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. Do I need to do anything with my rail pass before boarding the train?
A. Yes. You will need to visit the ticket window at the train station before boarding your first train to activate your rail pass. A railroad official will enter the first and last day of validity on your rail pass and stamp your rail pass. You will have to show your passport, and the name on your rail pass will need to match it. Then, in case of a flexi-pass, for each day you use your rail pass you will need to enter the date in the designated travel calendar box on your rail pass. If you board a train and have not entered the date, when the conductor comes around to check your travel documents you may be subject to a fine and the payment of full fare ticket that will need to be paid in local currency directly to the conductor. Be sure to read all documentation that accompanies your rail pass prior to departure. The more you know about your rail pass, the more likely you are to avoid issues onboard the train.
Q. I just placed a booking and realized I made a mistake. How can I make changes?
A. If you need to get in touch with us regarding your booking, please visit our Contact Us page for assistance. As long as it hasn’t been invoiced yet, it’s usually not a problem to fix it. However, please note that an exchange fee and price change may be applicable depending on what needs to be changed.
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. What do I do with my luggage?
A. 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 items can be stored in racks found near the train door entrance.
In addition, you’re responsible for your luggage. The railways assume no responsibility in case of loss or theft of baggage carried on board.
If you’re traveling on Eurostar, Thalys or a TGV, you’re limited to two large items per traveller (maximum 85cm in any one dimension), plus one small item of hand luggage. On most high speed trains there’s room for luggage above the seats and for larger items at the end of each coach.
Be advised that when traveling on Eurostar, Thalys or any French train, you must properly label your bag(s) with your first and last name. In general, it is a good idea to keep luggage tags on your baggage for easy identification.
Q. What does the “Login with Facebook” button do?
A. The “Login with Facebook” button allows you to log in to the Rail Europe website with your Facebook login credentials, even if you have never registered to the Rail Europe website before.
Q. Are the train tickets you send me the actual tickets, or do I need to exchange them at the station?
A. If you selected the paper delivery option, then yes – the travel documents you receive from us in the mail are your actual train tickets. Do not lose them, because we cannot replace them.
Only the original paper ticket will be accepted onboard the train. No other document such as a print out of the email invoice can be used in lieu of the original paper train ticket.
Q. I understand that some of the train stations in Italy now have gates. How do I get to my train?
A. Some of the high traffic train stations in Italy, such as Milan Centrale, Rome Termini, and Florence Santa Maria Novella stations now have entry/exit gates. Access through these gates is exclusively reserved for ticket holders. It is suggested that you have your print at home or print at the station ticket ready to present upon arriving at these security gates.
Q. I have a question about my Rail Europe Gift Card. Who should I contact?
A. Just send us a message on our Contact Us page and we will respond to you via email within 24 to 48 hours.
Q. Can I bring food and drinks on board?
A. Of course you can! Eating and drinking are permitted on all European trains.
You will also have the option to purchase food and drinks if the train you’re traveling on offers food services.
Q. I’ve written the wrong date on my rail pass travel calendar box. What should I do?
A. If the wrong date is written in the travel calendar box, you will need to enter the correct date in the next travel calendar box. Unfortunately, once the date has been entered in the travel calendar box, it cannot be corrected and there’s no way to recover that travel day on the rail pass. Be very careful when filling out the date on your rail pass as mistakes cannot be corrected. An altered travel date could be viewed as an attempt of fraud and could lead to fines or other penalties.