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Saving Money on French Rail Passes

February 25, 2001|TIME STAFF AND WIRES

New rail discounts for senior, youth and weekend travel are available in France this year--part of an ever-multiplying array of options throughout Rail Europe.

The off-season France Weekender Pass provides four consecutive days of travel, which must include Saturday and Sunday, starting at $119 in coach and $139 in first class. Passes can be purchased through Wednesday or between Oct. 1 and Dec. 31, and must be used within three months.

Seniors, age 60 and older, can get a discounted France Railpass for first class, starting at $199 for three days of unlimited travel. If two or more seniors travel together, the price drops to $159 per person.

Travelers under age 26 can go first class with France Youthpasses, starting at $150 for three days of travel within a month; previously the pass was offered only for coach class ($130).

Another way to save: France's Rail 'n Drive passes, which combine travel by train and rented auto, generally cost a bit less this year than last. Tel. (888) 382-7245, http://www.raileurope.com.

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