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Using Rail Pass at Gare St. Lazare security gates

We have a French Rail Pass and took the TER from Gare St Lazare to Rouen yesterday. However, we could not get past the automatic security gates and onto the tracks using our Rail Pass. After several visits to a couple of SNCF ticket offices (with limited English availability-we are not fluent in French), one of the attendants walked us to the security gate and used her card to open the gates-all 3 of us squeezed through the gate before it closed. No one was able to provide us with instructions on how to get past the gates. Has anyone had a similar experience? Anyone have a solution/workaround?

Posted by
1653 posts

Most of the time, at least in Montparnasse and Lyon stations, there is SNCF staff (red jackets) around the gates; show them the pass and they let you through. If there was no one around the gates, you did the right thing by going to the ticket office. These relatively new automatic gates are frankly a mess...
Another argument against rail passes in France I guess!

Posted by
7168 posts

It’s probably only tourists using the rail passes and you know how the Parisians love to bend over backwards for tourists 😉😉

Posted by
3 posts

Thanks for the replies. We we’re getting the impression Rail passes are becoming a thing of the past-at least in France. Gare St Lazare appears to be primarily a commuter station with few tourists in February-hence help is difficult to find.