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. Where can I find my e ticket number or e ticket confirmation code?
A. Your e-ticket number or e-ticket confirmation code is a string of 6 letters (or an 8 character alphanumeric code for British e-tickets) that can be found on your Rail Europe email invoice.
In addition, if you have purchased on our website while signed into your Rail Europe account, you may retrieve this code by looking up your booking in your Dashboard. You can also find it by accessing your itinerary through our mobile site or iPhone app.
Q. I selected a train ticket, but when I placed my booking the price changed. Why? Can the previously quoted price be honored?
A. For most trains, the price quoted is based on live availability from current seat inventories. However, for some trains, we cannot check fare availability at the time of quote due to technical limitations of the international rail distribution system. Therefore, we use a cached price to build your quote, based on generally available fares for the trip you requested.
While rare, sometimes, we find out that the fare used for quoting your trip is no longer available as we’re trying to confirm your reservation. This is when the system gives us the new price based on that very moment’s availability. This explains why you may receive a message advising you that the price has changed from the original quote.
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. Do I need to make a reservation if I’m traveling with a rail pass on an overnight train?
A. Yes. Even with your rail pass, you will need to make a reservation on any overnight train. Reservations are required for sleeping compartments, couchettes, and seats. Depending on where you’re traveling, the guidelines of the specific train and/or the type of rail pass you have, you may be entitled to purchase a reservation in place of a full price ticket.
You can search for overnight reservations directly on our website - just be sure to select the "I have a rail pass" option.
Q. I understand that some of the train platforms in the Netherlands, Belgium, and Italy now have gates. How do I get to my train?
A. Many train stations in the Netherlands and the Brussels Airport Station in Belgium now have platforms with entry/exit gates. To enter or exit from the train’s platform, you will need to pass through these gates that are controlled with a bar code reader.
Most paper tickets and e-tickets and all Eurail Pass covers have a square barcode which can be scanned at the entry/exit point of the platform. Just hold the bar code on your travel document to the scanner on the illuminated area on the gate and pass through the gate.
Some of the high traffic train stations in Italy, such as Milan Centrale, Roma Termini and Firenze Santa Maria Novella stations now have entry/exit gates. Access through these gates are exclusively reserved for traveller’s holding a ticket. It is suggested that you have your paper or electronic tickets ready to present upon arriving at these security gates.
Q. I have my train ticket. Do I also need to buy a reservation?
A. Rail Europe train tickets usually include a reservation whenever possible. In other words, if you’re taking a train that requires a reservation, one will already be included with your train ticket from us. If you’re boarding a train that offers reservations but doesn’t require them, tickets sold on our website will include one, if available, at the time of booking.
For certain trains that offer reservations but don’t require them, it is possible that we do not include a seat reservation with your train ticket. This may happen when we don’t have access to those reservations, which can only be purchased locally. Rest assured that even if this is the case, your Rail Europe train ticket will still allow you to board and sit at any unoccupied seat.
Q. What is the benefit of buying passes through the group department versus the web?
A. While group rates on passes match our web prices, booking with the group department will also provide your group with one pass at 75% off for every 15 people paying. And we’ll help ensure you’re buying the best rail pass for your group, as well as confirm any reservations with your group seated together (if required and/or wanted). An even better deal? You’ll still receive all the applicable pass benefits as shown on our site; discounted rates for Youth and Seniors, and Saver rail pass rates for parties of 2 or more traveling together.
Q. Can I bring my bike on board?
A. In general, bicycles can be taken with you as carry-on luggage, free of charge on just about any national or international train- if you put it in a bike bag. In the bike bag, the wheels, pedals and handlebars must be removed.
In addition, many European trains allow bikes in a special bike compartment for free or a small fee. If there is a fee, it’s typically about 5-15 Euros per journey. Bikes are typically permitted on local & regional trains in most countries, at least outside peak travel hours.
Many inter-city trains also allow bikes, however not in Spain. And in France only a few French TGVs allow bikes that aren’t in a bike bag. Some TGV-Lyria trains between Paris & Switzerland also allow bikes. Paris-Madrid & Paris-Barcelona night trains only allow bikes if they’re in a bike bag and if you & your fellow travellers occupy the entire sleeper compartment. Overnight Thello sleeper trains & daytime TGV trains between Paris & Italy only allow bikes in a bike bag. Thalys trains between Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam & Cologne only allow bikes in bike bags. Long-distance trains into Eastern Europe such as Cologne-Moscow, Bucharest-Istanbul or Budapest-Sofia only allow bikes in bike bags, primarily because these trains don’t have luggage compartments.
Lastly, some trains, primarily in the UK, will require advance reservations for bicycles. These reservations will need to be made locally at the station.
Q. Can I choose a specific seat on a train when making my reservation?
A. At this time, it’s not possible to choose a specific seat on our website when booking a reservation.
Q. In the event of a strike, is my rail pass covered under the Rail Protection Plan™?
A. In general no – the Rail Protection Plan™ doesn’t provide specific coverage for rail passes, city passes, or tours in the event a strike occurs during your travels.
During a strike, there are usually trains that operate along all routes, as well as substitute buses. While you may not be able to take the exact train you were planning on using, there are usually trains or some other method of transportation that can get you to where you need to go.
In case a severe strike occurs that significantly prevents you from using your pass as intended, you may contact our customer relations team. We will review your particular circumstances and may provide compensation, if appropriate.