Does using the France Rail Pass on the RER Line C in Paris count as a day of travel on the pass?

If we use the France rail pass on the RER line C, will it count as as one day's use of the pass? The "Bonus for Trains" mentions that line B will be charged, but does not say the pass will be charged for one day if used on line C.
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  • Jeff (Official Rep) April 30, 2013 14:30
    Hi Terry,

    It would use up a day of travel on your France Rail Pass if you were to use it on the RER. To use your pass for the RER, you would just have to be sure to go to the RER ticket counter and request a "contremarque" voucher prior to boarding.

    If you will be staying in Paris for a couple days and taking the RER and Metro to get around, you can purchase a Paris Visite Pass. You can purchase the Paris Visite Pass here: http://www.raileurope.com/activities/paris-visite/index.html .
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  • I am going to Paris & Italy---My planned excursions from Paris are Versailles, maybe Normandy, and Giverny. I also will be taking the RER to and from CDG airport. I am flying to Milan and then taking a train (5 hrs?) from Milan to Florence, and then day trips to Cinque Terre, Pisa, and perhaps other locations. Would it be best to get a Paris Visite Pass for the airport and Versailles and then a Paris/Italy pass for Normandy, Giverny, Milan->Florence, Pisa, etc? I'm trying to find the best route from Milan to Florence and the best way to navigate to all of my destinations. Any help would be greatly appreciated! The RER would count as a day on the rail pass, but would not on the Paris Visite Pass?
    • Jeff (Official Rep) June 06, 2014 15:12
      Hi Beth,

      The purpose of a rail pass is to cover the ticket costs for travel between different cities. Rail passes are generally not valid on local public transportation within cities (i.e. metro networks and buses), although there are few exceptions.

      Only the individual country France Rail Pass would cover Line B of the RER from the CDG Airport into the city of Paris, not a Eurail France-Italy Pass or any other multiple country pass that includes France. It would not cover this same RER line going in the reverse direction from the city back up to the airport, and it would not cover other RER lines in Paris.

      To use a France Rail Pass to take Line B of the RER into the city, you would just have to be sure to go to the RER ticket counter and request a "contremarque" voucher prior to boarding, and it would use up a day of travel on your pass.

      If you'll be staying in Paris for multiple days and plan on using the Métro and RER networks to get around the city, the Paris Visite Pass would definitely be something you'd want to consider. A Paris Visite Pass for zones 1-5 would also cover travel on the RER lines between Paris and the CDG Airport or Versailles.

      Therefore, you could purchase a Eurail France-Italy Pass (for your travel between Paris, Giverny, Normandy, Milan, the Cinque Terre, Pisa, and Florence), in combination with a Paris Visite Pass for zones 1-5 (for your travel on the Métro and RER in Paris, including to Versailles and the CDG Airport).

      You can purchase the Eurail France-Italy Pass here:
      http://www.raileurope.com/rail-tickets-passes/eurail-france-italy-pass/index.html.

      You can purchase the Paris Visite Pass here:
      http://www.raileurope.com/activities/paris-visite/index.html.

      To get to Versailles, you would use the Paris Visite Pass to take Line C of the RER and get off at the Versailles-Rive-Gauche-Château stop, which is only about a 5 minute walk from the palace itself. You can pick up Line C of the RER at a number of local Métro/RER stops in Paris, including Austerlitz, St. Michel/Notre Dame, Invalides, Pont de l'Alma, and Champ de Mars/Tour Eiffel. These trains depart 3 or 4 times every hour and take about 25 to 40 minutes in duration between the city and Versailles-Rive-Gauche-Château.

      To get to Giverny, you would take a train from Paris to the town of Vernon. In Vernon, you can take a bus or even walk to the gardens and Monet's home, which are about 5 km away. The Eurail France-Italy Pass does cover the trains between Paris and Vernon. Trains between Paris and Vernon don't accept reservations, so the rail pass is all you would need to board.

      The main rail hubs for the Cinque Terre are Monterosso (the northernmost town of the Cinque Terre) and La Spezia (the town just south of the Cinque Terre). From these towns, you can take regional trains that would take you to the other villages of the Cinque Terre. Otherwise, you can even hike or take a ferry from village to village.

      After you add the pass to your 'Itinerary' (shopping cart), you would click 'Read More' in the light yellow box where it says 'Check to determine if you need reservations when traveling with your rail pass'. A button that says 'Add Reservation' would then appear just below, which is what you would click to purchase your reservations.

      If checking passholder reservation costs before then, you would just click on 'Book your Rail Pass Reservations' on the homepage of our website, instead of 'Find Fares & Schedules'. You can also use these features to search schedules.

      Generally, reservable trains in France an Italy can only be booked within 90 days of an intended date of departure. If your intended travel happens to fall outside of this time frame, you would just enter an earlier date, within the next 90 days, to get an idea of the reservation costs and view schedules when searching a route on our site.
    • Jeff (Official Rep) October 04, 2017 21:20
      Update follow-up:

      The France Rail Pass is now known as the Eurail France Pass. This pass is no longer valid on Line B of the RER in Paris. To take the RER, you would need a Paris Visite, or else you would pay locally for individual rides.
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