Before You Go - Rail Travel
Practical Information on France before you go
RAIL TRAVEL IN FRANCE / EURORAIL - RAIL EUROPE
Train/rail travel service in France is efficient, punctual, and comfortable. It is one of the most popular ways to get around, allowing travelers to view the countryside in a swift, but leisurely manner. France's extensive railway network connects large cities and towns throughout the country. Smaller towns without train stations are generally linked by bus service to the nearest station. The French National Railroads' (Société Nationale des Chemins de Fer or SNCF) network of inter-city rail links also provides frequent express and high-speed train service known as the TGV or Train à Grande Vitesse. Operating at a commercial speeds of 186mph, the high-speed network also includes European routes, featuring the Eurostar which connects Paris to London in just 2h35 and the Thalys going to Brussels and Amsterdam in 1h30 and 4 hours respectively. For added convenience, the Paris Charles-de-Gaulle and Lyon Saint-Exupery Airports have high-speed train stations.
The price of train travel in France depends on whether you choose first or second class, as well as on the time and date of travel. If you planning your rail travel before you go, there are a variety off affordable and flexible passes (non-consecutive days of rail travel), including packages available for the U.S. traveler through your travel agent or Rail Europe. Rail passes for France include the France Railpass, the France Rail'n Drive, Eurail. Rail Europe also offers combo-country passes, including the France n'Italy Pass and the all new France'n Spain pass. Most passes offered by Rail Europe have specially priced youth versions as well as special passes for seniors. Point-to-point tickets can also be purchased in the U.S.
More info: Click here for Rail Europe passes.