be able to use the pass for connecting TER services between regions and routes.

Read also: Ways to save money on train travel in France 

What trains can the pass not be used for?

The pass is not valid for:

  • TGV Inoui
  • TGV Ouigo
  • Ouigo Train ‘classique’ 
  • Eurostar 
  • Transilien trains in the Ile-de-France region (although the pass is set to be valid in the Ile-de-France region from 2025)

What are the terms? 

The pass can only be used for:

  • A maximum of one journey per day from the same town (including connecting services)
  • A maximum of one journey per day in the same time slot
  • A maximum of six tickets booked at the same time, so as not to hold up other passengers

The pass is only valid when: 

  • Presented with a valid ticket and ID when asked or required
  • Used by a passenger aged 16-27
  • Used during the months of July and August 2024

How can you get Le Pass Rail? 

Frm June 5, it will be available to buy on the SNCF Connect app, and on a desktop site. The pass will only be available to buy online.

The Trainline app is also set to sell the pass from June 5.

Is the pass expected to be popular?

Rail company SNCF has estimated that around 700,000 people will take advantage of the card; around 10% of the population of 16-27s in France. 

A Trainline poll has suggested that the number could be even higher, with 48% of the 16-27s questioned saying they would buy a Pass Rail ahead of going on holiday this summer.