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Old Jun 1, 11, 11:16 am   #1
 
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How does a EU Rail Pass work?

I'm trying to figure out if I'll be able to take full advantage of the EU Rail pass whether it's global or regional. I'm not an EU resident nor am I over the age of 26.

I don't quite understand the wording. When it says 5 days within 2 months, does the clock start ticking the minute I start using it? Or it's any 5 days within a span of 2 months?

Thanks!
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Old Jun 1, 11, 11:56 am   #2
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for a good start ... let's try in the european rail forum

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Old Jun 1, 11, 1:34 pm   #3
 
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Originally Posted by lsquare View Post
I'm trying to figure out if I'll be able to take full advantage of the EU Rail pass whether it's global or regional. I'm not an EU resident nor am I over the age of 26.

I don't quite understand the wording. When it says 5 days within 2 months, does the clock start ticking the minute I start using it? Or it's any 5 days within a span of 2 months?

Thanks!
For the flexipass, it's - in this case - any 5 days of your choice within the 2-month period. You will have to write the days you choose on the pass. You can do this as you go along - you don't have to decide them in advance, and they don't have to be together.
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Old Jun 1, 11, 2:47 pm   #4
 
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for a good start ... let's try in the european rail forum

regards,

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europe forum
Oops, Sorry!
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Old Jun 1, 11, 2:50 pm   #5
 
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For the flexipass, it's - in this case - any 5 days of your choice within the 2-month period. You will have to write the days you choose on the pass. You can do this as you go along - you don't have to decide them in advance, and they don't have to be together.
Will any of the EU Rail passes work this way? If what you say is true, how does the EU rail company prevent people from committing fraud by erasing the previous dates and write in a new one?

There is a problem at the moment. I'm currently living in Leicester, UK, but I'm not a European resident/citizen. Can I order one while I'm in the UK?
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Old Jun 1, 11, 2:58 pm   #6
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Will any of the EU Rail passes work this way? If what you say is true, how does the EU rail company prevent people from committing fraud by erasing the previous dates and write in a new one?
all I am aware of work this way. train staff will validate it when they check for tickets and you cannot erase a ball pen, can you?
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Old Jun 1, 11, 4:05 pm   #7
 
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all I am aware of work this way. train staff will validate it when they check for tickets and you cannot erase a ball pen, can you?
No, but what if someone use a pencil?
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Old Jun 1, 11, 4:47 pm   #8
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No, but what if someone use a pencil?
It has to be done in INK (can you can use erasable ink pens and get away with it). I've used flexible passes in Switzerland, when the conductor did his ticket check, he used his official dating stamp and put the mark over the entire box (containing the date)--so it would be hard to erase and write over the stamp. In France they don't place the stamp when they check tickets. One date saver with flexpasses, if you are taking an overnight train that departs after 7 pm, you list the next day as your date.

Last edited by nrr; Jun 1, 11 at 4:57 pm..
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Old Jun 2, 11, 12:37 am   #9
 
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There is a problem at the moment. I'm currently living in Leicester, UK, but I'm not a European resident/citizen. Can I order one while I'm in the UK?
For buying Eurail passes while you're in Europe, see here.
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Old Jun 2, 11, 12:38 am   #10
 
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Eurail Passes

You said that you are not over 26. If you are UNDER 26 you are eligible for a Youth Eurail pass (OK, only 2nd class allowed but still very comfortable) & this makes a great difference to the price. You need to work out how flexible you wish to be about your travelling. If you are definite about how long you wish to spend in each city you may be able to get advance booking that are cheaper than the pass. However, if you want to be able to vary your stays in certain places you'll need to get a pass as advance bookings are for specific day AND train. So you need to plan the train trips you wish to do and see how many travel days they add up to. Then you can determine if you need a Global (unlimited) pass, a Select (flexible) pass (typically 10 or 15 days in 2 months) or whether you can commit to fixed dates this far in advance.

I'd also strongly recommend you reference Mark Smith's excellent site Seat61.com. He has very detailed information on various passes & where to buy them, & equally detailed stuff on booking & buying point to point tickets. His site will also provide access to route planners which will allow you see see how your itinerary hangs together.

Good luck

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Old Jun 2, 11, 1:50 am   #11
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Originally Posted by nrr View Post
It has to be done in INK (can you can use erasable ink pens and get away with it). I've used flexible passes in Switzerland, when the conductor did his ticket check, he used his official dating stamp and put the mark over the entire box (containing the date)--so it would be hard to erase and write over the stamp. In France they don't place the stamp when they check tickets. One date saver with flexpasses, if you are taking an overnight train that departs after 7 pm, you list the next day as your date.
You must also have your date written in BEFORE you board the train.. or at least when you're already in your seat. Trying to avoid getting checked or simply saying you 'forgot' means that you're trying to travel without a valid ticket / pass and you could be liable to a fine.

If you've entered a wrong date down, you cannot simply cross it out and put in a new date. It is voided, which means you LOST that day and you must put in a new date in a new box.
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Old Jun 2, 11, 2:18 am   #12
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You must also have your date written in BEFORE you board the train.. or at least when you're already in your seat. Trying to avoid getting checked or simply saying you 'forgot' means that you're trying to travel without a valid ticket / pass and you could be liable to a fine.

If you've entered a wrong date down, you cannot simply cross it out and put in a new date. It is voided, which means you LOST that day and you must put in a new date in a new box.
I'd be "rich" today if I had $1 for everyone who did NOT place the date on a flex. EP--in every instance (that I've witnessed), the conductor admonished them for their laxity and wrote in the date. [The official rules are somewhat Draconian = fines.]
(1) A long time ago, I was using a full 21 day EP, and the station agent who wrote in the start and end dates, short changed me out of a day (inclusive counts are tricky with non monthly type passes) so he just corrected his error by correcting the end date by writing over it. I expected to run into trouble (due to the correction) and for 21 days of travel NOT once did a conductor say anything.
(2) In Switzerland, I was validating a Swiss Pass shortly before the end of the year, the agent wrote the current year as part of the end date--it should have been the next year, again (after I pointed out his error) he corrected the error by writing the correct year over the incorrect one--again I experienced NO problems.
Conductors and other rail people, realize that pax (and others) do make errors and are fairly forgiving, especially when tourists are involved.
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Old Jun 5, 11, 10:52 pm   #13
 
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seat limitations with Eurail passes

You must write in the date of your ticket prior to ticket inspection by the conductors. Only once have I seen a conductor make a big deal about forgetting to do so. usually they will write it in for you if you forget. Please be aware that there are a limited amount of seats on any train that are sold to eurail pass holders. There are usually seats available for full fare tickets. Some train lines, such as the night trains from Paris to cities in Italy or from Rome to Paris, may be sold out for pass holders 2 to 3 months in advance. On a recent trip through France and Italy I had to pay full fare on two occasions because the tickets alotted for pass holders were sold out. I had a 6 day pass but was able to use it only 4 times. While the savings with the pass are good you cannot always count on getting the train you want. This is not good if you are on a tight or fixed schedule.
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Old Jun 6, 11, 5:10 pm   #14
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Originally Posted by RICKYLO View Post
You must write in the date of your ticket prior to ticket inspection by the conductors. Only once have I seen a conductor make a big deal about forgetting to do so. usually they will write it in for you if you forget. Please be aware that there are a limited amount of seats on any train that are sold to eurail pass holders. There are usually seats available for full fare tickets. Some train lines, such as the night trains from Paris to cities in Italy or from Rome to Paris, may be sold out for pass holders 2 to 3 months in advance. On a recent trip through France and Italy I had to pay full fare on two occasions because the tickets alotted for pass holders were sold out. I had a 6 day pass but was able to use it only 4 times. While the savings with the pass are good you cannot always count on getting the train you want. This is not good if you are on a tight or fixed schedule.
In the 60's (when I first used a EP) things were so "simple", you bought a 1 month, 2 month or 3 month pass (there were no youth passes then either), all reservations were included and except for TEE's no reservations were required. Now with over 50 types of passes and reservation only trains, as you noted, you can't easily go from point A to point B (if you are a pass holder).
But, if one is flexible and you have lots of time, there are ways around the restrictions, use local trains. Unfortunately, there are exceptions, Paris to Brussels seems to require the Thalys--I'm sure they are busily creating routes to prevent my method.
[PS: There were lots of first class couches on the night trains, and hoards of pax would make use of this feature--go from point A, overnight, to B and save on hotels.
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Old Jun 6, 11, 11:16 pm   #15
 
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Talking

Beware of 3 changing trends in regard of rail pass use:

- the number of trains requiring reservation (thus, fees for pass holders) is increasing. All but regional very slow, stop-everywhere services in Italy and Spain require reservation, for instance.

- Trenitalia and SNCF are aggressively introducing pass holder quotas. This mean that if you train to reserve a seat in a train with a pass, they will tell you there are not places, while one would be able to buy a ticket (without a pass) on the same train. Think of something akin to airlines limiting the availability of miles redemption passengers in each flight and all but blacklisting the most busy days of the year....

- joint-venture and niche companies like Thalys, Elypsos, Eurostar are racking up reservation fees, to the point it is usually cheaper to buy stand-alone advanced tickets Parix-Amsterdam or London-Bruxelles (for instance) with discount instead of paying hefty reservation fees. These companies all have pass holder quotas, particularly Thalys.

The fact is that with internet and the ready information about anything concerning tourist services like lodging, restaurant reservations etc., it is odd and even a bit outdated to want "complete flexibility" (that no longer exists) for rail transport. Complete flexibility is now the dominion of car drivers on vacation who can always decide what to do after breakfast.
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