Passes and Tickets: Delivery options explained.
- The delivery option supported by each product
- Whether you’re still in North America, and if so how close you are from your date of departure to Europe when placing your order – or if you’re already in Europe.
First, let’s go over the possible delivery methods that exist for European train tickets and rail passes.
- Paper delivery: the rail pass or train ticket is physically printed by us at the Rail Europe fulfillment center and shipped to you via UPS. For paper delivery, you can choose between 2-3 day shipping, overnight shipping, and international shipping (for shipping to Mexico or the Caribbean islands).
- Print at home e-ticket: the train ticket is issued as a pdf which can either be individually emailed to you or downloaded via a link contained in your Rail Europe email confirmation. With this method, you must print the pdf (using any printer) in order to board the train.
- Print at the station e-ticket: you will receive a 6 or 8 letter e-ticket number (also known as PNR or Passenger Name Record) in your Rail Europe confirmation email, which you then enter into a self-service kiosk at the train station in Europe to print out your actual train ticket.
Print at home e-tickets and print at the station e-tickets are considered “electronic” delivery methods, since no physical shipment is made.
It must be noted that a given product does not always offer all three delivery methods. In fact, most products support only one or two of these methods, and many products are still only offered as paper document. For instance, all rail passes are only offered as paper document. Here are some examples:
- a train ticket from London to Paris offers all three delivery methods
- a train ticket from Paris to Amsterdam offers all three delivery methods
- a train ticket from Paris to Berlin only offers paper delivery
- a train ticket from London to Edinburgh Waverley only offers print at the station e-tickets
Therefore, if you purchase multiple train tickets or rail passes in a single order, it’s possible the products you’ve picked will arrive by different delivery methods, as per the delivery option selected by you at checkout. You may receive part of your order as paper documents via mail, while other parts of your order may be issued as print at home or print at the station e-tickets. It’s important to pay attention to the delivery option selected for each product when you checkout so you’ll know what’s coming through the mail and what will be delivered electronically.
Now let’s see how ordering from Europe or North America influences your delivery options.
If the date you place your order is too close to your date of departure to Europe, or if you’re already in Europe, paper delivery won’t be available. This means that if the product you want to book can only be issued as paper document, we won’t be able to sell you this product at all. Products that support print at home or print at the station e-tickets can be sold at any time, whether you’re in North America or Europe, up to 1 hour before train departure. Here’s a list of available delivery options based on how far in advance you book from your date of departure:
- In North America, more than 5 days before departure to Europe: all delivery options possible, paper and electronic.
- In North America, within 3 to 5 days of departure to Europe: overnight delivery only for paper tickets, electronic delivery anytime for the products that offer it.
- Less than 3 days from departure to Europe or in Europe: no paper delivery possible, only products offering electronic delivery can be sold.
If you have an order containing a mix of products, some of which are only eligible for paper delivery and some which offer electronic delivery, and if you are placing your order within 3 days from your date of departure to Europe or are already there, we will not be able to sell you the products that only offer paper delivery. You will be prompted to remove them from your cart during checkout on our website.
A last word about print at the station e-tickets. As explained, these train tickets must be retrieved using a self-service kiosk at the train station prior to departure. For certain routes where this ticketing method is offered, it’s possible that the kiosk to print out the ticket can only be found in the station of origin but not in the station of arrival. For instance, if you have purchased a roundtrip journey as a print at the station e-ticket, you need to make sure to print out both your outbound and inbound train tickets in the station of origin- you will not be able to retrieve your inbound ticket (return ticket) in the station of arrival. An example of this is trips originating in France and going into Italy, or trips from Paris to Amsterdam on the Thalys.