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FAQs - Frequently Asked Questions

From how to choose the best rail pass to when to expect delivery, browse below for answers to all your rail pass questions.

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Do you offer any discounts?

Eurail passes will have promotional offers, typically during the early spring and late fall. Travelers who sign up for our newsletter are notified in advance of upcoming promotions so they can book early when there is greater availability. Otherwise, pricing is standardized for rail passes and all legitimate vendors must sell passes at the official price. In terms of different types of passes, there are discounts for youths (ages 12–28), and for groups of two to five people traveling together (called a Saver Pass). Children ages 4–11 are free. For a complete list of discounts currently on offer, visit our Deals page.

Do I need to do anything with my rail pass before boarding the train?

IMPORTANT: You MUST validate your rail pass before boarding your first train. See an agent at a Customer Service Desk at the train station prior to boarding.

If you have already validated the pass and are using a consecutive-day pass, you can just hop on board any train from then on (though remember to validate any printed seat reservation slips in the box at the track before boarding).

If, however, you are using a flexipass, before boarding the train you must fill in the pass's calendar box with the day's date (or, if after 7 p.m. on an overnight train, the following day's date).

What's the difference between a rail pass and a train ticket?

A train ticket is valid for travel from Point A to Point B, like the ones available on ItaliaRail.com for Italy. A rail pass allows you ride on as many trains as you can take in a travel day (24 hours). Some trains do require you make a seat reservation ahead of time—included with a train ticket; as a separate purchase with a rail pass.

How do I connect between train stations in the same city?

If your connecting train is from the same station, you will just have to find the right track. If you're unsure where your connecting train departs from, ask the conductor on board your train. This information is not normally published in advance but closer to the time you will board the train.

Regional and local trains often use tracks in different areas of the train station, therefore you should allow plenty of time to make your connection. Do not worry if your connecting train departs from a different station; this is quite common, especially when connecting in big European capital cities, which often have many train stations. If this is the case, our system takes the additional travel into account and allows enough time for you to travel to the other station.

If the connecting train leaves from a different rail station in town, allow ample time to make the transfer. Usually, you can easily make the trek on public transportation, such as a bus or subway, or you may decide to catch a cab—although this can sometimes be challenging due to long taxi lines or heavy traffic in certain cities, such as Paris or London.

How early should I arrive at the train station prior to departure?

If you are just hopping a train, be there about 20 minutes prior to departure to be safe.

If you need to purchase a seat reservation at the station before boarding, arrive at least 30 minutes early to give yourself time to stand in line at the ticket counter or kiosk.

If you are arriving by air from an international destination and plan to get on a train directly, budget at least an hour to get to the train station from the airport, and another hour at the station to validate your pass and take care of any other reservations.

I just landed in Europe. How do I get to the train station from the airport?

There are a number of travel options to get from the airport to the train station. Most major airports have local train services that take you directly to a central rail station downtown, whereas others rely on shuttle buses or city buses. All also offer taxi services, though this can be quite expensive.

Will there be somebody to help me with my luggage on the train?

Baggage can be checked on trains if the passenger comes early and then waits late to pick it up, so it can be quite a hassle. Packing light is recommended so that passengers can store their bags in the bins on the train instead. There is no weight limitation on baggage for trains (except on few trains, such as Eurostar and French-Spanish Hotel trains). Trains have either overhead storage racks throughout the car, storage room behind the back of the seat, and/or luggage areas at ends of the car.

 

NOTE: Baggage kept by the passenger and placed in the baggage racks remains the sole responsibility of the passenger. The railroads assume no responsibility in case of loss or theft. Excess baggage or bulky pieces must be carried in the baggage car and must be checked before departure. Baggage can sometimes be checked through in advance upon presentation of a valid rail ticket. To ensure proper delivery, it is recommended to confirm the minimum check-in time at your departure station. Sometimes checked baggage will travel on a different train than the passenger, and may take a few days to arrive. A fee is charged for this service. Station Storage: Most stations provide "left luggage" storage-rooms or lockers for baggage storage, and many stations have luggage carts. When porters are available, they can be easily recognized by their uniform or official badge.

What if I miss my train in Europe?

With a rail pass, you can just catch the next train (though you may be required to get another seat reservation for certain high-speed trains).

A rail strike in Europe prevented me from fully using my rail pass. Can I get a refund on the unused days?

Train strikes unfortunately happen, which can frustrate many customers. We suggest that you work directly with the railway company when strikes occur to file a claim.

What happens if there is a train strike in Europe?

Train strikes, like other transportation strikes, are out of our control. Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that you will be refunded in the event of a strike. It can take up to six months to get a final response from the railway on these matters.

Can I get a refund for unused days on my rail pass?

No, there are no refunds for unused days.

Can I exchange or refund my rail pass while in Europe?

No. Rail passes can only be exchanged or refunded by the issuing office.

Can I print any tickets at train stations in Europe?

Yes, many train tickets are issued with the ability to print at train station kiosks or at home. Some tickets also come with the ability to present an electronic confirmation on your mobile device.

My plans have changed and I won't be able to use my rail pass. Can I get a refund?

Eurail passes that have not been used or validated may be returned for a refund with a 15% penalty. They must be sent back, within one year of the issue date, and in a trackable manner to...

 

Railpass Refunds
681 Washington St, Suite 17
Norwood, MA  02062

 

IMPORTANT: Eurail Free Day Promotion Passes are not refundable or exchangeable.

Can I return my rail pass or train ticket for a refund?

Rail passes are refundable at 85% of pass value if unused (and unvalidated) and returned to the address listed below within one year of the issue date.

Train Tickets: Many train tickets are non-refundable and non-changeable. Some train tickets are 75%–80% refundable if canceled within 72 hours after booking.

 

Pass Exchanges: Pass exchanges must be made via the address listed below. Once your request is received in our office, we will exchange the pass. If there is a rate increase, you will just pay the difference in price plus a USD $15 exchange fee and new shipping charges. If the exchange causes a rate decrease, you will be charged a 15% cancellation penalty on the old pass, the cost of the new pass, plus a new shipping fee.