InterRail

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For the Australian railway operator, see Interail.
An InterRail pass and an accompanying booklet.

The InterRail pass is a railway ticket (Railroad Pass), available to European residents. Residents of countries outside Europe can purchase the Eurail pass.[1]

The traditional InterRail Pass is now called the InterRail Global Pass. It allows unlimited rail travel in and between all participating countries for a certain period of time. Main exceptions are that the country of residence is excluded, and that high-speed trains and night trains often require a paid booking.

The InterRail One Country Pass allows unlimited rail travel in a specific country.

Global Pass[edit]

Validity[edit]

Countries in which the InterRail Global Pass is valid

The Global Pass is valid in all participating European countries: Austria, Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Montenegro, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, Sweden, Turkey, the United Kingdom. In addition railways run through Monaco and Liechtenstein being operated by the national railways of France and Austria respectively. In addition, InterRail global passes include ferry crossings from Patras and Igoumenitsa (Greece) to Ancona and Bari (Italy) operated by Superfast Ferries and Blue Star Ferries (fuel surcharges, port taxes, high season supplements as well as cabin accommodation are extra).

The InterRail passes are not valid on railways in Albania, Belarus, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Russia and Ukraine. There are no railways in Andorra, Cyprus, Faroe Islands, Gibraltar, Iceland, Malta or San Marino. L'Hospitalet-Près-l'Andorre in France is the closest railway station for Andorra. Rimini in Italy is the closest station for San Marino.

Decreasing attractivity[edit]

Originally with the Global Pass one could hop on most trains in most countries without the need of any additional ticketing. In recent years numerous rail operators have started making exceptions - taken as a whole these conditions[2][3][4][5] somewhat compromise the original idea of ease of spur-of-the-moment travel across Europe.

For example in Italy only local and regional trains are without supplement, InterCity trains require a supplement of 3 euros per journey and seat reservations have become compulsory. For Eurostar Italia & Eurostar City trains a supplement 10-20 euros per journey must be paid.[2] On most routes there are usually slower, but free connections available.[6]

Taken together with the daily price of the Interrail Global Pass, these supplements can often make travel more expensive than simply buying local tickets - especially in countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea and Eastern Europe.

In France, SNCF not only charge a supplement for InterCity trains, but in addition have a limited quota of inexpensive seats for InterRail Pass holders. If this quota is full, you can only buy a last-minute reservation for three times the price.[7]

In Belgium, boarding of the Thalys train from Brussels to Amsterdam, to Paris or to Cologne requires a 30 to 39 Euro supplement in 2nd Class.[4][8]

A contrast to this is Germany where almost all of the luxury high-speed InterCity trains can still be boarded without the hassle of queueing for additional tickets or supplements of any kind.[9][10]

Discounted fare in own country[edit]

The pass is not valid in the traveller's own country of residence. That rule exists to avoid people buying InterRail for work commuting and business travel, for which there may be passes at prices several times that of InterRail. However, travel to one's own border is often available at a discount - depending on one's country of residence.[11]

Prices - Youth - Under 26[12][edit]

Validity 2nd Class Price per day Comment
5 days in 10 181
10 days in 22 265
15 days 307 €20.47 -
22 days 339 €15.41 -
1 month 435 13 - 15 euro depends of no. of days in month 31 - 28

Prices - Adult - Over 26[13][edit]

Validity 2nd Class Price per day Comment
5 days in 10 259 26 - 52 euro price calculated for 10 and 5 days
10 days in 22 369 17 - 37 euro price calculated for 22 and 10 days
15 days 409 27 euro -
22 days 479 22 euro -
1 month 619 20 - 22 euro depends of no. of days in month 31 - 28

One Country Pass[edit]

The One Country Pass is available for each of the following countries, except the traveler's country of residence:

Countries with price level 1 (highest):

  • France, Germany, United Kingdom

Countries with price level 2:

  • Austria, Norway, Spain, Sweden

Countries with price level 3:

  • Benelux, Denmark, Finland, Greece Plus, Italy, Ireland, Switzerland

Countries with price level 4:

  • Czech Republic, Croatia, Greece, Hungary, Poland, Portugal, Romania

Countries with price level 5:

  • Bulgaria, Macedonia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Turkey

There are no separate passes for Belgium, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands, instead there is one for the whole Benelux (price level 3). It is also available to residents in Belgium, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands, but for them it is only valid in the two countries which are not the country of residence. The "Greece Plus" ticket includes ferry transfer between Greece and Italy. Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro don't take part in the Inter Rail One-Country Pass offer.

Durations and prices[edit]

There is a discount for people under 26, and a supplement for first class.

Valid Within Price in Euro Price per Valid Day Price per "Within" Day Area
03 days 311 month 119 &40 &04 country with price level 3
04 days 311 month 150 &38 &05 country with price level 3
06 days 311 month 201 &34 &06 or 7 country with price level 3
08 days 311 month 243 &30 &08 country with price level 3
03 days 311 month 205 &68 &07 country with price level 1 (highest)
04 days 311 month 226 &57 &07 or 8 country with price level 1 (highest)
06 days 311 month 288 &48 &09 or 10 country with price level 1 (highest)
08 days 311 month 319 &40 &10 country with price level 1 (highest)
05 days 10 days 267 &53 &27 all countries
10 days 22 days 381 &38 &17 all countries
15 days 15 days 422 &28 &28 all countries
22 days 22 days 494 &22 &22 all countries
311 month 311 month 638 &21 &21 all countries

While usually a day is from 0:00 to 24:00, validity for a day is extended to include a night train from 19:00 on the day before, except on the evening before the first day of the "within" period.

Use of InterRail passes on high speed, overnight, and privately operated trains[edit]

High speed trains[edit]

Many high speed trains require reserving and sometimes payment of an extra fee either sold as a supplement or passholder fare.[5][14] Examples include:

  • Eurostar (London to Paris and Brussels) requires payment of a high passholder fare of £58/€75 each way in Standard Class.
  • Thalys (Paris to Brussels, Amsterdam and Cologne) 2nd Class = €26 to €37, 1st Class = €41 to €60
  • TGV (Domestic French) 1st or 2nd Class €3 (off peak) €15 (peak). In addition TGVs operate through to Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany and Italy where supplements are payable. Also reservations are payable on Corail Téoz services within France.
  • Eurostar Italia 1st or 2nd Class €15 to 20. Also reservations and supplements are payable on other services within Italy
  • AVE (Spain) 2nd Class €10, 1st Class €23.50. Reservation fees and supplements are payable on most other long distance trains in Spain (e.g. Arco, Euromed, Alvia, Alaris, Altaria)
  • ICE Sprinter (Germany) 2nd class €11.50 compulsory reservation. For other ICE trains €4 for voluntary reservation.
  • X 2000 (in Sweden and reaching Copenhagen) 65 SEK for a compulsory 2nd class seat reservation[15]

Further information on supplements on daytime high speed trains can be obtained from the official InterRail site.

Overnight trains[edit]

Many overnight trains in Europe require reservations with extra costs for sleeping accommodation such as couchettes or in sleeping cars,[16] and some may not have any non-sleeper cars. However, as mentioned, a direct overnight train leaving after 7pm only requires filling in one line of the pass, for the following day. This rule cannot be used if that day would be the first one on which the pass is valid.

Reductions on privately owned trains[edit]

InterRail is normally only valid on the national railway system of the countries concerned. In many countries there are private railway systems some of which offer a reduction to InterRail Pass holders. Normally the reductions are between 25% and 50%.

Residence condition[edit]

The passes are available to those who have been legal residents (not travelling on a visa or military personnel living on a base) for at least six months in any of the 30 countries of the IRC, or in any of certain neighbouring countries:[17]

History[edit]

  • 1972: The program launched as "InterRail 72", limited to travellers 21 or younger. It covered 21 countries: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, East Germany, Finland, France, West Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and Yugoslavia. The initial price in the United Kingdom was £27.50 for one month's travel.
  • 1973: UK price raised to £33.00
  • 1976: the age limit for the pass was raised to 23; it was raised again to 26 in 1979.
  • 1982: the six-month residency requirement was introduced.
  • 1985: Certain ferry services were included.
  • 1991: the end of the Soviet Union led to expansion of the IRC.
  • 1994: 29 of the 30 present-day countries are included (all but Bosnia-Herzegovina); the IRC has seven zones, with Zone D including Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Bulgaria, Romania, and Yugoslavia.
  • 1998: Inter Rail passes became available to all ages, with fares based on age. The eight zone system is established, minus Bosnia-Herzegovina.
  • 2005: Bosnia-Herzegovina joins the IRC.
  • 2007: Beginning on April 1, the Eurail Group takes over management of all Inter Rail pass products; no more zones, merged with Eurodomino.

Zones before 1 April 2007[edit]

As of April 2005, the IRC included 30 countries, organized into eight zones:

The cost of the pass was based on the zones included and the traveler's age. 16-day passes included one zone, 22-day passes covered any two zones, and month-long passes covered all zones.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "A beginner's guide to Eurail & European rail passes | Buy a Eurail pass online". Seat61.com. 2012-01-01. Retrieved 2012-06-13. 
  2. ^ a b "A beginner's guide to InterRail passes | How InterRail passes work, InterRail train reservations & supplements". Seat61.com. Retrieved 2012-06-13. 
  3. ^ "Reservation Fees - Domestic trains". Interrailnet.com. Retrieved 2013-01-08. 
  4. ^ a b "Reservation Fees - International trains". Interrailnet.com. Retrieved 2013-01-08. 
  5. ^ a b "InterRail - Reservation and supplement. Raildude [EN]". Raildude.com. Retrieved 2012-06-13. 
  6. ^ "InterRail - Italy - Train connections. Raildude [EN]". Raildude.com. Retrieved 2012-06-13. 
  7. ^ "Reservation fees". Interrailnet.com deadurl=no. Retrieved 2012-08-18. 
  8. ^ "THY - THALYS - InterRail. Reservation and supplement: Belgium. Raildude [EN]". Raildude.com. Retrieved 2013-01-07. 
  9. ^ "Trains in Germany". Interrailnet.com. Retrieved 2012-06-13. 
  10. ^ "InterRail - Germany - Train connections. Raildude [EN]". Raildude.com. Retrieved 2012-06-13. 
  11. ^ "Get a Discounted Train Fare in Your Own Country". Interrailnet.com. Retrieved 2012-06-13. 
  12. ^ "InterRail Global Pass - Unlimited Train Travel in Europe". Interrailnet.com. Retrieved 2012-06-13. 
  13. ^ "InterRail Global Pass - Unlimited Train Travel in Europe". Interrailnet.com. Retrieved 2012-06-13. 
  14. ^ Reservation costs for domestic trains
  15. ^ "Travel By Train - A Good Environmental Choice -Buy ticket". SJ.se. 2010-05-26. Retrieved 2012-06-13. 
  16. ^ "InterRail - Night train. Raildude [EN]". Raildude.com. Retrieved 2012-06-13. 
  17. ^ "Need to know, Multi-Country InterRail Passes, InterRail Global Pass". Rail Europe. Retrieved 2012-06-13. 

External links[edit]

  • faqdiary.com Frequently asked questions about InterRail pass.
  • InterRailNet.com, the official InterRail website for all Europeans in English, Dutch, Spanish, German, Italian and French.
  • Raildude, independent InterRail information. Train connections without extra fees. Big forum. Formerly known as interrail.net.