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Train between France and Switzerland

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Feb 17th, 2013, 09:09 AM
  #1
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Train between France and Switzerland

I plan on staying in Lausanne for two months this upcoming summer. I have a friend in Paris that I would like to see most weekends so I was thinking of taking either the eurail and getting some kind of pass or the tgv. Both seem fairly expensive-what is the best option for me considering that I will be traveling so frequently...
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Feb 17th, 2013, 09:43 AM
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Right now if you booked an advance ticket leaving on a Friday from Lausanne and took a timing requiring no change and returned late on a Sunday the cheapest fare would be around 170 CHF or about $184 in Second Class.

Perhaps if you booked even further put you might get an even greater reduction. Are you planning on doing this every weekend for 8 weekends? Is there any way you can persuade the friend to come see you on some weekends?

As a general rule the more you use a pass the more economical it becomes. You may need to add the cost of seat reservations since passes do not cover those.

A SwissPass for two months costs how much (have you done ANY research on this at all?)

You might want to explore the possibilities by going to the SwissRail website at www.sbb.ch; click on the EN version; you can price point to point trips as well as the various rail passes available.
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Feb 17th, 2013, 01:53 PM
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Some confusion of terms here. "Eurail" is a consortium of rail companies in European countries that issues passes. "TGV" is the abbreviation of the name of the high-speed train network in France, run by SNCF. You can buy tickets at www.tgv-europe.com.
It was recently announced that SNCF has withdrawn from some of the international pass schemes.
Even for passes that are still in effect, many TGV services require a separate seat reservation at an extra price. That's a hassle.
In general, point-to-point tickets in France will be cheaper unless you are travelling all the time. They automatically include the seat reservation. They can be bought three months ahead of time for substantial reductions (even earlier for certain routes.) Regional service often does not require reservations or offer as many price cuts.
The Swiss trains operate somewhat differently, so it is necessary to look them up separately to know what you are doing.
Better still, consult www.seat61.com for more than enough information on trains and booking strategies.
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Feb 17th, 2013, 05:35 PM
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check www.sncf.com for fares between Basel and Paris. You should be able to see what it would cost if purchasing the ticket three months in advance. I would use a separate ticket (perhaps using a Swiss Pass) to go from Lausanne to Basel.
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Feb 21st, 2013, 04:29 AM
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You don't need to go to Basel. The TGV goes direct Paris-Lausanne.

But yes, unless you book way in advance and/or trawl for super saver fares, it's not particularly cheap. I keep seeing Lausanne-Paris E25. But I've yet to be able to actually get a E25 fare. Maybe someone knows the magic combination to get these low fares.

EasyJet could well be cheaper. At least it's easier to figure out the fares. Though you'll have the added hassle of getting in and out of the airports.
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Feb 21st, 2013, 09:08 AM
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Maybe someone knows the magic combination to get these low fares.

Three months ahead of time, although the rate quoted is 55€.
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Feb 21st, 2013, 09:25 AM
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> what is the best option for me considering that I will be traveling so frequently...

How frequently? The €25 / per way Prem's fare can be found, as mentioned above, 3 months ahead and if you go to the site at midnight, exactly 3 months ahead, normally you can get it. In Asia, I read somewhere, here maybe, they have more chance to get it because they are hours ahead of Europe or America... I have made sure to buy the lowest priced tickets this way, setting my alarm at 23h45 or so for Geneva - France ( Paris or Marseille). There are much fewer TGV's running here to France than within France so getting the cheapest tickets is a little harder. You would need to plan ahead and it's a risk to take because bought/paid on line, that's no refundable. But this seems to be the most economical way.
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Feb 21st, 2013, 09:35 AM
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> Three months ahead of time, although the rate quoted is 55€.

http://www.tgv-europe.ch/fr/billet-train/
On above site ( TGV site for Switzerland that I use ) I do see €25 ticket for Lausanne > Paris but that's at 18h24. Earlier trains are €44 & 55. I do think you would get more options when you train eaxctly at mid-night.

Another thing, there are only for TGV LAUS > PAR actually, that's, as I vaguely remember, due to a construction works at border areas. This might last for months or even a year but normally there are 6 or 7 TGV's per day between the 2 cities.
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Feb 21st, 2013, 09:39 AM
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Sorry again, I have just checked Sunday 19 May, Sunday ( 2 days shorer that 3-month time and the first 4 TGV trains have €25 tickets. So it really depends on the date you travel.
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Feb 21st, 2013, 01:15 PM
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I can get the 55E fare, often with even without being 3 months in advance. It's the 25E each way that I personally have never ever been able to score.

Though Kappa seems to have found some... So, I'm going to run off and see if I can plan a trip!

Wait: I just checked and the have 34E on March 21st!! What did you guys do?? Did you change the settings for me??? Oh wait... It leaves at 6:30am...
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