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Select Pass for Eurail Including Switzerland

Dear all, I am planning to buy Eurail Select Pass for 4 countries including Switzerland. I tried to book SBB train from Chur to Interlaken but there is no reduction for Eurail. Did I miss some steps? I tried to find answer but there seems to be none. Appreciate if someone can advise. Thanks!

Posted by
39 posts

I think I got my answer. It is because reservation fee is not compulsory in Switzerland. So with my Eurail Pass I can just board the train at the timing I want!

Posted by
8889 posts

Not just "reservation fee is not compulsory", there are no reservations. It is a "turn-up-and-go" service with at least one train per hour.
You do not "book", you turn up at the station, buy a ticket (if you haven't already got a pass) and get on the train - easy.
Beware with the Eurail pass some of the mountain railway companies are not included.

Posted by
39 posts

I made a comparison. With Eurail pass I managed to save Euro172 for 2 person. However I am only going during the summer. I can only compare the prices now. Generally train tickets are more expensive during summer? If yes, then Eurail Pass would benefit me a lot if I take 10 days in 2 mths global pass. I checked all my routes in Eurail time table. It is included. I am taking Bernina Express as well. Thank you so much!

Posted by
8889 posts

I can only compare the prices now. Generally train tickets are more expensive during summer?

No, not true. Prices are the same throughout the year. Tickets for long distance trains in most countries are cheaper if bought in advance (weeks or months), more expensive if bought on the day. Local tickets have a flat price and there is no advantage in buying in advance. When you buy an advance ticket, you have to choose which train and the ticket is only valid on that train.
Switzerland is one of the exceptions to this rule. There are very few discounts for buying in advance, and most tickets are the same price on the day or in advance.

I checked all my routes in Eurail time table

Do you mean you checked prices there? Eurail has a reputation for adding a commission and/or only offering the trains they can sell tickets for.
Check times on the DB (German Railways) website: https://www.bahn.com/en/view/index.shtml
They have the timetables for most rail companies throughout Europe. But to buy tickets (and lookup prices) go to the website of the company running the trains.

Posted by
3661 posts

Before buying a rail pass, go to the widely-recognized expert and study the options: www.seat61.com
The original post here suggests a source of info that does not cover all aspects.

Posted by
39 posts

Hi, yes i did read seat61 blog before I did the comparison. In my comparison, I did take into account the reservation fee as well for the required/compulsory. The total still shows that I can save about Euro171 for 2 pax if I buy the Eurorail Global Pass for 2 at 32% discount (current sales till 31/12/2017).

Posted by
12933 posts

It looks like you will be traveling in France, Switzerland, Italy, and maybe Austria. If you looked at prices in a “Eurail” chart for comparison, you were looking at full fares, which are significantly higher than what you will pay buying tickets in advance. You also need to add the compulsory reservation fees for the fast intercity trains in France and Italy to the cost of a rail pass. And the supplements for travel on certain railways in Switzerland, where a Eurail Pass may cover only 25%.

The national train system in each of those countries except Switzerland will offer deep discounts on tickets for intercity trains bought 2-3 months in advance. These are the prices you should use for comparison. It takes a bit of time to look up the prices, but it is well worth doing. For example, we will go by train from Amsterdam to Basel next July, and will save around €50-60 per ticket by buying in advance from Bahn.de.

But note that these advance tickets are for a specific train, so your flexibility is limited.

We have found that the only country where a rail pass makes sense is Switzerland. And for that we buy a Swiss Pass, not a multi-country Eurail Pass.

Posted by
1353 posts

babyslew,

Be aware that if you are going to spend much time in the Berner Oberland you may want to get a regional pass. You get a discount on this if you have a Eurail select pass that includes Switzerland. There are many nay sayers out there when it comes to rail passes. I know that I could get cheaper fares if I bought all my tickets in advance, but I too have done the math and a rail pass saves me quite a bit over the walk up fares. We are doing several long rail days (4 - 5 hours) and when you do that the rail pass can be a saver. Having missed a couple of trains that I had bought tickets for in advance I see the value in having flexibility to get on any train:)

If you search timetables on the DB website it will say if the reservation is compulsory or not.

Posted by
39 posts

Dear all, thank you so much for your input. I did another comparison taking the March 2018 dates or the furthest the train companies allow me to. Yes u r right. Book in advance is cheaper esp SBB trains. So it is not worth taking Global Pass anymore but if I take only 2 countries Italy and Switzerland, 2nd class, 5 days in 2 mths, it will save me Euro151 (I have included reservation fee for trains in Italy as its compulsory and for SBB trains, reservation is not needed/optional except Bernina Express which I have included as well). I checked the prices of the trains from Italia and also SBB. Then checked whether reservation is required via Eurail's website. Hope I am making the right decision. Europe is so foreign to me. First timer. 2nd honeymoon for 10th year wedding anniversary haha! Thank all. You guys are great!

Posted by
27429 posts

babysiew,

regarding your recent

I have included reservation fee for trains in Italy as its compulsory and for SBB trains, reservation is not needed/optional except Bernina Express which I have included as well). I checked the prices of the trains from Italia and also SBB. Then checked whether reservation is required via Eurail's website. Hope I am making the right decision.

The rules are pretty simple for all fast trains in Italy, regardless if you choose to ride on Trenitalia Freccia trains or .Italo treno (the new Ferrari coloured, partly Ferrari owned private competitor) which only have fast trains. All fast trains are reserved seat only, and only Trenitalia takes the Eurail pass. You can't use it on .Italo trains which is a pity because to me they are better.

All fares on both .Italo and on Trenitalia start off at at least three price points - cheapest (sometimes extremely cheap) which is the least flexible, middle which is still pretty cheap and still pretty inflexible, and full price which allows a change with conditions and can be pretty cheap, compared to the cost of a day of pass use. Normal tickets, at whichever price level, include the mandatory reservation and you get a ticket for a particular seat. Needless to say, the cheapest price levels usually sell out the quickest. Full price tickets sell all the way only extremely rarely. Pass-holder seats don't usually sell out, but you do have to make a non changeable reservation at a fixed cost. Last time I looked that was €10 per leg but may have risen. Some super economy fares between major cities are as low as €9 or €19 including the reservation so you can see that €10 for a pass holder reservation plus the cost of a pass for a day may not work out financially.

Are the legs you are contemplating the same as on your post in the summer, or are you looking at a modified trip?

Posted by
39 posts

Hi Nigel, you still remember my old post! It is the same 5 countries. Italy-Switzerland-Austria-Germany-Paris in 23 days 22 nights. 2 days on the plane so 21 days 20 nights in total. I just bought their airtickets and we are pretty excited!

The reservation fee in Italy trains still at Euro10 per person. I will be using Italia to book my trains in Italy. Basically just Rome-Florence-Venice-Tirano for the Bernina Express.

At Switzerland, it will be Chur-Lucerne. From Lucerne, making small trips to Interlaken, Grindelwald and Lauterbrunnen. Then onward from Lucerne to Zurich.

Using individual train companies' websites, my train rides in these two countries will sum up to Euro600+ for 5 days. If I buy the Eurail pass, select pass for 2 countries, it costs me Euro400+ including reservation/seat fees, 2nd class. Thus I thought it would be best to buy Eurail for 2 countries.

Posted by
12933 posts

A 2-country Pass is still a Eurail,Pass, not a Swiss Pass, so there will be supplemental,fees for some of your travel. For example, if you go to Lauterbrunnen, most of therides after Interlaken are only covered 25%.

Where are you going in Italy? Our travel there, with advance-purchased Economy tix where available ( high-speed trains) has always been so cheap it was not worth covering with a rail pass.

And what do you mean by Italia? The national train site is Trenitalia. Italy Treno is competitively priced. All other ticket sellers are agents who may mark up the prices or charge a fee.