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
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. Do you offer student, family and/or senior discounts?
A. Yes. Rail Europe offers a wide range of train tickets and rail passes that provide discounts to children, youths, seniors or groups of people that travel together.
Discounted rates vary depending on the type of train ticket or rail pass you are purchasing, and are not always offered.
We do our best to provide you with the cheapest fares for your traveling party and get you the discounts you’re eligible for. This is why it’s important to accurately indicate the composition of your traveling party when requesting fares and schedules or rail pass prices from our website. You may also have to enter the age of certain travellers, so we can determine whether they’re eligible for certain age-related discounts.
Q. How can I contact Rail Europe prior to my departure to Europe?
A. Please send us a message from our Contact Us page and we will respond to you via email within 24 to 48 hours.
Q. Do I need to buy a reservation if I already have a rail pass? How do I book one?
A. If you plan to travel on a high speed, scenic, or overnight train, you will need a reservation as many of these types of trains require them - even if you have a rail pass. Seat reservations guarantee you a seat on the train you wish to travel on. While additional fees apply, many trains offer reduced fares to passholders. When you reserve your train, be sure to check the box that states "I have a rail pass", this will allow our system to find the best fare possible for your journey.
Q. What should I do if I’m unable to print my e-ticket at the station?
A. First, make sure you’re entering the correct information in the self-service kiosk. You need to provide your e-ticket confirmation code, also known as PNR, which is a 6 character letter code (or an 8 character alphanumeric code for British e-tickets) that appears on your Rail Europe booking confirmation email. Any other booking reference (like the Rail Europe booking number) will not work to retrieve your print at station e-ticket.
Don’t attempt to retrieve your ticket using a different method of identification such as swiping a credit card. This will not work.
Although highly unusual, if you’re still unable to retrieve your ticket, go to the ticket counter and seek the assistance of a railway official. Make sure you know your e-ticket number.
If you’re still unable to retrieve your ticket, you may have to purchase a new train ticket. If possible, document the circumstances that prevented you from retrieving your e-ticket. If you purchase new tickets, make sure to keep a copy of the new tickets and the receipt.
Upon your return home, contact our customer relations department and write us a letter indicating what happened. Make sure to provide the new tickets you purchased and the receipt. We’ll review the matter and work things out with 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. How do I use the bonuses that come with rail passes?
A. Rail Pass travel bonuses must be redeemed locally.
There are two types of bonuses. Free bonuses (such as a free airport transfer) require the use of a travel day on your pass. If all travel days have been used on your rail pass you will not be able to take advantage of any more free bonuses. Discount bonuses do not require you to use a travel day, but do require that your pass still be within its validity period. In other words, even if you’ve used up all your days on a pass, you can still claim discounted bonuses as long as the pass validity period has not expired.
The exception to this rule is the Swiss Travel Pass. Although a discounted bonus doesn’t require you to use a travel day on your Swiss Travel Pass, the pass must still be valid and you must not have used up all your travel days.
Q. How do I create a Rail Europe account?
A. You can simply click the ’Login’ button found on the top right-hand side of our homepage and select ’create an account’ to register on our site. If you are booking with us, you will also be presented with the option to register during checkout.
Q. How do I have my train ticket endorsed to indicate it was not used?
A. If you will not be taking the train and have a train ticket that includes a reservation, contact us by phone or go to the ticket window before the train departure and have your reserved seat released, as a courtesy to other travellers. Request that the cancelled train ticket also be stamped “Not Used".
If a train is canceled by the railroads due to a strike, weather, or other issues, 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” 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 share my rail pass with others (family, friends, or charity)?
A. No. Rail passes are strictly personal and non-transferable. A rail pass is valid only upon presentation of a passport. Therefore the name(s) printed on the rail pass must match the traveller’s identification.
Q. Why do some German station names have extra characters in the station name?
A. In a few circumstances, German station names are listed with extra characters extended after the official station name. They are of no concern for travellers, and can be disregarded.
Muenchen Hbf Gl.27-36 = Munich Main Train Station
Koeln Messedeutz11-12 = Cologne Messe Deatz Station
Berlin Hbf (Tief) = Berlin Main Train Station