The Europe Rail pass

Nov 20th, 2005, 04:43 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 23
The Europe Rail pass

I have been looking into different ways to travel throughout europe and the rail pass seems to be the most usefull. It is? Is it worth the money? I dont want to spend that kind of money and then find it useless once i get to europe
sharmon is offline  
Nov 20th, 2005, 04:55 PM
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First of all - there are MANY types of rail passes. Whether any of them work for you, we'd need to know where you plan on traveling (which countries) and for how long.

Many times individual point to point tickets are cheaper than rail passes.
janisj is online now  
Nov 20th, 2005, 05:07 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 33,380
As Janis says, there are many different kinds of railpasses, ranging from most of Western Europe, to a few countries, to a single country. Then they vary by time period, class, etc.

They aren't useless, they do what they say, but I don't think are usually cost-effective unless you plan to do very extensive train travel.
Christina is online now  
Nov 20th, 2005, 05:08 PM
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It isn't so much that it's useless - - it's overpriced, and encourages you to think that the more miles you travel by train, the more of Europe you will see. The opposite is true.

There is a spectrum of outlooks on the purchase of any "rail pass" among the "regulars" on this forum - - and I am at one end of that spectrum - - believing that there are almost NO circumstances when a rail pass purchase is a good idea.


1. You're a traveling salesman and need to call on twenty clients in twenty different cities in ten days, or

2. You have thought out your itinerary carefully and it would work best to do some train travel and two separate one-day car rentals - - in this case, a Rail'n'Drive pass may cost less than than the two separate one-day car rentals (frequently, a one-day car rental costs the same as a three-day car rental).

For most other itineraries, the web site will show you the savings you will realize by simply buying the ordinary ("point-to-point") rail tickets you need. Make sure you click on "only if it saves me money". On some occasions, two travelers on the same itinerary will get a modest savings with a rail pass. And some travel in Switzerland seems to benefit from a Swiss pass (which does not need to be purchased from as far as I know).

For every one else who talks about reasons to buy a rail pass - - I say - - the itinerary has you moving around too much, and you're seeing the inside of a rail car, instead of seeing Europe (see the movie "Before Sunrise" - - in 40 days in Europe, the Ethan Hawke character confesses that he had not left the train all that often).

See where you are more... move around less.

Best wishes,

rex is offline  
Nov 21st, 2005, 08:01 AM
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ira is offline  
Nov 21st, 2005, 12:40 PM
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Your question is not possible to answer without more information. You need to have an itinerary planned out then price the various rail pass options against point-to-point tickets.

It certainly would not be "useless" but could be more expensive than necessary for transportation, depending on how long you will be in Europe and how often you will be using a train.
suze is online now  

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