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
- 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.
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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 31 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 print my rail pass at the station?
A. At this time, most rail passes are printed as a paper document and must be shipped to you prior to your departure to Europe. If a rail pass is offered as an e-pass this option will be offered at the time of booking. For rail passes offered as e-passes, you will need to print it out on paper prior to arriving at the train station..
Q. Do you offer maps of European train stations?
A. We do offer links to Google Maps for many European train stations. At this time we do not have specific layouts of any train station interiors in Europe.
Q. Can I share my rail pass with others (family, friends, or charity)?
A. No. Rail passes are strictly personal and non-transferable. A rail pass is valid only upon presentation of a passport. Therefore the name(s) printed on the rail pass must match the traveller’s identification.
Q. I’ve bought a print at the station e ticket. What do I need to do before getting on the train?
A. When you book a print at the station e-ticket 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. Simply print the actual paper ticket from a self-service kiosk at the train station prior to your train’s departure.
For all print at the station e-tickets, you’ll need to print the tickets before boarding your train. Your Rail Europe confirmation email is not a train ticket.
For certain routes where this ticketing method is offered, it’s possible that the kiosk to print out the ticket can only be found in the station of origin but not in the station of arrival. For instance, if you have purchased a roundtrip journey as a print at the station e-ticket, you need to make sure to print out both your outbound and inbound train tickets in the station of origin - as you will not be able to retrieve your inbound ticket (return ticket) in the station of arrival. An example of this is a trip originating in France and going into Italy, or a trip from Paris to Amsterdam.
Q. Are there ATMs on board?
A. While there are ATMs located in most major European train stations, there are none on the trains themselves.
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. How can I access on-demand training videos, online training registration, and webinars?
A. Visit the Training & Education Resources page to access Rail Europe’s 1-hour Online Training classes, On-Demand Training videos, and TRAC - The Rail Agent Course. These tools will assist you in becoming a true European Rail Expert!
During our 1-hour Online Training Classes, our expert Sales and Training staff will show you how to utilize agent resources, navigate the website, create rail pass and train ticket bookings, and much more. To register for an upcoming (live) Online Training class, access the Training Resources page after logging on to agent.raileurope.com. Under the Upcoming Webinars section, select "reserve your session today" and follow the registration prompts. If you can’t make it to one of these sessions, be sure to view our library of On-Demand Training videos located on the Training & Education Resources home page.
Q. I want to refund my rail pass. How do I proceed?
A. If you have an unused, unvalidated rail pass that you would like to submit for a refund, please visit our Cancellation and Refunds page. Be sure to review the refund and exchange policies for your rail pass prior to purchase so you are aware of any penalties or return fees.
When you are ready to mail your rail pass to us for a refund, it is strongly recommended that you send these documents by some type of traceable mail for proof of delivery.
Q. What other types of services are available at the station?
A. Most European train stations provide a variety of services, including currency exchanges, information desks, lockers for luggage, arrival/departure boards, restrooms, coffee shops, and gift shops. Some larger stations in larger cities have WiFi hotspots, lounges for business travellers, and restaurants and bars.
View our Train Station page to see specifics on a particular train station in Europe. The link can be found in the footer on any page on the website.
Q. How early should I arrive at the train station?
A. We advise travellers to arrive at least 30 minutes prior to departure. This allows you time to clear any security checks and locate the platform where your train will be departing. If you are departing from a larger train station (typically a city’s main station) and need to activate your rail pass prior to boarding, you will want to arrive even earlier to make sure you have enough time to get your rail pass activated and avoid doing a luggage-hauling sprint through the station.