Rail Terms and Conditions

Rail Terms and Conditions

To Purchase:

Rail passes cannot be issued to residents of Europe, Russian Federation, Turkey, Morocco, Algeria or Tunisia. Residents of United Kingdom are not eligible to purchase BritRail Passes or Eurail Passes.

How to Activate (Validate) and Use Your Rail Pass:

  • Rail passes are issued and must be activated (validated) within six months from the date of purchase. To activate (validate) the rail pass, present the rail pass along with your passport to the Railways official at the station of departure. At this time, the first and the last day of validity of the rail pass as well as the passport number is entered and the traveller must sign the rail pass. Under no circumstances is the pass holder allowed to activate (validate) his or her own rail pass. In the case of a flexi pass, the traveller must enter the date of travel each day before he/she boards the first train of the day. Failure to comply with this requirement may result in the payment of a fine and the cost of a full fare ticket. Also, if there is any indication that a rail pass has been tampered with, forged and or/used by anyone other than the passholder, or used beyond its validity, the railway Officials are authorized to confiscate the rail pass and full payment will be required plus a fine for that and future trains. It is compulsory to present passports to railway officials on request.
  • In most cases validity runs from midnight to midnight for the period shown on the rail pass. All services, rail, air travel and travel bonuses must he be used within the validity of the accompanying rail pass. One-month period is based from a date in one calendar month to the corresponding date in the following month (minus one day). Depending on the calendar month the pass is activated (validated), the validity period may therefore consist of 28, 29, 30 or 31 days.
  • Rail passes are not valid on hotel trains, private or specialty trains unless otherwise stated. The Glacier Express Swiss scenic train is only covered by the Swiss Pass. Discounted tickets are available for Eurail pass holders to cover the private railroad if purchased in advance.
  • Rail passes are available in first and second class unless stated otherwise. Travellers holding first class rail passes are also permitted to travel in standard/ second class however a refund of the price difference is not applicable. Travellers holding standard/second class passes are permitted to travel in first class only if they pay the difference between the two tickets as applicable locally. For BritRail passes: Some trains in Great Britain do not have first class accommodations. The price of the first class passes have been adjusted to reflect this.
    Refunds are limited to completely unused, undated, unvalidated, unactivated rail passes, ticket and inclusive packages, hotel and car vouchers and will be granted only where permitted under the terms and conditions set forth below or elsewhere in this site. Rail passes, tickets and vouchers must be returned for refunds. Companion and Saver passes, BritRail discounted and Eurail Select Passes are considered one document and must be submitted together. No refunds will be granted on partially used rail passes or tickets, or on unused parts of inclusive packages; documents must bear no evidence of having been tampered with in any way.

7:00pm Rule:

The number of days used on your rail pass when traveling on an overnight train will vary depending upon the situation.

  • Overnight train trips departing after 7:00pm and traveling through at least 4:00am (with no change of train) require the traveller to only enter the following day’s date on the rail pass (which means only one travel day is counted).
  • Overnight train trips departing after 7:00pm and traveling through at least 4:00am (with any change of train) count as two days of travel.
  • Overnight train trips departing after 7:00pm and arriving before 4:00am counts as two days of travel.

Seat Reservations:

Having a rail pass does not guarantee a seat. Seat reservations are optional on some of the trains however they are mandatory for traveling on high speed trains (TGV, Thalys, AVE, Eurostar, Le Frecce), international trains (Lyria, Talgo), night trains (Thello, City Night Line) and scenic trains (Glacier Express, GoldenPass, Bernina Express, William Tell Express, Chocolate Train). The ICE requires reservations on all Sprinter train. Additionally reservations are required on the SJ High-speed train in Scandinavia and most trains in Spain (Renfe). Also, some trains require the payment of a surcharge, which includes the compulsory seat reservation. On some trains the number of seats available for pass holders may be limited. It is highly recommended to make reservations in advance. If reservations for pass holders are sold out on your desired train, you will either need to select a different train that has reservations available or purchase a ticket at the best available price. The cost for the reservation varies depending on the type of train and country.

Overnight Travel:

European night trains offer a variety of accommodations to suit all budgets. Most night trains offer sleeping compartments and couchettes, and some also have reclining seats.
Couchettes and reclining seats are the most economic type of accommodations. Couchettes are not gender specific; they consist of four bunk beds in first class and six in second class. A blanket and pillow is provided, but you sleep in your day clothes. Reclining seats are available on selected trains and generally in second class only.
For more comfort and privacy, you can reserve a sleeping compartment in first class accommodating one or two travellers or second class for two or three travellers. Though the compartment may include a wash basin it does not have a private toilet. Toilet facilities are located at the end of each car. Some night trains also offer deluxe compartments with a private toilet and shower. Sleeping compartments are gender specific, except when couples or families occupy all of the beds.
Night accommodations must be reserved and paid for in advance. On some night trains the number of accommodations for pass holders may be limited. It is highly recommended to make reservations in advance. Prices vary depending on the type of accommodation and country. If reservations for pass holders are sold out, you will either need to select a different date that has available accommodations or purchase a ticket at the best available price.

Additional Charges:

Reservations for seats, sleeping compartments and couchettes, for travel on trains such as Eurostar, Le Frecce, AVE, Talgo, Thalys, etc. luggage checking, and port taxes, are all subject to additional charges which are not covered by the rail passes. The prices for all BritRail passes include a processing fee. These, including meals and refreshments, are all to be paid separately. Luggage checking, port taxes, meals and refreshments as well as reservations for seats, sleeping compartments and couchettes reserved locally must be paid abroad in local currency.

British Train Tickets:

The British rail systems may offer additional fares for some British trains. These fares can be accessed through our call center. Rail Europe offers all British train tickets in compliance with the National Conditions of Carriage and specific Ticket Restrictions and Terms. Tickets are not eligible for purchase by British(UK) residents. Validation of residency is required to purchase British train tickets.

Travellers Purchasing Trenitalia Tickets:

The exchange rate applied to Trenitalia tickets is 1EUR/EUR

Travellers Purchasing Trenitalia International Tickets:

The exchange rate applied to Trenitalia tickets is 1EUR/EUR

Travellers Purchasing Thello Tickets:

The exchange rate applied to Thello tickets is 1EUR/EUR

Governing Rules:

All transportation covered by those rail passes where use is intended for more than one country is subject to the Uniform Rules concerning the Contract for International Carriage of Passengers and Luggage by Rail (CIV). National and/or single-country rail passes are subject to rules and regulations of their specific countries. Neither the British nor European railroads nor Rail Europe assume any responsibility for damages resulting from a strike.