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Travel Transportation Airs, Trains, Buses, and Boats, what should I do ? What´s a Eurail Pass? How to rent a car abroad ? Is it safe to take the bus?

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Old 06-10-2009, 03:26 PM   #1
 
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Default Rail tickects direct from TGV site not raileurope.com (for US users)

I want to buy a point to point ticket direct from the TGV site because it's $75 less than buying via raileurope.com BUT I have to pick up the ticket from an AUTOMATED machine at the rail station and being from the US I don't have a chip n pin can so the machine will not recognize my card. Has anyone else tried this? Can you just pick up at the window? Will it work at any TGV station in France?
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Old 06-10-2009, 09:39 PM   #2
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Yes, you can pick it up at the window. I did exactly this last fall, and your non-chipped card won't work in the machines as you noticed.

The only two things I'd mention is that the lines for the windows can be long, so either arrive early or swing by the station before the day of your departure. Second, if you're leaving from Gare de Lyon there are about a hundred different ticket windows scattered all throughout the station, and I couldn't figure out if they were for different purposes or what. I was able to pick up my tickets from the first one I tried but that might have been luck...so if your French sucks and you can't ask at the accueil desk you might need even more time.

Also, don't forget to check the IDTGV (idtgv.com)...it's a special set of cars on the TGV trains marketed to younger travelers, and they have two types of cars. One type is a 'quiet' car where you can plan on sleeping, etc. The other type is an 'entertainment' car where you can listen to music, watch DVDs, etc. I was able to get IDTGV tickets in first class for cheaper than the normal TGV's coach tickets on one of my trips.

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Last edited by maracle; 06-10-2009 at 09:43 PM.
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