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France announces discounted summer train fares. Here's where you can go and when

Explore Hauts-de-France by train for just €1.
Explore Hauts-de-France by train for just €1. Copyright Canva
Copyright Canva
By Rebecca Ann Hughes
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Explore the Hauts-de-France region on a budget this summer.

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If you’re hoping to travel around Europe on a budget this summer, there’s good news from France.

Thousands of cheap train fares are now on sale for a fixed price.

It is part of French minister for transport Clément Beaune’s push to make it cheaper to travel by train.

He described the sale as “extremely simple and extremely powerful.”

France launches €1 train fares

Earlier this month, 200,000 French train tickets were sold at the fixed price of €19. While that scheme ended on 15 July, and applied to all Intercités lines, there are still deals to be had.

Until 27 August, many eTER (regional express) train services in the coastal region of Hauts-de-France are just €1.

After first going on sale on 7 July, the discounted tickets are again on offer from 25 July. They are available for use on all days, including holidays and weekends.

North of Paris and bordering Belgium, Hauts-de-France encompasses Amiens, Lille and Calais.

There will be a set number of seats available at €1 so don’t wait around to buy tickets. They are available at ticket counters in Hauts-de-France train stations as ell as via SNCF's website.

The reductions have been financed by the regional council state as a way of helping holidaymakers and locals save money.

In Occitania in France, under 26s are also eligible for TER train tickets at €1 from 14 July to 15 August.

Public transport discounts in France

France is also launching other schemes to reduce the price of train tickets. By next summer, the transport ministry hopes to introduce a single pass for young people.

The pass will be valid on all public transport including Intercités trains, TER trains and buses.

Intercités trains carry around 12 million people a year, according to the transport ministry.

That’s much less than France’s TGV trains, which transported 23 million people last summer, but the state cannot alter the prices of high-speed rail fares.

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It hopes to follow the example of some regional and national discounts already in place.

Germany introduced a €49 monthly train pass earlier this year which proved to be very popular. 

Cheap train fares in Europe

Earlier this year, Spain slashed prices of Interrail tickets for under 30s. The discounted tickets are available to Spanish residents until 15 September.

Young people can also take advantage of 90 per cent reductions on state-run buses and short-to-medium distance trains.

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Deutsche Bahn, Germany's national rail service, has launched €9.90 tickets on some short-distance routes.

The limited sale is on until 31 July and valid for shorter journeys on ICE trains.

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