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France Country Train Pass - regional/intercity trains - how does it work?

Hello! We are two adults in our 40s are taking a last-minute trip to France in a couple of weeks (July 3rd - July 15th). We do travel internationally a lot but normally have a car. This is the first time we will be leveraging trains throughout our whole trip.

As we are so close, the point-to-point tickets are more expensive (and getting more expensive each day). Therefore getting a (at least partial) One County train pass seems the way to go...especially if we want some flexibility. I have priced out the individual point-to-point tickets to compare to the the cost of the pass + reservation fees associated with the TVG trains. My question is, for the regional trains/intercity trains how do these work with the pass (or even without the pass)? I can't get a clear understanding if I have to pay anything (on top of the pass) for regional/intercity trains OR if these trains even need an advanced reservation?

Based on the cost of the point-to-point tickets, it seems that at least a 4-day flexipass is a good idea (even with the reservation fees for the TVG trains). Trying to see if I should just get the 5-day flexipass and call it a day for overall ease. If there is only a nominal difference, the convenience may be worth it. Here is the schedule, all prices include 2 adult tickets within 2nd class:

Train Travel Day 1: Paris (CDG) >> Colmar (7/4) - TVG; current cost of point-to-point (PTP) - $222

Train Travel Day 2: Colmar > Strasbourg > Colmar (TBD) - TER PTP train options $62 round trip. We are unsure which day we'd like to go to Strasbourg and would like as much flexibility as possible.

Train Travel Day 3: Colmar > Beaune (7/8) - TVG + TER train options, PTP - $114

Train Travel Day 4: Beaune > Paris (7/11) - TVG + TER train options, PTP - $220

Train Travel Day 5: Paris > Bayeux > Paris - Intercity train option PTP - $124

Due to the individual prices of the PTP tickets - it seems that a 4 day pass makes sense. If I do buy the Train Pass, is it correct that I don't have to make any prior reservations or even purchase any additional tickets locally for TER or Intercity trains? That I would just arrive at the station, board and sit in any open seat?

I am going to book the CDG > Colmar reservation in advance...but wasn't sure if the other TVG trains needed to be booked in advance for the chance that they would sell out of Pass holder ticket spots?

And, is it assumed that the intercity train to Bayeux shouldn't be a problem in finding a seat (we have a tour booked that day so no flexibility and I fly out the next can't mess that one up :)).

I appreciate any thoughts or direction!!

Thank you so much!

Posted by
1122 posts

Hi Tracee. Where are you getting your prices? Perhaps from Rail Europe? If so, they are a private travel agency with sometimes greatly inflated prices. For best prices, the web site of the company that runs the trains in France is; easy to buy directly from them. For example, I see 2 tickets on the 8:30 am train from Beaune to Paris on July 11 for a total of 108 Euros. This is about $120, not the $220 you mention. And this would include any needed reservations. Also, for your Colmar / Strasbourg day, no need to buy those tix in advance; just wait and buy when you go (and ask at station; sometimes there is an even cheaper local area all day or return trip pass). Enjoy your trip!

Posted by
7373 posts

Bob is right. It sounds like you are not searching using
If you bought the 5 day pass you would still need to make reservations on IC and TGV trains.
The TER trains you can just board and sit anywhere.

Posted by
2 posts

Thank you...I was using a combination of the and (you are correct) the Rail Europe. We do have some time limitations as to departures/arrivals based on tours and check in times. For example, we won't be leaving Beaune before the 11:30 train - but the site is showing 153 Euros (vs. the $220 from Rail Europe).

I will re-price everything solely on the site. Quick additional question - one reason I was on the Rail Europe site was because on the Oui site, I had been using the UK flag to get to an English translation (I am in the States). But, when I clicked "Rest of the World" it took me back to Rail Europe. So, I just wanted to make sure that I can book on the site without being a resident of the UK?

And, thank you...helpful to know that IC trains still need a reservation but TER trains don't.

Posted by
16890 posts

The Paris-Bayeux InterCity trains do not require seat reservations, though the same type may in other regions. Passholder reservations on domestic TGVs are not artificially limited like they are on international trains, but the price can go up to $27 as trains get fuller; see also

There's no residency requirement to use the web site, but it doesn't necessarily accept all US credit cards (must have 3D Security). It sometimes takes PayPal, but usually only on the deepest advance-discount fares.

Posted by
1122 posts

Hi Tracee. When you get to the site, just select 'Europe (other countries)' to get a nice English version. Later in the booking process, if it asks you for country of residence, or country where tix will be picked up - feel free to say 'France'. You will be getting the tix by email anyway, so country of residence doesn't matter. I've ordered tix several times over the years and my credit card has worked fine. Enjoy your trip!