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. Do rail passes cover commuter trains or airport shuttle trains?
A. Yes. Certain rail passes do, but not all.
It’s best to view the product page of the rail pass you are interested in to learn about all the benefits it offers travellers.
Q. What is the "validity period" of a rail pass?
A. The validity period of a rail pass is the time period in which you must complete your travels with your rail pass. This period is calculated from the date stamped on the rail pass by the railway official.
With a flexi pass this period is defined as a certain number of calendar months – typically one or two.
With a continuous day pass the validity period equals the number of travel days.
Q. My credit card has been declined. What should I do next?
A. If your credit card has been declined it’s important to first make sure that you have entered your credit card information correctly. Next, check to make sure that the funds required are available in your account as the transaction may have been declined by your card issuer for this reason.
To protect our customers, we also employ a booking verification system to help us identify and block suspicious transactions. It is possible that certain characteristics associated with your booking or method of payment has triggered an alert with our booking verification system. If you continue to experience difficulty, please contact us via our Contact Us page for assistance. Alternatively, you can also try to use a different credit card.
Q. I want to refund my train ticket. How do I proceed?
A. If you have a paper ticket that you would like to submit for a refund, please visit our Contact Us page for further information.
Please note that train tickets must be received at least 2 business days prior to the train departure date.
It’s strongly suggested that you send these documents by some type of traceable mail for proof of delivery.
If you have an e-ticket to submit for a refund, this can be initiated on our Cancellation and Refunds page.
Q. What if I’ve purchased a Twin/Saver pass and one of the travellers decides not to travel that day?
A. It’s perfectly fine, but the traveller who didn’t travel will still use a travel day on their pass.
If you’re all traveling on the same day, but split up and take different trains, those not carrying the pass will need to buy separate train tickets.
Q. Where can I store my luggage on an overnight train?
A. Luggage can be stored on a small luggage rack and any floor or bed space available. Keep in mind that this space is shared among all travellers occupying the sleeping compartment or couchette.
Q. Do I need to do anything with my rail pass before boarding the train?
A. Yes. You will need to visit the ticket window at the train station before boarding your first train to activate your rail pass. A railroad official will enter the first and last day of validity on your rail pass and stamp your rail pass. You will have to show your passport, and the name on your rail pass will need to match it. Then, in case of a flexi-pass, for each day you use your rail pass you will need to enter the date in the designated travel calendar box on your rail pass. If you board a train and have not entered the date, when the conductor comes around to check your travel documents you may be subject to a fine and the payment of full fare ticket that will need to be paid in local currency directly to the conductor. Be sure to read all documentation that accompanies your rail pass prior to departure. The more you know about your rail pass, the more likely you are to avoid issues onboard the train.
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. What happens if I board a train with my rail pass but forgot to purchase a reservation?
A. We suggest advising the conductor as soon as possible of the situation and purchase the required reservation. If you’re traveling on a train that requires a reservation you could be fined.
Q. Does my train ticket include a seat reservation?
A. Rail Europe tickets include a reservation whenever possible. To tell if you have a reservation, see if you received one or two travel documents for your trip. If you received two travel documents, you probably received an open ticket and a reservation. The reservation portion will show a train number, car number and seat number assigned to you personally.
If you received only one document, you should also see if it indicates a seat number and car number. If so, your ticket includes a reservation.
The only case where you may not have a reservation with your ticket is if you received an open ticket. With these tickets, you can simply hop on any non- reservable train that travels on the route for which you bought your ticket.