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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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Can I take my bicycle on the train?

Whether you can take a bike on the train depends on the type of train.

For example, many high-speed trains will not carry bikes but most local trains will accept them. We recommend you check with the independent railways timetable to see if bicycles are allowed, and whether you will need an additional ticket to transport one.

Can I take my car on the train?

For the most part, no. Most trains in Europe transport passengers, luggage, and bicycles. There are a few national railways that offer auto trains, and we suggest you check with independent railway companies to find out more information on this service.

Is there help and special access for disabled travelers?

Most railway companies in Europe offer facilities for disabled passengers. Standards may vary between countries.

We recommend that you check the railway website for each country you are visiting to find out more. is not able to assist in the booking of disabled traveler services.

Can I purchase seat reservations from once I’m already traveling in Europe?

We only sell seat reservations for trains in Italy.

I missed my train. What should I do?

With a rail pass, just hop the next train.   If required, you will have to purchase another seat reservation at the customer service desk or a self-service kiosk first.   Seat reservations are generally not exchangeable for a different date or time and new reservations will be required.    

Can I change seats after the train departs?

It is not likely. You would have to check with the conductor to find out if any open seats are available.

How can I use my coupon?

Bring your pass to the place where it will be redeemed (ferry crossing ticket office, etc.) and show it to the right employee. In the case of hotels, passengers must call in advance to ask about their rules on using the discount.

Should I buy my seat reservations prior to leaving North America, or can I just get them at the train stations in Europe?

You do not have to purchase your seat reservations prior to leaving home.

HOWEVER, there is no guarantee that the first train you want when you arrive at the station will still have seats available. So if it is a train you MUST be on, we would advise you to book your reservations ahead of time through the railway you intend to travel on. If it is an overnight train, we recommend you book in advance as they can sell out quickly and have limited accommodations.

Can I sell or give my coupon to another person?

No, coupons are not interchangeable. They must be used in conjunction with your pass and are a benefit of the Eurail pass. All is explained in the pass guide, along with directions on the use of coupons.

What happens if I don’t pay for my reservations before the expiration date?

This is not an option. You must pay for your reservations at the time you book them.

I didn't receive my coupon, what should I do?

Not all benefits require a coupon. Most merely require you to show your rail pass—though some do require advance reservations.

Are reservations included in my pass?

No, seat reservations are not included and must be purchased separately.

How can we make sure the whole group is seated together?

Currently there is no way to guarantee seat location; seats are assigned by the rail line and you cannot choose specific seating.

Do I need to buy a reservation if I already have a rail pass? And how do I book one?

Reservations are mandatory for most high-speed service and overnight trains. While it is possible to secure reservations from train stations during your trip, pass-holder seats are limited on many high-speed trains, making it difficult to secure a seat on a specific train without making your reservations prior to departure.


Remember: A rail pass does not guarantee a seat on the train. Please note: cannot make reservations; you must book via the participating railway company.


Reservations are required on: Sleeping accommodations on all overnight trains; most high-speed trains (e.g. Eurostar, TGV, TAV, Thalys); long distance and express trains in Spain, Portugal, Scandinavia, and Eastern Europe; and long distance and express trains in many countries during high season (Jul-Aug). On many regional European trains, reservations are not necessary; however in some countries (particularly France, Italy, and Spain), a pass or a ticket does not guarantee a seat, so reservations are highly recommended. We also recommend reservations to guarantee a space on any particular train, date, and time.


To make a reservation: There are additional charges for seat reservations, sleepers, couchettes, and travel on certain high-speed trains. You must be in possession of a valid rail pass that covers the routing of the train. It is helpful to research the train schedules before making a request.


When to make a reservation: In order to avoid being assessed a fine on board, we strongly recommend that you make a reservation in advance. Reservations can be made at a train station or in some cases, electronically via the participating railway website prior to travel.

Seat vs. Sleeper Reservations: Private cabins include 1–2 berths in First Class and 2–3 berths in Second Class. Sleeper prices are generally lower in Italy, Scandinavia, and Eastern Europe. Prices are higher on certain quality trains such as Hotel trains between France and Spain. Couchettes are community cabins and include six berths in Second Class and four berths in First Class, if available (mostly in France). Most British sleepers and ferry crossing reservations must be made in Britain. Changing Reservations: Most reservations are non-refundable and non-changeable.

Is it possible to avoid making train reservations?

Only on trains that do not require seat reservations. You can hop on and off the majority of local and regional trains in the countries covered by your pass at will, but a good rule of thumb is that reservations are usually required on premium high-speed trains, including...


Overnight trains, high-speed trains, and international trains. Other popular trains might require passengers to purchase a seat reservation in addition to the cost of the pass. Trains offer seat reservations starting at €10 per seat and ranging up to the cost of a single sleeper for one person (available with a First Class pass). It’s important that you check with us to find out exactly which trains need reservations and what the extra costs may be.


The various types of Eurail passes, from the Global Pass to the Single Country Pass, exist because of the cooperation between some 28 European countries. That said, each national railway has its own set of rules and regulations, and the rules regarding reservations vary from country to country. Please refer to participating railways for complete rules.


In France, the TGV and InterCity trains require seat reservations. The cost for a seat reservation is about €10 per seat.


In Germany, trains that require seat reservations include the ICE trains, IC (Inner City) trains, and EC (Eurocity) trains. In addition, any cross-border day train will require a seat reservation.


In Italy, you must reserve seats on IC (InterCity), EC (EuroCity), Frecciarossa, and Frecciabianca trains starting at €10 per seat. If you are traveling on International trains (between countries), you will also need a seat reservations. For example, if you take the Thalys train from Paris to Amsterdam and you have a First Class rail pass, you can choose a First Class seat reservation for an additional cost of €90 per seat. If you have a Second Class pass, the cost of the seat reservation is €60 per person.


You will have to wait until you are in Europe and head to the station to make the reservation. 


PLEASE NOTE: If you board the train without a reservation you can be fined up to €80 per person and have your rail pass confiscated, which means you'll lose whatever days of travel you have left on the pass. Take heart in knowing that if the train you want requires a reservation, that reservation is required for all passengers, not just rail pass holders. When you buy a point-to-point ticket, any required seat reservations is automatically included in the total price.