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.
Exclusive limited-time Fall offer: use promo code 5FALL18 to get €50 off bookings of €650 or more, or 6FALL18 to get €80 off bookings of €880 or more. Book by October 31, 2018. Condtions apply.
Swiss Half Fare Card
- Offers 50% discount to use trains, buses, boats and public transportations in 75 cities.
- Children under 16 travel for free.
This card provides savings up to 50% for travel on most trains, boats, and buses in Switzerland.
WING SHAN Y
How does it work?
Rail Passes in 3 steps
1. Pick the right rail pass
Rail passes are available in 1, 2, 3 or 4 country combinations for extensive travel on the national rail networks. Going for an extended trip? Try the Eurail Global Pass offering rail travel in 28 different countries.
Once you've selected your pass, its price will depend on the class of service, First or Second, selected 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. Can I take any train that travels between the two cities for which I bought my train ticket, or do I have to take a specific train?
A. The answer depends on what type of ticket was issued for your journey. In most cases, we issue tickets that include a seat reservation whenever required or possible. If your tickets include a reservation, you will need to board the train for which the reservation was issued.
If you were issued a train ticket without a reservation, then yes - you can board any train traveling between the cities for which your ticket was issued. It is always advisable to inquire at the train station whether or not a reservation is needed for the train you intend to board. There are certain countries that we cannot issue reservations for: Portugal, Greece, Hungary, Romania, and other Balkan nations. Reservations may be required but will need to be purchased locally.
Q. Is dinner and/or breakfast included with my reservation on an overnight train?
A. When you travel on an overnight train meal inclusions vary depending on the train you are on, as well as what type of train ticket you have purchased. With the purchase of a Premier class ticket, you will generally get a meal on board the train. This meal is typically breakfast in the morning. Some trains will bring the meal to you in your compartment, while other trains will serve you breakfast in the restaurant car on board the train.
If you are not traveling in a First Class sleeping compartment, don’t worry, you won’t starve on board! Overnight trains all include a restaurant car, bar car or vending machine services containing hot/cold drinks and snacks. Most restaurant/bar cars are open until at least 1:00am. Additionally, you can purchase food before hopping on board the train and eat as you wish. Though not included with the price of your ticket, you can certainly find something to eat during the ride.
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. Can I customize my group trip (meals on board, train station transfers)?
A. We love groups, and we do everything we can to make the experience as pleasurable as possible. We offer onboard catering, motor coach transfers to and from the train station, as well as luggage handling at select stations. For more information fill out our Group Quote form and a dedicated group consultant will respond to your request.
Q. What happens if my train crosses an international border during the night?
A. If you travel in a sleeper compartment, you provide the train attendant with your reservation voucher, rail pass or train ticket, and passport as you board. They can then take care of everything with conductors and customs officials so you can sleep uninterrupted.
If you travel in a regular train that just happens to cross the border at night, customs and border control officers may come directly to you and ask for your passport.
Please note that there will be no passport control (day or night) when traveling between countries that signed the Schengen Agreement. Not all countries belonging to the EU are part of the Schengen Agreement (e.g. Britain). On the flip side, some countries that are not part of the EU are part of the Schengen Agreement (e.g. Switzerland).
Q. Can a reservation date on an overnight train be changed?
A. This is possible in some cases, but with the limited availability of overnight trains, please do it as soon as you can and at least 24-hours before the train’s departure. New reservations will be required when you reschedule. Make sure to check the fare rules for the reservation you’ve purchased so you’re aware of the exchange policies. If you’re already traveling in Europe and need to make a change, you may be subject to local service fees and/or upgrade charges.
Q. My Rail Europe train tickets were not accepted by the conductor. What do I do?
A. While all train tickets issued by Rail Europe should be accepted onboard the train, if you should run into any issues, be sure to ask the conductor to stamp your Rail Europe ticket "Not Used" with a written note explaining why this ticket could not be accepted by a railway official. You will want to keep that ticket safe and upon your return home, you can send the original ticket, any replacement tickets and receipts, and a brief letter of explanation to our Customer Relations team.
Please use the Contact Us page to get more information regarding a refund.
Q. If I arrive at the station early, will I be able to board my train?
A. You may be able to board the train early, but it depends on a few things…
First, early boarding may possible if you are boarding the train in the city from which it originates. If you are boarding a train on one of the stops along its routes, then the train won’t be in the station until a few minutes before the time indicated on your ticket.
Even if you are boarding in the very first city from which your train departs, the platform may only be indicated 15 minutes or so before departure. Though early, you may find yourself in the train station with no information as to which platform the train is located.
In any event, we typically advise you get to the station at least 30 minutes prior to departure. This way when your train is ready to board, you can hop on and take your seat without having to rush through the station.
Q. How do I use a Rail Europe Gift Card?
A. Simply use the Gift Card code that was provided by Rail Europe on your certificate. Enter this code on the delivery page during checkout. Note: the full dollar value of the Gift Card doesn’t need to be used all at once; you will be sent a new Gift Card code for any remaining balance.
Q. Can I change seats after the train departs?
A. You may check with the conductor once your train departs to see if there are any other available seating options.
Please note that you should stay in the same class of service as your ticket or you may incur a surcharge.
If you change seats and the seat you move to is reserved by another traveller, they will have priority.