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 31 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. Is there WiFi onboard?
A. WiFi availability is increasing on European trains. This service, however, is not currently offered on ALL trains. Where it is offered, it’s usually complimentary with the purchase of a First class ticket. If you’re traveling in Second class, you may incur a fee to connect to the WiFi service.
Here is a brief list of trains offering WiFi:
ICE (select trains)
SJ High Speed
In addition, WiFi access can typically be found at many major train stations throughout Western Europe. More than likely, you’ll encounter a small fee to use the WiFi service. In some stations First class ticket/pass holders will find complimentary WiFi, usually in designated First class lounges.
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. Do the prices quoted on the website include all fees and taxes?
A. Fares quoted in our booking engine do not include fees. Depending on the booking delivery method you choose some fees may apply, like a delivery fee, and a processing fee. All fees will be visible to you during checkout. Rail Europe does not collect sale tax on products sold on our sites.
Q. Why are e tickets not available for certain trips?
A. Availability of e-tickets depends on two factors: whether the rail company operating the train offers e-ticketing, and if it does, whether Rail Europe was granted technical access to their inventory to enable e-ticketing on their behalf.
Not all European rail companies offer e-tickets. But when they do, we work with them to make this option available on our website. And we’ll continue to do so in order provide more e-ticket options for your convenience.
Q. It looks like my train ticket does not include a reservation. How can I add one?
A. Whenever possible, train tickets sold by Rail Europe include a reservation. If you received a ticket without a reservation, it typically means that the train you’ll be traveling on doesn’t require a reservation, and in most cases is non-reservable.
Q. What information do I need to provide when booking a rail pass? Do the names on the rail pass and the passports have to match?
A. When you book your rail pass, you will need to provide us with your first and last name, exactly as they appear on your passport. The name you enter will appear on your rail pass and will be verified by a railway official when you activate the rail pass. In addition, some rail passes are pre-activated and require you to enter the first date of travel.
Q. How much luggage can I take on the train?
A. Technically, you’re not restricted in terms of luggage. However, keep in mind that you’ll need to carry your bags through the train station and onto the train. Once on board you’ll need to find a place to put your bag(s). Small and medium sized bags typically fit on racks located above the seats. Larger suitcases and such can be stored in luggage racks found near the train door entrance.
Be aware that you are responsible for your luggage. The railways assume no responsibility in case of loss or theft of baggage carried on board.
When traveling on a Eurostar, Thalys, or TGV train, you are limited to two large items per traveller (one large item per child on Eurostar trains), maximum 85cm (33 inches) in any one dimension, plus one small item of hand luggage.
Your bag(s) must be properly labeled with your first and last name. In general, it’s a good idea to keep luggage tags on your baggage for easy identification.
Q. Do you offer e-tickets?
A. Yes, on certain rail lines. There are two types of e-tickets:
Print at home and Print at the Station
Let’s begin with Print at Home e-tickets, of which there are 3 different types.
The first type of e-tickets are those issued as a PDF’s which will be emailed to you and can be downloaded via a link contained in your Rail Europe email confirmation. You must print the PDF (using a printer) and bring your ticket with you to board the train.
The second type of e-tickets are those that are individually emailed to you. You must print the email (using a printer) and bring it with you to board the train – this is your train ticket. Each ticket will be in a separate email, so if you booked more than one ticket, please be sure you print all tickets that were emailed to you.
The last type of e-tickets are those which have a unique e-ticket confirmation code that is printed on your Rail Europe confirmation email. You must provide the e-ticket confirmation code along with your id to the conductor on board the train.
Next, Print at the station e-tickets!
You will receive a 6 or 8 alpha-numeric e-ticket confirmation code (also known as a PNR or Passenger Name Record) in your Rail Europe confirmation email, which you then enter into a self-service kiosk at the train station in Europe to print out your actual train ticket.
Use this e-ticket confirmation code at a self-service kiosk at the train station to retrieve your ticket. Not all rail lines offer these e-ticket options. Once you have selected a ticket on our website, you’ll be able to choose from its available methods of issuance at checkout.
Q. Can I book group fares online?
A. Due to the nature of group inventory, group fares are not available online. To receive a quote from one of our dedicated group consultants, please fill out the quick and easy Group Quote form and an agent from our group department will contact you within 48-72 hours.
Q. What should I do if a strike has been announced in the country I’m traveling to?
A. Typically, a strike only affects a few trains along certain routes. If a strike is called within a country, you may continue your travels if there are train services operating. If your train is affected by a strike, railway officials typically provide accommodations for either alternate train, or in some cases, bus transportation.
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.
This process will allow you to submit that train ticket/reservation for a refund. Please be sure that all refund requests are received by our Customer Relations department within 30-days of the train departure date.