Just noticed this Fodor's Ultimate Guide to European Rail Passes and think it is relevant to anyone pondering a railpass but it doesn't note some huge changes in Eurailpasses since January 2015 where some passes declined in price and there are new Global Eurailpasses of shorter lengths and cheaper prices.
And with the Select Pass now the price is figured like the old Inter-Rail once did - you buy each of the 4 countries you want at varying prices - thus a pass in the Balkans can be really cheap - in keeping with low ticket prices there, etc.
I'll use this as a launchpad to note some of the new changes - like a Eurail Youthpass now available in 1st class, etc. as well as giving the pros and cons of railpasses - I am a huge fan on railpasses - having used literally a few hundred separate ones in my decades of European rail travel but they ain't for everyone or even today most travelers though some of the new changes makes them in some cases much more viable.
Travel agents often blindly sell passes to clients because it is easy and they are easy to use but manhy times the client is not doing enough trains to warrant a pass. And OTOH folks now going to the discountred ticket route also do that blindly - ending up with a hodgepodge of distcounted and highly restricted tickets - no changes from a specific train usually - no or steep refund penalties, etc. - ending up with a series of 2nd-class discounted tickets when a first-class pass may cost only a little or no more.
Do your research before buying a pass - check real fares on the European rail sites listed in the Fodor's article I link to above - other great sources for European train ticket and pass info include these fine IMO sites: www.budgeteuropetravel.com; www.ricksteves.com and www.seat61.com - the last site totally hypes discounted tickets and thus is a great source for discounted tickets.
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