Traveling with train tickets

  • Why does my train ticket say “coach” if I bought a ticket in the Comfort or Premier Category?

    Don’t worry – the word “coach” on the ticket is another word for train car. It doesn’t mean you’ll be traveling in “coach” class.

  • My Rail Europe train tickets were not accepted by the conductor. What do I do?

    Your Rail Europe ticket should be accepted by the train conductor. If for any reason the conductor is unable to accept it, don’t worry – we will work things out with you to understand why it happened and do everything we can for you to be compensated, as appropriate, upon your return to North America.

    However, it is important that you ask the conductor to stamp your Rail Europe ticket “Not Used” with a written note explaining why this ticket could not be accepted by a railway official.

    If you had to purchase a new ticket, keep the new ticket along with its receipt. As soon as you return to North America, contact our customer relations team at or 800-438-RAIL. You will then need to send us a letter at the address below, explaining what happened, along with the unused tickets and receipt with all supporting information allowing us to promptly review your claim.

    • Rail Europe
      Attn: Customer Relations
      1350 E. Touhy Avenue
      Suite 200E 
      Des Plaines, IL 60018

  • Can I take any train that travels between the two cities for which I bought my train ticket, or do I have to take a specific train?

    It depends what kind of tickets were issued to you for your itinerary.

    In most cases, Rail Europe issues tickets that include a reservation whenever required or possible.

    If your tickets include a reservation, then you can only board the train for which the reservation was issued.

    If you were issued open tickets along with a stand-alone reservation you may board a different train and forfeit your reservation, using only the open ticket portion of your travel documents. If you do so, make sure the train you’re planning to take doesn’t offer or require reservations.

    If you were issued a plain open ticket, then yes – you are indeed allowed to board any train traveling between the cities for which your open ticket was issued.

    The only exception to this last point is certain trains that require reservations, but that we are unable to issue. This may happen in Portugal, Greece, Hungary, Romania and some other Balkan nations. In this case, we can only sell you an open ticket and you will need to buy your reservation locally at the station. If this is the case, a warning message will appear when you book your fare on our website advising that reservations are required but not included.

  • What language is spoken at the train station and on the train?

    You can expect the train station and staff onboard the train to speak the local dialect. The station and onboard announcements will also be in the language of the departure station. If you are traveling on an international train, the dialect onboard may change to the native language of the country you are traveling in.

  • Can I get off the train and get back on later using my train ticket?

    In most cases, this is not possible. Train tickets that include a reservation are only valid for a single ride on the train for which the reservation was issued. While stepping off the train is possible if the train makes intermediary stops, you wouldn’t be allowed to resume your trip by boarding another train with the same ticket. Your train ticket is only valid on the train printed on it.

    Open train tickets may be the exception. They can allow you to hop off and back on another train on a given route to continue your itinerary, as long as that new train doesn’t require or offer reservations. Special conditions do apply for breaks on regional trains, so it’s a good idea to confirm locally.

    If you’re traveling with an open ticket and and a reservation for your original train, you forfeit that reservation for the remaining part of your journey when you hop off. You may hop back on another train that doesn’t require a reservation, but you’d essentially be traveling with an open train ticket only and not have a reserved seat. Again, special conditions do apply for breaks on regional trains, so it is a good idea to confirm locally.

  • Why doesn’t my train ticket show my date or time of travel?

    This is because your train ticket is an open ticket. It may be used on any train that doesn’t require a reservation, operating between the cities listed on your train  ticket, and on any date within the validity period printed on the ticket.

  • What should I do if the train is late?

    It depends if you’re traveling with train tickets that include a reservation or with open tickets. If your train ticket includes a reservation, then it’s only valid for travel on the train for which it was issued. If the train is late, you’ll need to wait until it arrives.

    If you’re traveling with open tickets you can decide to take another train, as long is it doesn’t require a reservation and travels the same route as the one for which your open ticket was issued.

  • What should I do if I missed my scheduled train? Can I take the next one?

    It depends on what kind of train ticket you have.

    If you’re traveling with open tickets, you can take any train that doesn’t require a reservation, traveling on the route for which your open ticket was issued.

    If you have an open train ticket and a reservation, you can forfeit your reservation and still use your open ticket on a train running on the same route that doesn’t require a reservation.

    If your train ticket is a combined ticket and reservation, then you cannot simply board the next train. You may need to purchase a new train ticket for that train or exchange your current ticket for a new one. And this is where it gets a little tricky, depending on the delivery method you chose for your ticket.

    First, read the exchange conditions for your train ticket. This can be found printed with your actual ticket if you have a paper ticket, or on your Rail Europe email invoice. This will allow you to determine whether your train ticket is exchangeable or not. Typically, there are three types of train tickets: non-flexible, semi-flexible and flexible.

    If you have a non-flexible ticket (i.e. your ticket is not exchangeable or refundable at all), then you will have to purchase a new train ticket, regardless of the delivery method of your ticket.

    If you have a semi-flexible or flexible ticket (i.e. your train ticket can be exchanged for a fee and/or under certain conditions), then you may be able to exchange your current ticket for a new one. In general, these exchanges must take place prior to the train’s departure.

    Call us as soon as possible to initiate the exchange process, before the train’s departure. If you are unable to reach us by phone, seek the assistance of a station agent. Never board a train with a train ticket that includes a reservation for a different train, unless specifically authorized to do so by a railway official.


  • What should I do if my train ticket is lost or stolen?

    If your paper ticket is lost or stolen, you’ll need to purchase a new one in order to travel.

    If you purchased the Rail Protection Plan™ and your ticket is covered, you may be eligible for reimbursement if you meet the requirements of this plan that includes filing a police report within 24 hours of the loss or theft and purchasing replacement rail ticket. Read more about the Rail Protection Plan™  and learn how to file a claim.

  • Can I give or resell my train ticket to someone else? Or can I travel with someone else’s ticket?

    It depends if the train ticket has your name printed on it or not. In general, most tickets that include a reservation are name-specific and should only be used by the traveler whose name is printed.

    Open tickets, on the other hand, are not name-specific. Different travelers can use them as long as the new traveler is eligible for the fare issued.