Interrail

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For the former Australian railway operator, see Interail.
A 2016 Interrail Pass with accompanying Pass Cover and Pass Guide

The Interrail Pass is a railway ticket (Railroad Pass), available to European residents. Residents of countries outside Europe can purchase the Eurail Pass.[1][2]

The traditional Interrail Pass is now called the Interrail Global Pass. It allows unlimited rail travel in and between all participating countries (30) for a certain period of time. Main exception is that the channel tunnel is excluded and that high-speed trains and night trains often require a paid seat reservation.

The Interrail One Country Pass allows unlimited rail travel in one specific country in Europe.

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 Venice, 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, the 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.

Seat Reservations for High-Speed Trains[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, when high-speed trains are introduced, numerous rail operators have started making exceptions - taken as a whole these conditions.[3][4][5][6] These reservations can be easily avoided by taking regional local trains, instead.

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.[3] On most routes there are usually slower, but free connections available.[7]

In France, SNCF charges a supplement for InterCity trains only. In addition, mainly in a high season (June–August) there might be a limited quota of inexpensive seats for Interrail Pass holders. If this quota is full, you can either wait for the next train connection or buy a last-minute, more expensive reservation.[8]

In Belgium, there is an option of taking a luxury high-speed train at speed of 300 km/hr.[9] Boarding of the Thalys train from Brussels to Amsterdam, to Paris or to Cologne requires a 15 to 25 Euro supplement in 2nd Class.[9]

A contrast to this is Germany where virtually all of the fast InterCity and InterCityExpress trains can still be boarded without the hassle of queueing for additional tickets or supplements of any kind.[10][11]

Discounted fare in own country[edit]

As of 1 January 2016, the pass is valid for just two journeys in the traveller's own country of residence. This limit 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.[12]

Interrail Global Pass - Prices - Youth - Under 26[13][edit]

Validity 2nd Class
5 days within 15 days €200
7 days within 1 month €246
10 days within 1 month €292
15 days within 1 month €361
15 days continuous €338
22 days continuous €374
1 month continuous €479

Interrail Global Pass - Prices - Adult - Over 26[14][edit]

Validity 2nd Class
5 days within 15 days €264
7 days within 1 month €315
10 days within 1 month €374
15 days within 1 month €463
15 days continuous €414
22 days continuous €484
1 month continuous €626

Interrail One Country Pass[edit]

The One Country Pass is available for each of the following countries:

Countries with price level 1 (highest):

  • France, Germany, United Kingdom

Countries with price level 2:

  • Austria, Norway, Spain, Italy Plus, Sweden

Countries with price level 3:

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

Countries with price level 4:

  • Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Turkey

Countries with price level 5:

  • FYR Macedonia, Serbia

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 (except of 2 journey - out of their country and back to their country). The "Greece Plus" ticket includes ferry transfer between Greece and Italy. Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro don't take part in the Interrail One-Country Pass offer.

Duration and prices[edit]

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

Following prices are based on Adult category, 2nd class:

Valid Within Price in Euro Price per Valid Day Price per "Within" Day Area
03 days 311 month €118 &40 &04 country with price level 3
04 days 311 month €149 &38 &05 country with price level 3
06 days 311 month €199 &34 7 country with price level 3
08 days 311 month €239 &30 &08 country with price level 3
03 days 311 month €203 &68 &07 country with price level 1 (highest)
04 days 311 month €223 56 8 country with price level 1 (highest)
06 days 311 month €283 &48 10 country with price level 1 (highest)
08 days 311 month €313 &40 11 country with price level 1 (highest)
05 days 15 days €264 &53 18 all countries
7 days 1 month €315 45 11 all countries
10 days 1 month €374 &38 13 all countries
15 days 1 month €463 31 16 all countries
15 days 15 days €414 28 28 all countries
22 days 22 days €484 &22 &22 all countries
311 month 311 month €626 &21 &21 all countries

While usually a day is from 0:01 to 23:59, 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.[15]

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 Pass holder fare.[16][17] Examples include:

  • Eurostar (London, Paris, Amsterdam and Brussels) requires payment of a high passholder fare of £58/€89 each way in Standard Class.[18]
  • Thalys (Paris to Brussels, Amsterdam and Cologne) 2nd Class = €15 to €25, 1st Class = €25 to €35 [19]
  • TGV (Domestic French) 1st or 2nd Class €9 (off peak) €18 (peak).[20] 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.
  • Trenitalia (Italy): Frecciabianca,[21] Frecciargento,[22] Frecciarossa[23] 1st or 2nd Class €10. Also a reservations is recommended but not mandatory for IC[24] services within Italy: €3.
  • AVE (Spain) 2nd Class €10, 1st Class €23.[25] Reservation fees (€6.50) are payable on most other long distance trains in Spain (e.g. Arco, Euromed, Alvia, Alaris, Altaria)
  • ICE (Germany) trains do not require reservation,[26] however its voluntarily available at €4. The compulsory reservation for the ICE Sprinter (2nd class €11.50) has been abolished and are optional.
  • SJ high speed train (in Sweden and reaching Copenhagen) SEK 62 (2nd class) / SEK 150 (1st class) [27] for a compulsory 2nd class seat reservation[28]

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,[29] 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 Pass 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%.[30]

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) in any of the 30 countries of the Interrail Pass, or in any of these neighbouring countries:[31]

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: Interrail 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 of April 1, the Eurail Group takes over management of all Interrail 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. ^ "First time Interrail". rail.cc. 2015-02-10. Retrieved 2015-02-10. 
  3. ^ a b "A beginner's guide to Interrail passes | How Interrail passes work, Interrail train reservations & supplements". Seat61.com. Retrieved 2012-06-13. 
  4. ^ "Reservation Fees - Domestic trains". Interrailnet.com. Retrieved 2013-01-08. 
  5. ^ "Reservation Fees - International trains". Interrailnet.com. Retrieved 2013-01-08. 
  6. ^ "Interrail - Reservation and supplement. [EN]". railcc. Retrieved 2015-02-10. 
  7. ^ "Interrail - Italy - Train connections. [EN]". rail.cc. Retrieved 2015-02-10. 
  8. ^ "Reservation fees". Interrailnet.com. Retrieved 2012-08-18. 
  9. ^ a b "Thalys high-speed train | Interrail.eu". www.interrail.eu. Retrieved 2016-06-23. 
  10. ^ "Trains in Germany". Interrailnet.com. Retrieved 2012-06-13. 
  11. ^ "Interrail - Germany - Train connections. [EN]". rail.cc. Retrieved 2015-02-10. 
  12. ^ http://www.Interrail.eu/news/changes-to-Interrail-pass-2016
  13. ^ "Interrail Global Pass - Unlimited Train Travel in Europe". Interrail.eu. Retrieved 2016-06-23. 
  14. ^ "Interrail Global Pass - Unlimited Train Travel in Europe". Interrail.eu. Retrieved 2016-06-23. 
  15. ^ "Interrail night trains". rail.cc. 2015-02-10. Retrieved 2015-02-10. 
  16. ^ "Interrail Reservations". rail.cc. 2015-02-10. Retrieved 2015-02-10. 
  17. ^ Reservation costs for domestic trains
  18. ^ "Eurostar and Interrail". rail.cc. 2015-02-10. Retrieved 2015-02-10. 
  19. ^ "Thalys high-speed train". Interrail.eu. Retrieved 2016-06-23. 
  20. ^ "TGV and Interrail". rail.cc. 2015-02-10. Retrieved 2015-02-10. 
  21. ^ "Frecciabianca and Interrail". rail.cc. 2015-02-10. Retrieved 2015-02-10. 
  22. ^ "Frecciargento and Interrail". rail.cc. 2015-02-10. Retrieved 2015-02-10. 
  23. ^ "Frecciarossa and Interrail". rail.cc. 2015-02-10. Retrieved 2015-02-10. 
  24. ^ "Intercity Italia and Interrail". rail.cc. 2015-02-10. Retrieved 2015-02-10. 
  25. ^ "AVE Spain and Interrail". rail.cc. 2015-02-10. Retrieved 2015-02-10. 
  26. ^ "ICE Germany and Interrail". rail.cc. 2015-02-10. Retrieved 2015-02-10. 
  27. ^ "X2000 and Interrail". rail.cc. 2015-02-10. Retrieved 2015-02-10. 
  28. ^ "Travel By Train - A Good Environmental Choice -Buy ticket". SJ.se. 2010-05-26. Retrieved 2012-06-13. 
  29. ^ "Interrail - Night train. [EN]". rail.cc. 2015-02-10. Retrieved 2015-02-10. 
  30. ^ "Interrail Validity". rail.cc. 2015-02-10. Retrieved 2015-02-10. 
  31. ^ "Country of Residence for Interrail". rail.cc. 2015-02-10. Retrieved 2015-02-10. 

External links[edit]

  • Interrail.eu, the official Interrail website for all Europeans in English, Dutch, Spanish, German, Italian and French.
  • eurorailplanner.com, trip planner. Information about most important cities to visit in Europe, the schedules, travel times, the train station, and the price of accommodation.
  • railcc, independent Interrail information in 15 languages. Train connections without extra fees - how to save money. Big Interrail forum. Formerly known as Raildude.
  • halotravel.com, organisation that advises and supplies Eurail or Interrail travelers with information, travel routes and passes.