This is a truly incredible offer on some of the most scenic railways in all of Europe. The Swiss Half Fare Card isn’t just a Swiss train discount of 50% that lasts a month! It’s a Swiss train discount, and a Swiss bus discount, and a Swiss boat discount, and a Swiss mountain railway discount, at 50% off, all lasting for a full month! That’s a Swiss half fare that’s ideal for longer stays in Switzerland, especially since there’s public transportation in 75 towns and cities to use it in! How about that! A country that’s already famous for chocolate found a way to be even more tempting!
Due to the current global pandemic, Rail Europe is taking all precautionary measures to keep our employees and communities safe. Electronic passes (Swiss Travel Pass, Britrail England and Renfe) are still available for purchase. We have temporarily suspended the sale, printing and shipping of all paper travel documents (including EURAIL).
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
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 33 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
For many trains in Switzerland, seat reservations are not required. Simply board the train with your rail pass and choose 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.
Rail pass benefits
More than just trains
And the Swiss Half Fare Card is packed with bonuses to make your trip even more enjoyable. You'll get discounts on buses and trains or hotels or cruises or ferries or museums or activities, and more.
With the Swiss Half Fare Card, the benefits like the connections it provides - are everywhere. Whether you are an adventurous traveler or avid planner, the Swiss Half Fare Card is your pass to freedom and an unforgettable journey of discovery.
Main discounts and bonuses in Swiss Half Fare Card
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Common Questions, Simple Answers
Q. I bought the Rail Protection Plan™. Can I exchange my train ticket, even though the ticket is non exchangeable?
A. One of the greatest benefits of the Rail Protection Plan™ is that it provides you with the total flexibility to change your train ticket or rail pass – regardless of its refund/exchange policy- no questions asked. With the Rail Protection Plan™ you’re also protected in the event of a railroad strike, or the loss or theft of paper tickets or rail passes.
Q. Are there discounts available for rail passes?
A. Yes, many rail passes offer discounted options. The most common discounts are:
Child discount: Children between 4 -11 years of age usually travel for half the price of the regular adult rate. Most Eurail passes offer free travel for up to two children per adult pass holder.
Youth Discount: If you or anyone in your party is a traveller aged 12 to under 28 years of age on the first date of travel, discounted rates are available for certain rail passes.
Senior Discount: Seniors over the age of 60 are eligible for a discounted rate on certain rail passes.
Saver Discount: Small groups of 2 to 5 people traveling together are eligible for savings of about 15% on certain rail passes.
Group Discount: If you travel in a party of 10 or more, see our special group offers for a more customized travel solution.
Q. Are all products eligible for Rail Protection Plan™ coverage?
A. Rail passes, train tickets, reservations, and select city passes and tours are eligible for Rail Protection Plan™ coverage.
All other categories of products including hotels and select activities are not eligible for coverage at this time. Please read the detailed Rail Protection Plan™ policy for more information.
Q. What do I need to show to the conductor when traveling by train with a rail pass?
A. While traveling with a rail pass, you will need to show the conductor your pass. Be sure your pass is activated prior to boarding the train. For trains that require reservations, be sure to have your valid reservations ready to show the conductor, as well. Lastly, it is not uncommon for a conductor to request to see your passport, best to keep it handy.
Q. In the event of a strike, is my rail pass covered under the Rail Protection Plan™?
A. In general no – the Rail Protection Plan™ doesn’t provide specific coverage for rail passes, city passes, or tours in the event a strike occurs during your travels.
During a strike, there are usually trains that operate along all routes, as well as substitute buses. While you may not be able to take the exact train you were planning on using, there are usually trains or some other method of transportation that can get you to where you need to go.
In case a severe strike occurs that significantly prevents you from using your pass as intended, you may contact our customer relations team. We will review your particular circumstances and may provide compensation, if appropriate.
Q. How much luggage can I take on an overnight train?
A. There are usually no restrictions on the amount of luggage that may be brought on an overnight train, but there is limited space in the compartment to store the luggage. A small luggage rack and any floor or bed space must be shared among all travellers occupying a sleeping compartment or couchette.
Q. I’m leaving for Europe within 3 days and need to buy train tickets or rail passes. What are my options?
A. Some European train operators now offer electronic ticketing. If the train you’re interested in offers this, you can buy a train ticket up until its day of travel and retrieve it locally at the station using your unique e-ticket confirmation code or by printing it at home before you leave.
Currently, e-tickets are only offered on Eurostar, Thalys, Renfe, Talgo, Italo & Trenitalia along with select German, French (including international TGVs), and British trains. This type of ticketing will be available on other routes in the near future. At this time, the only rail passes available as e-passes are the Renfe Spain Pass and Swiss Travel Pass.
All other trains, certain activity vouchers, and rail passes must be issued as a paper document and mailed to you prior to your departure. If you’re leaving within three days, you should contact us via our Contact Us page and we’ll be able to advise whether there’s enough time for you to get your train ticket or rail pass prior to your leaving for Europe.
Q. If my train tickets have been lost or stolen, how do I request reimbursement through the Rail Protection Plan™?
A. Here’s what you need to do if your train ticket, rail pass, reservation, city pass or tour was lost or stolen and you plan to request receive a reimbursement through the Rail Protection Plan™.
You must file a police report within 24 hours of the incident.
You may purchase a replacement rail pass, train ticket, reservation, city pass or tour in order to continue with your travel plans.
Upon return home, you must submit the traveller request form to Rail Europe within 30 days, along with a copy of the police report, replacement rail pass, train ticket, reservation, city pass, or tour purchased abroad, and your roundtrip airline tickets from home to Europe. A brief explanation of the situation is also necessary to better evaluate the traveller request form.
If you purchased the Rail Protection Plan™ when you booked your train ticket/rail pass/reservation/city pass/tour, you received full documentation on what to do in the event of loss or theft. Please refer to this information for full details.
Q. How can I track the status of my refund?
A. To check the status of your refund, you can visit our Contact Us page to send us a message. Please be sure to include your original booking number so that the refund request can be researched.
Refunds processed online for e-tickets are completed immediately. Emails received for e-ticket refunds will be processed on the next business day.
Refunds for paper documents cannot be completed entirely online because your original travel documents must be sent back to us. They will be processed within 1-2 business days after the documents are received by Rail Europe. Our Customer Relations team will contact you once your refund is processed.
Please note that once a refund has been processed, it will take 7-10 business days for it to reflect in your credit card account.
Q. If I register on your site, will I start receiving spam?
A. Rail Europe will never spam you! Upon registering, you will only receive booking and/or account related messages, as well as occasional promotion information email from Rail Europe. If you chose to subscribe to our newsletter, you can expect to receive this publication as well (typically twice a month). Of course, you have the option to unsubscribe to at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link found at the bottom of the newsletter.