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.
Swiss Half Fare Card
- Offers 50% discount to use trains, buses, boats and public transportations in 75 cities.
- Children under 16 travel for free.
WING SHAN Y
How does it work?
Rail Passes in 3 steps
1. Pick the right rail pass
Rail passes are available in 1, 2, 3 or 4 country combinations for extensive travel on the national rail networks. Going for an extended trip? Try the Eurail Global Pass offering rail travel in 31 different countries.
Once you've selected your pass, its price will depend on the class of service, First or Second, selected 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. Can I exchange my train ticket after its date of departure?
A. Unfortunately, this is not possible. If a train ticket can be exchanged, it normally must be done prior to the first date of validity on the ticket or the train’s departure date. However, please consult the “after sales conditions” found on your confirmation email for exact exchange rules pertaining to the train ticket you booked.
Q. Will the train cars be air conditioned/heated?
A. All European trains are fully heated and many are air-conditioned, as well.
Some regional trains servicing local villages for short distances may not have air-conditioning. In these situations, travellers are permitted to open the train windows.
Q. Can my family sit together if I have a First class rail pass and my child has a Second class youth pass?
A. Yes, of course! However, everyone will need to sit in Second class. The rule is with a First class pass you can sit in either First or Second class, with a Second class pass you can only sit in Second class. If you wish to travel in First class and the rail pass you are interested in does not offer a First class youth option, you will need to purchase an adult pass for your youth traveller.
Be mindful if you intend to book seat reservations that you book in the class of service you intend to sit in. Once a reservation has been issued, you must sit in the seat that has been assigned to you.
Q. I’ve booked a print at home e-ticket. What do I need to do before getting on board the train?
A. Your print at home e-ticket will be forwarded to you as one of three methods:
- A PDF included as a link on your Rail Europe booking confirmation email
- A unique 6 character e-ticket confirmation code that, along with a photo i.d., is checked when on the train
- Sent via a separate email, in addition to your Rail Europe booking confirmation email, forwarded to you after purchase
Your Rail Europe booking confirmation will clearly indicate which type of print at home e-ticket is affiliated with the train ticket(s) you have purchased.
If you were signed into your account when you booked your print at home e-ticket, you can also find all PDF links in the booking history located in your dashboard, as well as the itinerary tab of our iPhone app or mobile site.
All print at home e-tickets must be printed before arriving at the train station.
Q. Where do I my send train tickets and/or rail passes for refund?
A. We recommend that any documents being returned for refund be sent via traceable mail for proof of delivery.
Please visit our Cancellation and Refunds page for information regarding refunds. If you need further assistance we invite you to send us a message using our Contact Us page.
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. Can I get the address and phone number for the train station?
A. We offer specific train station information and maps with approximate locations of many of the most popular train stations in Europe.
In general, you’ll find that stations are centrally located and conveniently reached via public transportation and most airport-to-city links.
Q. How far in advance can I purchase a train ticket?
A. Train tickets can be purchased in a booking horizon of 30 to 180 days in advance of a journey. This booking horizon depends on the route and each rail carrier’s policy.
In order to take advantage of the best prices and availability, always book as far in advance as possible. It’s particularly important to book early during peak travel seasons to ensure you can travel on the date you wish.
Please note – when planning a journey you can always enter a date within 30 days of today to view general travel times and ticket fares.
Booking horizon by country (in advance of the date of travel):*
Austria - 90 days
Balkans - 60 days
Benelux (International) - 90 days
Croatia/Slovenia (International) - 90 days
Czech Republic (International) - 60 days
Denmark - 60 days
Finland - 60 days
France - 90 days
Germany - 180 days
Great Britain - 75 days
Hungary (International) - 90 days
Italy - 120 days
Montenegro/Serbia - 90 days
Norway - 90 days
Spain - 60 days
Sweden - 180 days
Switzerland - 90 days
Poland (Domestic) - 30 days
Poland (International) - 60 days
Romania (Domestic) - 30 days
Romania (International) - 90 days
Russia - 45 days
Booking horizons for the major train lines or carriers (in advance of the date of travel):*
Allegro - 60 days
ATOC Britain - 90 days
Berlin-Warsaw Express - 60 days
DB - 180 days
Eurostar - 180 days
France-Freiburg (Breisgau)TGV - 90 days
France-Germany High Speed - 90 days
France-Italy TGV - 90 days
France - Russia - 60 days
France-Spain High Speed - 119 days
Germany-Italy Day - 120 days
Hungarian Trains - 90 days
ICE - 180 days
Lusitania - 60 days
Lyria - 90 days
NTV Italo - 120 days
RENFE - 60 days
Romanian Night Trains - 90 days
Thalys - 90 days
Thello Night - 120 days
Tolstoy - 60 days
Trenitalia (Domestic) - 120 days
Trenitalia (International) - 120 days
*Subject to change.
Q. What happens if my train crosses an international border during the night?
A. If you travel in a sleeper compartment, you provide the train attendant with your reservation voucher, rail pass or train ticket, and passport as you board. They can then take care of everything with conductors and customs officials so you can sleep uninterrupted.
If you travel in a regular train that just happens to cross the border at night, customs and border control officers may come directly to you and ask for your passport.
Please note that there will be no passport control (day or night) when traveling between countries that signed the Schengen Agreement. Not all countries belonging to the EU are part of the Schengen Agreement (e.g. Britain). On the flip side, some countries that are not part of the EU are part of the Schengen Agreement (e.g. Switzerland).
Q. Will I be sharing my sleeping compartment with strangers?
A. If you book a reservation for a bed in a compartment that can accommodate more people than are in your traveling party, yes, additional people may be in the compartment. It’s also important to note that couchette accommodations are usually not gender specific.