Interrail

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A 2016 Interrail Pass with accompanying Pass Cover and Pass Guide

The Interrail Pass is a railway ticket, available to European residents. Residents of countries outside Europe can purchase the Eurail Pass.[1] Interrail Pass includes Interrail Global Pass and Interrail One Country Pass.[2]

The traditional Interrail Pass is now called the Interrail Global Pass. It allows unlimited rail travel in and between all of 30 participating countries for a certain period of time. The main exception is 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.[3]

Interrail Pass Eligibility[edit]

Interrail passes are available to those who are citizens or official residents from one of countries of the European Union or one of the countries listed hereafter[4]:

Albania, Andorra, Belarus, Bosnia-Herzegovina, FYR Macedonia, Gibraltar, Iceland, Kosovo, Liechtenstein, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Norway, Russian Federation, San Marino, Serbia, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine and Vatican City.[5]

Proof of citizenship can be established by a passport/identity card. Proof of residence can be established by government issued residency documents.[6]

Interrail Global Pass[edit]

Validity[edit]

Countries in which the Interrail Global Pass is valid

The Interrail Global Pass is valid in all participating European countries: Austria, Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Great Britain, Hungary, Ireland (Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland), Italy, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Montenegro, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, Sweden, Turkey.[7] 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 and the countries which belonged to former Soviet Union (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.

Travel in Country of Residence[edit]

Until the end of 2015, Interrail passes were not valid for free travel in the traveller's country of residence, although a discount was granted on journeys to or from the border.[8]

As of 1 January 2016, the pass is now valid for two journeys free-of-charge in the traveller's own country of residence, one journey to and one journey from the border.[9] 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.[10]

Interrail Global Pass - Prices - Youth - Aged 27 and Under[11][edit]

Validity 2nd Class
5 days within 15 days €208
7 days within 1 month €255
10 days within 1 month €305
15 days within 1 month €376
15 days continuous €337
22 days continuous €394
1 month continuous €510

Interrail Global Pass - Prices - Adult - Over 27[12][edit]

Validity 2nd Class
5 days within 15 days €269
7 days within 1 month €320
10 days within 1 month €381
15 days within 1 month €472
15 days continuous €421
22 days continuous €493
1 month continuous €637

Interrail One Country Pass[edit]

The Interrail One Country Pass is a pass that allows customers to travel by train across the national rail network of one country, taking as many trains as they want on each travel day. The Interrail One Country Passes are available for 3, 4, 6 or 8 travel days within 1 month for each of the following countries: Austria, Benelux, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, FYR Macedonia, Germany, Greece, Greek Islands, Great Britain, Hungary, Ireland (Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland), Italy, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, Sweden, Turkey.[13]

There are no separate Passes for Belgium, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands, instead there is one for the whole Benelux. 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" is valid on Attica Group ferries that operate on the routes PatrasIgoumenitsaVenice/Ancona/Bari (Italy).

Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro don't take part in the Interrail One Country Pass offer.

Duration and prices[edit]

A discount of 25% applies for people age 27 or under. First class requires a supplementary charge.[citation needed]

The following prices are based on "Adult" (age 28 or older) category, 2nd class:[citation needed]

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 €267 &53 18 all countries
7 days 1 month €318 45 11 all countries
10 days 1 month €378 &38 13 all countries
15 days 1 month €468 31 16 all countries
15 days 15 days €418 28 28 all countries
22 days 22 days €489 &22 &22 all countries
311 month 311 month €632 &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.

Use of Interrail Passes on high speed, overnight, and privately operated trains[edit]

High speed trains[edit]

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

  • Eurostar (London, Paris, Amsterdam and Brussels) require payment of a "seat booking fee" of £26.50/€30 each way in Standard Class, plus £10 "service fee" for bookings made at stations or by phone.[15]
  • Thalys (Paris to Brussels, Amsterdam and Cologne) 2nd Class = €15 to €25, 1st Class = €25 to €35[16]
  • TGV (Domestic French) 1st or 2nd Class €9 (off peak) €18 (peak). In addition TGVs operate in Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany and Italy where supplements are payable. Reservations are also payable on Corail Téoz services within France.
  • Trenitalia (Italy): Frecciabianca, Frecciargento, Frecciarossa 1st or 2nd Class €10. A reservation is also recommended but not mandatory for IC services within Italy: €3.
  • AVE (Spain) 2nd Class €10, 1st Class €23. 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, but it is voluntarily available at €4,50.
  • SJ high speed train (in Sweden and reaching Copenhagen) SEK 62 (2nd class) / SEK 150 (1st class) for a compulsory 2nd class seat reservation[17]

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

Seat reservations for High-Speed Trains[edit]

Originally, the Interrail Pass included transport on most trains in most countries without needing an additional ticket. In recent years, however, with the introduction of premium options such as high-speed, international, and overnight trains, a number of rail operators have started making exceptions.[clarification needed][18][19][20] For such premium options, additional fee surcharges are often required in many countries to guarantee secured seat reservations, as well as other extra add-on benefits (e.g., meals and drinks, free Wi-Fi, access to 1st class lounges). These premium reservations can usually be avoided by taking regional local trains instead.[citation needed]

For example, in Italy only local and regional trains are without supplement, InterCity trains require a supplement of €3 per journey, and seat reservations have become compulsory. For most high-speed trains (such as Le Freccia, Frecciarossa, Frecciargento, and Frecciabianca) a supplement of €10 per journey must be paid.[18] Slower but free connections are usually available on most routes.[citation needed]

In France, SNCF charges a supplement for InterCity and TGV[21] trains. In addition, mainly in a demand season (typically June through August), a limited quota of seats might be available for Interrail Pass holders. If this quota is full, a pass holder can either wait for the next train connection or else buy a separate point-to-point ticket.[citation needed]

Belgium offers an option of taking a luxury high-speed train at speed of 300 km/h.[22] Boarding of the Thalys train from Brussels to Amsterdam, to Paris or to Cologne requires a 15 to 25 Euro supplement in 2nd Class or 20 to 30 Euro in 1st class.[22]

In Germany and Austria, 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.[23]

Besides the high-speed trains, night trains with sleeping compartments and scenic train also require a supplement. Sleeper reservations fees depend on the accommodation selected and how far in advance they have been reserved, while some scenic trains have the option to travel in a special panoramic coach, which requires a reservation.[citation needed]

Overnight trains[edit]

Many overnight trains in Europe require reservations with extra costs for sleeping accommodation such as couchettes or in sleeping cars, 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%.

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.
  • 2001: The Eurail Group company was formed, and it took over marketing and management of Interrail and Eurail.
  • 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.

#FreeInterrail Proposal[edit]

In 2015, German activists Vincent-Immanuel Herr and Martin Speer approached Vice-President of the European Commission Frans Timmermanns with a proposal to provide all EU-youth with free Interrail Global Passes upon turning 18. This effort was documented by POLITICO Europe's Brussels Playbook, while also providing more details on the idea.[24] The two activists claimed that their idea would help to overcome stereotypes in Europe as well as problems regarding renationalization in several countries by enabling the entirety of a generation to explore Europe, and not just a small fraction of it.[25] They subsequently wrote numerous articles[26][27][28] on their idea, started a change.org petition, and approached more EU politicians.[29] Herr promoted the idea at a TEDx event in 2017.[30]

In 2016, the idea was picked up by a number of EU politicians, including Rebecca Harms, Karima Deli, Michael Cramer, Istvan Ujhelyi,[31] Manfred Weber,[32] and Alexander Graf Lambsdorff.[33]

A 2016 representative survey in Germany found 56 percent of respondents in favor of such a proposal.[34]

In March 2018, a 12 million Euro pilot project scheme, involving buying 20,000-30,000 Global Passes for EU youth, was confirmed by the European Commission.[35] A press release announcing the decision elaborated on the goal of the scheme:

"The action will seek to offer young people, regardless of social or educational background and including people with reduced mobility, a chance to travel abroad."[36]

On 1 March 2018, the European Commission announced initial steps to implement the European Parliament's proposal for a "Free Interrail pass for Europeans turning 18" by adopting a Financing Decision:

"With a budget of EUR 12 million in 2018, this action is expected to give an estimated 20,000-30,000 young people a travel experience that would help foster a European identity, reinforce common European values and promote the discovery of European sites and cultures. This proposal fits well with the EU's ambitions to promote learning mobility, active citizenship, social inclusion and solidarity of all young people."[37]

On 3 May 2018, the Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, Tibor Navracsics, alongside a Member of the European Parliament, Manfred Weber, announced the official name of the initiative, "DiscoverEU",[38] and the first details on the application process. The initiative aims at giving 15,000 young people the opportunity to travel around Europe during the summer, in order to discover the continent's rich cultural heritage, get in touch with other people, learn from other cultures, and thereby discover what unites Europe. Participants can travel up to 30 days and can visit between 1 and 4 foreign destinations. In an application round to select the first 15,000 travellers, those interested needed to apply over a two-week period in the month of June 2018 via the European Youth Portal.[39]

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. ^ eCommerce, Deutsche Bahn AG, Unternehmensbereich Personenverkehr, Marketing. "Interrail Pass". www.bahn.com. Retrieved 2018-07-25. 
  3. ^ "Interrail One Country Pass". Interrail. 2013-12-26. Retrieved 2018-07-25. 
  4. ^ "Interrail". www.myinterrail.co.uk. Retrieved 2018-07-31. 
  5. ^ Eurail Group G.I.E. "Interrail Pass Condition of Use" (PDF). 
  6. ^ "Do I need an Interrail or a Eurail Pass?". Interrail. Retrieved 2018-07-31. 
  7. ^ Interrail Global Pass (interrail.eu)
  8. ^ https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/showthread.php?t=1266292
  9. ^ eCommerce, Deutsche Bahn AG, Unternehmensbereich Personenverkehr, Marketing. "Interrail terms and conditions". www.bahn.com. Retrieved 2018-07-25. 
  10. ^ http://www.Interrail.eu/news/changes-to-Interrail-pass-2016
  11. ^ "Interrail Global Pass - Unlimited Train Travel in Europe". Interrail.eu. Retrieved 2017-01-10. 
  12. ^ "Interrail Global Pass - Unlimited Train Travel in Europe". Interrail.eu. Retrieved 2017-01-10. 
  13. ^ "Interrail One Country Pass". Interrail. 2013-12-26. Retrieved 2018-08-07. 
  14. ^ Reservation costs for domestic trains
  15. ^ https://help.eurostar.com/faq/uk-en/question/Can-I-use-my-interrailing-pass-on-Eurostar
  16. ^ "Thalys high-speed train". Interrail.eu. Retrieved 2016-06-23. 
  17. ^ "Travel By Train - A Good Environmental Choice -Buy ticket". SJ.se. 2010-05-26. Retrieved 2012-06-13. 
  18. ^ a b "A beginner's guide to Interrail passes | How Interrail passes work, Interrail train reservations & supplements". Seat61.com. Retrieved 2012-06-13. 
  19. ^ "Reservation Fees - Domestic trains". Interrailnet.com. Retrieved 2013-01-08. 
  20. ^ "Reservation Fees - International trains". Interrailnet.com. Retrieved 2013-01-08. 
  21. ^ "TGV", Wikipedia, 2018-07-21, retrieved 2018-07-24 
  22. ^ a b "Thalys high-speed train | Interrail.eu". www.interrail.eu. Retrieved 2016-06-23. 
  23. ^ "Trains in Germany". Interrailnet.com. Retrieved 2012-06-13. 
  24. ^ "POLITICO Brussels Playbook — Sarkozy climbs — Greece rocks the vote — Eurocrat in the Dragons' Den". POLITICO. 2015-07-23. Retrieved 2018-04-03. 
  25. ^ Herr; Speer, Vincent-Immanuel; Martin. "Traveling for Europe's Future" (PDF). 
  26. ^ "[Opinion] #FreeInterrail: saving Europe by travelling". Retrieved 2018-04-03. 
  27. ^ Herr, Vincent-Immanuel (2016). "Generation Interrail". sueddeutsche.de (in German). ISSN 0174-4917. Retrieved 2018-04-03. 
  28. ^ Herr, Vincent-Immanuel; Speer, Martin (2015-09-04). "Interrail: Lasst uns reisen". Die Zeit (in German). ISSN 0044-2070. Retrieved 2018-04-03. 
  29. ^ "About - #FreeInterrail". #FreeInterrail (in German). Retrieved 2018-04-03. 
  30. ^ TEDx Talks (2017-06-06), #FreeInterrail - A Vision of a Europe for All | Vincent-Immanuel Herr | TEDxOTHRegensburg, retrieved 2018-04-03 
  31. ^ European Parliament, Committee on Transport and Tourism. "Budget Amendments, 2017 Budget". 
  32. ^ "2016 State of the Union debate | News | European Parliament". Retrieved 2018-04-03. 
  33. ^ "Begeisterung für Europa mit InterRail-Tickets wecken". portal liberal (in German). Retrieved 2018-04-03. 
  34. ^ "Forschungsgruppe Wahlen > Umfragen > Politbarometer > Archiv > Politbarometer 2016 > September 2016". www.forschungsgruppe.de (in German). Retrieved 2018-04-03. 
  35. ^ (www.dw.com), Deutsche Welle. "EU to give free Interrail train passes to 30,000 teens | DW | 02.03.2018". DW.COM. Retrieved 2018-04-03. 
  36. ^ "Free Interrail pass for Europeans turning 18 - TravelUpdate". TravelUpdate. 2018-03-22. Retrieved 2018-04-03. 
  37. ^ "European Commission - PRESS RELEASES - Press release - Daily News 01 / 03 / 2018". europa.eu. Retrieved 2018-07-20. 
  38. ^ http://europa.eu/youth/discovereu_en
  39. ^ "European Commission - PRESS RELEASES - Press release - Daily News 03 / 05 / 2018". europa.eu. Retrieved 2018-07-20. 

External links[edit]

  • Interrail.eu, The official Interrail website for all Europeans in English, Dutch, Spanish, German, Italian and French.
  • Interrail Global Pass website, Interrail Global Pass website for all information on Interrail Global Pass.
  • Interrail Planner, website application for planning Interrail routes and booking accommodation.
  • Seat61, extensive guides to Interrail and European train travel in general.
  • Interrail Map.com, Interrail maps and guides to select your Interrail One Country Pass find the schedules for Interrailing, travel times, the train station timetables, and the price of your accommodation.
  • halotravel.com, organisation that advises and supplies Eurail or Interrail travelers with information, travel routes and passes.
  • Interrail Holiday.com, Interrail Holiday Packages
  • Euroventure, Package Interrail Routes.