Harder KulmSwiss Travel System
- Children under 16 travel for free.
travellers in 2015
years of rail travel experience
Things to know
Who can buy a rail pass?Any person living outside the participating countries can use the Harder Kulm. Please note that residents of Switzerland and Liechtenstein are not eligible.
A seat reservation is a guaranteed seat on board a train.
Seat reservations are compulsory for high speed, international and night trains. However, as you will be travelling with a rail pass, you will only have to pay for a small reservation fee, as opposed to the usual standard fare.
Seats are generally available for reservation up to 90 days prior to departure and are limited. Book early to secure your seat!
We are not currently offering online seat reservations for high speed, international and night trains covered by the BritRail passes.You can book your seat reservation directly from train stations once you are in the United Kingdom.
Most regional trains do not require a seat reservation. Just hop on board with a valid rail pass, find a seat and relax as the train takes you to one of the many destinations served.
How to use a rail pass?
You must start using your rail pass within 6 months of the date of purchase.
To start using your rail pass, go to a European railway station where a railway official will fill-in your passport number and stamp your rail pass. On each travel day, please remember to write down the date on your rail pass.
Passengers travelling without having written down the above information risk a fine and payment of a full fare ticket.
A travel day lasts 24 hours from midnight to midnight.You can take as many trains as you want during a travel day.
The 7 pm rule allows you to benefit from a free travel day if the following conditions are met:
- Your pass should be activated.
- You must travel on board a night train departing after 7 pm and this should be your first trip of the day.
- You must reach your destination after 4 am on the next day.
- Your arrival date should be within the validity of the pass.
The validity is the number of travel days of a rail pass.
For a rail pass with a validity of 5 days within 1 month. If you activate your rail pass on the 1st of the month, you can travel on the 3rd, 4th, 7th, 12th and 30th of this month.
Most rail passes include discounts and bonuses. Save money and make the most of your trip with your rail pass.
When available you will get hotel discounts, free entrance to museums, discounted boat trips and more.
Interactive Rail Map
Use our interactive travel map to plan your trip and view the rail network of each country covered by your rail pass.
- A. You can get free (or cheap) boat trips, discounts on rail travel, free admission in museums, a 50% discount on mountain top excursions and more. You can obtain these benefits locally by showing your Swiss pass, or you can contact the specific benefit company in advance. The discount benefits apply during the validity of your Swiss pass, whereas free passage on trains, buses or ferries is only valid on travel days.
- A. Passes are non-transferable as travelers name appears on the Railpass, and are valid for 6 months from date of purchase, which offers you the opportunity to reschedule your trip.
- A. TGV Lyria offers direct, high speed services between Paris-Gare de Lyon, Dijon and cities such as Geneva, Lausanne, Basel, Neuchatel, Bern and Zurich. During winter, TGV Lyria snow train connects you directly from Paris to the charming resorts of the canton of Vaud (including Château-d’Oex, Leysin, Les Diablerets and Villars) and Valais (Verbier, CransMontana, Leukerbad, Saas-Fee and Zermatt, among others).
- A. Located in the middle of the train (carriage 4 or 14), TGV Lyria bar provides a service for tasty snacks and meals: sandwiches, hot/cold local dishes, salads, children’s menu, hot and cold drinks, treats are available to eat at the bar or take away. In First class, you can also enjoy the convenience of Lyriapremière service at seat.
- A. Reservation is compulsory on Italo. When you buy a ticket for Italo, the reservation is included. Please note that if have even if you have a Rail Pass which includes Italy, you need a separate ticket to travel on board the Italo. Passholder fares do not apply to Italo.
- A. First class on the Talgo 200 offers large, comfortable reclining seats, friendly staff to serve you drinks and light snacks at your seat and major routes have audio and video programs at your seat. Second class on the Talgo offers generous legroom, bar-buffet car offering a complete selection of food and beverages for purchase and major routes have audio and video programs at your seat.
- A. Dining cars are available on most long distance trains. Normally, you can just walk into most dining cars, sit down, and eat without a reservation, but you are welcome to make a reservation for a meal when mealtime is busy, or when the train attendant announces the opening of the dining car. If your train does not have a dining car, it is likely to offer passengers a buffet bar car. On local trains, there may be an attendant with a snack cart who travels from car to car, selling snacks and beverages. Train Dining cars are part of the train experience and is unrivaled by any other means of transportation. In some trains the quality of the food and the wine is up to the standard of a gourmet restaurant.
- A. Yes, depending on the country you are traveling in. Generally there are local trains that travel the same route as high-speed trains, however they generally take much longer to travel the same route. You will need to weigh the cost of a reservation compared with the time it will take to travel the same route. Example: Lyon to Marseille is generally about 1 hour 45 minutes on the TGV. A local train for this same route would be about 3 and half hours.
- A. Lyria trains offer two different classes of travel. In First class, a delicious cold at-seat meal is offered to you, no matter what time you travel. A large selection of Swiss, French, international magazines and newspapers are also available for your perusal. Onboard taxi booking service is also available from Monday to Friday. Comfortable seats will welcome you in Second class where you can also enjoy the convenience of a bar-buffet car.
- A. Validation of your pass is having a Rail Official at the train station stamp your pass as valid.
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