Using the EUrail select pass

Using the EUrail select pass

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Posts: 15. This thread is closed.
hansy
hansy
10 posts
new member
Aug 11, 2016 - 7:52 AM

Hi there!

This is my first time to Switzerland. My husband and I will be traveling to Switzerland and Austria in October this year. We bought the EUrail select pass. Apart from the instructions about getting the pass activated and filling out the travel dates, I'm not really sure how two use it. Do will still need to get a ticket for the trains we planned to travel on or can we just hop onto the train with our rail pass?

Annika
Annika
4417 posts
expert &
moderator
Aug 11, 2016 - 8:37 AM

Hi hansy, thanks for your first post here!

Trains that are fully covered don't require the purchase of additional tickets. You can just hop on and off as you like. Trains, buses, boats and cable cars that are discounted or not covered at all require you to buy tickets. Please find details, including a downloadable coverage map with explanations, at www.myswissalps.com/eu railselectpass.

hansy
hansy
10 posts
new member
Aug 11, 2016 - 8:47 AM in reply to Annika

Hi Annika,

Thanks so much for your reply ^^

hansy
hansy
10 posts
new member
Sep 6, 2016 - 9:27 AM in reply to Annika

Hi Annika,

In your last reply, you mentioned that we can just hop on and off the trains as we like provided the train is fully covered. Do we just sit in whichever seat we like provided we are sitting in the class of our passes? Appreciate your help!!

JoeyA
JoeyA
43 posts
active member
Sep 6, 2016 - 10:59 AM in reply to hansy

Hi Hansy,

We had Eurrail passes for a trip last year. You just need to be careful that the train you are getting on doesn't require seat reservations. If it does, you will not be allowed on without one. We covered 6 countries and from my memory the only reservation we needed in Switzerland was from from Spiez to Milan, but it seems that was only the case because the Expo was on. However, most of the other trains that we caught (because we were time limited and wanted the fastest ones) did require a reservation. The Eurrail rail planner app is incredibly helpful. Not only does it give you all the train times for the whole of Europe, it will tell you if a particular train needs a reservation or not. If it doesn't, you just jump on and find any seat. If it does, you need to make one and it will give you a specific seat number (this costs anything from a couple of euros to our most expensive which was 25euros on the Thalys from Amsterdam to Brussels (although this was first class and was by far and away the nicest train and we got loads of 'free' food and drinks included). You can avoid reservations by taking slower trains. From other posts I have since read on here it seem that you generally don't need reservations in Switzerland but I don't know about Austria. Anyway it's worth plugging some potential journeys into the rail planner app to see whether it looks as though you will need them. Have fun!

Arno
Arno
7718 posts
expert &
moderator
Sep 6, 2016 - 11:02 AM in reply to hansy

In Switzerland it's quite simple: no seat reservations required unless you take a train to another country or the Bernina/Glacier Express. In other countries it's a bit more complex as explained by JoeyA.

myswissalps.com/ train/reservations

hansy
hansy
10 posts
new member
Sep 8, 2016 - 5:46 AM in reply to JoeyA

Thanks so much JoeyA and Arno!!

I have downloaded the EURail app. So it is safe to say that in Switzerland I would be able to hop on and off the trains with my pass except for the trains Arno mentioned as well as some of the mountain trains (eg. fm Interlaken Ost to Grindewald/ Zermatt to Visp etc) where 'Reservation Compulsory' is indicated in the app. We will be traveling in early October which I think should be off-peak season, would this mean that I am able to make reservations on the spot for the reservation compulsory trains? Or must I make reservations beforehand? Really appreciate your help!! ^^

Arno
Arno
7718 posts
expert &
moderator
Sep 8, 2016 - 6:03 AM in reply to hansy

Hi hansy,

Actually my comment was just about seat reservations: you don't need those exact for the exceptions I mentioned. No reservations for Interlaken Ost to Grindelwald or Zermatt to Visp either, just do not take the Glacier Express. But you can't just hop on and off all trains. Many are covered by Eurail, but not all. Please check the page Annika gave you, and specifically the "Where it's valid" section to download the map she mentioned. Some routes are not covered, or just discounted (e.g. to Grindelwald) so you will need to buy a ticket before you board. If a route is covered, you can just hop on without a ticket.

Last modified on Sep 8, 2016 - 6:04 AM by Arno
hansy
hansy
10 posts
new member
Sep 8, 2016 - 6:35 AM in reply to Arno

Hi Arno,

Yes, my mistake...thanks for clarifying. Yes I can see from the app that the trains I mentioned are not covered by my pass hence I would need to buy a ticket for it. Since it is a reservation compulsory train, am I able to find a seat for travel in early Oct on the spot or would you suggest I buy the tickets before my day of travel?

JoeyA
JoeyA
43 posts
active member
Sep 8, 2016 - 6:45 AM

Hi Hansy, very occasionally on the app as you have discovered it will say 'reservation compulsory' when in fact it means 'this journey needs a ticket'. I had one where when I went to get the reservation there wasn't actually a train, it was a bus transfer hence a need to buy a ticket which we could only do on the spot. When you get to Interlaken Ost station, the platforms where the trains leave for Grindelwald and the mountains have big signs saying 'NO EURRAIL'. You will therefore need a ticket for any train from there, all of which you can buy on the spot. I don't know how booked up the other train you mentioned gets and how far in advance you would need a reservation.

hansy
hansy
10 posts
new member
Sep 8, 2016 - 7:01 AM in reply to JoeyA

Hi JoeyA,

Got it!! Thanks so much. Did you continue on to Jungfraujoch from Grindelwald? I've actually bought a hotel package which includes a return train ticket from Grindelwald to Jungfraujoch and vice versa. I understand that the leg from Kleine-Scheidegg to Jungfraujoch seat reservations are available. Just wondering if I should reserve the seats or is it relatively easy to get a seat without making reservations? Haha...sorry for bombarding you with all these questions...this is my first visit to Europe

JoeyA
JoeyA
43 posts
active member
Sep 8, 2016 - 7:09 AM

Hi, we did do the Jungfraujoch trip. We bought our tickets for that on advice the day before and they were sold out on the day so it's a good job we did. However it was height of busy season in August. I don't know how busy it gets in October - I would guess not as busy as August?

hansy
hansy
10 posts
new member
Sep 8, 2016 - 7:20 AM in reply to JoeyA

I've heard that it's not so busy in Oct. Thanks so much for your help JoeyA! Appreciate it!!

JoeyA
JoeyA
43 posts
active member
Sep 8, 2016 - 7:32 AM

Hope you have a great time! We did! One last thing re using your pass - wherever you go, don't forget you need to fill in not just your travel dates but also each and every train you have got on. The conductors are quite strict about this - I forgot a couple of times and was asked to do it in front of them, which is not a big problem but just letting you know!

hansy
hansy
10 posts
new member
Sep 20, 2016 - 6:18 AM in reply to JoeyA

Sorry for the late reply Joey A.

Thanks so much for the info and this last tip!! Really appreciate it!! I'm sure we'll enjoy our trip! ^^

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