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French train passengers could buy their tickets at tobacconist

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French train passengers could buy their tickets at tobacconist
A fixture of the French high street, soon the tabac could also sell train tickets. Photo: AFP
08:37 CEST+02:00
Passengers in rural areas will be able to buy train tickets from their local tobacconist from June in a trial run by rail operator SNCF.

The president of French rail company SNCF has outlined a trial scheme that will run from June in four regions of France, allowing customers to buy train tickets from their local tabac in an effort to improve rail accessibility.

Guillaume Pepy told French newspaper Le Journal du dimanche that the move was aimed at passengers travelling from small stations, usually in rural areas, that do not have ticket offices, or have ticket offices with limited opening hours.

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He told the paper: "95 percent of passengers have access to a station with a sales offering. Our challenge is to act for the remaining 5 percent.

"From June, we are going to experiment with selling tickets in tobacconist shops in four regions of France," he added, without specifying which four areas will be selected for the trial.
 
Pepy, who will be leaving the company as president later in the year, also said there were "no plans" to close local lines, something many people in rural areas have been concerned about.
 
And he added that more areas will soon benefit from high-speed train links, as the company has ordered 26 new trains, capable of travelling at 200 kmph, which will be used on the Paris-Clermont-Ferrand and Paris-Limoges-Toulouse routes.
 
French vocab
 
Tobacconist - tabac
 
Point of sale - pointe de vente
 
Return ticket - billet de retour
 
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