Switzerland can be discovered by trains, buses, boats and scenic mountain trains. Use the Swiss half fare card to get one month’s of half-price travel, while children under 16 travel free of charge when accompanied by an adult who is a holder of a Swiss Family Card.
Due to the current global pandemic, Rail Europe is taking all precautionary measures to keep our employees and communities safe. Electronic passes (Swiss Travel Pass, Britrail England and Renfe) are still available for purchase. We have temporarily suspended the sale, printing and shipping of all paper travel documents (including EURAIL).
Swiss Half Fare Card
This card provides savings up to 50% off for travel on most trains, boats, and buses in Switzerland
- 50% discount on most trains, buses and boats for one month
- Issued as a paper document
- Discounts off 1st and 2nd class travel
- Free Swiss Family Card: Children under 16 travel for free with a parent or legal guardian
WING SHAN Y
How does it work?
Rail Passes in 3 steps
1. Pick the right rail pass
Rail passes can be booked for travel in one specific country or you can choose one of a few pre-selected country/region combinations. Extensive travel plans? Try the Eurail Global Pass offering train travel in 33 different countries - including Great Britain.
Once you've selected your pass, its price will depend on the class of service selected, passenger type, and the number of rail travel days.
2. Reserve your seats
Most trains in Switzerland do not require reservations. You can simply board with your rail pass and take any open seat.
3. Activate and travel
Your pass was pre-validated at the time of booking, it is now valid for use for the duration you selected. You're all set and ready to explore.
More than just trains
Main discounts and bonuses in Swiss Half Fare Card
- 50% discount when travelling on board trains.
- 50% discount when using urban public transport in 75 towns.
- Free travel for children under 16, accompanied by a parent, holder of a Swiss Family Card.
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Common Questions, Simple Answers
Q. I have a train ticket for a train that didn’t run or was delayed due to a strike. What now?
A. If your train doesn’t travel due to a delay or strike, please have your train ticket stamped “Not Used due to Strike” by a railway official at the origin station and return it to our Customer Relations department within 30-days from the train departure date.
For immediate help, a railway official should be able to provide you with details on alternate accommodations. Simply visit the ticket window.
Important: If a train is canceled by the railroads due to a strike, and alternate transportation has not been offered or if you decline the alternate transportation, then a railway official at the origin station must cancel your seat and they must stamp the back of your ticket/reservation “Not Used Due to strike” before the original train departure time.
Our partners at the European Railroads will not allow us to process a refund unless this step has been taken.
Q. How do I use my Italo print at home e-ticket for travel in Italy?
A. While Italo train tickets are considered print at home e-tickets, you don’t actually need to print anything or retrieve a voucher or boarding pass at the station.
All that is required is the confirmation (PNR) code printed on your Rail Europe booking confirmation email. Just present your e-ticket confirmation code and a valid photo id to the conductor on the train - it’s that easy!
Q. Who is eligible to buy a rail pass?
A. Rail passes are available to anyone except residents of Europe, the United Kingdom, Morocco, Turkey or any of the countries of the former Soviet Union. If you’re a resident of these countries we can’t sell you our rail passes, but there are other similar options available to you such as the InterRail pass.
Q. What happens if I don’t fill out my rail pass before boarding the train?
A. Those who travel with a rail pass in which the travel date is not filled in the travel calendar box risk payment of a full fare ticket and a fine.
Q. What does “Activate my rail pass mean and how do I do it?
A. Activating your rail pass officially begins the clock on its travel period. This is done by having a railway official stamp and date your rail pass. Simply visit the ticket window at the train station before boarding your first train to have your pass activated. Most rail passes must be activated within 11 months of the purchase date. Boarding a train without activating your rail pass you risk being fined by the conductor.
Q. I accidentally deleted the email with the link to print my print at home e-ticket, what should I do?
A. No worries. If you registered on our site and have a Rail Europe user account, you can simply log in and review your most recent booking in your dashboard. The link to reprint your e-ticket is available on this page. If you have not created a Rail Europe user account, you can send us a email at email@example.com, include your booking number and we will resend the link to print your e-ticket.
Q. Should I buy my seat reservations prior to arriving in Europe, or can I just get them at the station locally?
A. We recommend that you purchase your reservations as soon as possible, once you’ve determined which train journeys you’d like to take and what dates you’ll need them.
In most cases, rail carriers set aside a limited number of seats for stand-alone reservations. Once those seats have sold out, only regular full-fare tickets can be bought for the train. Because of the limited reservation-only inventory, these seats do in fact sell out, especially during peak travel seasons such as the holidays or summer. The cost difference between a stand-alone reservation and a full-priced ticket can amount to a hundred dollars or more. There’s nothing more frustrating than being unable to use your rail pass and having to buy a full priced ticket at significant cost. Therefore, we highly encourage you to lock down your reservation and make the most of your travel budget as soon as possible.
Also keep in mind that reservations can be purchased online from Rail Europe’s website and iPhone App. Many rail carriers do not sell stand-alone reservations through their website and in most cases, you will have to go in person to the rail station to buy your reservation when in Europe.
Q. How fast can I receive my travel documents?
A. After your booking has been invoiced, you should receive your tickets and/or rail passes within 2-7 business days. In some locations, express overnight delivery may be available for an additional cost.
If you booked e-tickets, you should receive an email and ticket instructions shortly after your booking is confirmed.
Q. What information do I need to provide in a booking to purchase with Rail Europe?
A. We require your name as it appears on your passport (first and last name only), gender, and (in some cases) date of birth. Please note that this same information will be necessary for all travellers in your travel party.
Depending on the type of train ticket you are booking, we may also need a physical mailing address where we can send your travel documents. We send documents using traceable shipping methods, and the package will need to be signed for. In addition, we’ll need a valid email address so we can send you an invoice, and a phone number in case we need to contact you regarding your booking.
Q. Can I open the train windows?
A. If you’re traveling on a slower train you may have the option to open a window, depending on the age and configuration of the car. However, most modern rail cars are air-conditioned and you won’t have the option of opening the windows.
For safety reasons, high speed trains don’t offer the option of opening windows.