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France Rail Pass Reservations. When & how do I purchase? What if I miss my train?

I am considering purchasing a France Rail Pass (1st class Youth), and know that reservations are compulsory for some trains. First, can these reservations be made at the station on the day of travel, or can they only be made online (and how do the prices compare)? Second, if I make a reservation online, and I miss a reserved train, what are my options?
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  • Jeff (Official Rep) April 09, 2012 18:47
    Hi Ryan,

    Reservations are able to be purchased locally, however, the passholder fares can sell out very quickly, so it is highly recommended that reservations be purchased in advance, prior to departing for Europe. We are not able to quote what costs would be locally, but reservations should be a comparable fee to what you see through us.

    Throughout most of Europe, reservations for passholders are non-exchangeable. In France, reservations are exchangeable once in France but only prior to the train's departure. Therefore, if you missed a train, you would still have to purchase a new reservation for a later train locally and hope that there would be availability.

    You can view a fare's rules and guidelines by clicking on 'Select' listed with the fare when you pull up the results of your search. You would then click 'Read More' where it says 'Ticket Flexibility'.

    Trains in France can sell out quickly, so we would recommend booking your reservations as soon as it becomes possible. Trains in France can be reserved within 90 days of an intended departure date.
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