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Eurail Austria Pass (& Swiss Pass) to cover Saalfelden-Salzburg, Berchtesgaden-Saalfelden, Salzburg-Feldkirch & Feldkirch-Interlaken

1. Is the Austrian Rail pass inclusive of the bus journeys where there are no train connections?
2. We want to travel from saalfelden to Salzburg. Is the journey covered?
3. Is the journey from Berchtesgaden to saalfelden covered?
4. We are travelling from austria to switzerland. Can I use the austrian pass from salzburg to Feldkirch and swiss pass from there to Interlaken?
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  • Jeff (Official Rep) April 06, 2012 18:45
    Hi,

    A rail pass covers the ticket costs for different cities in the country or countries included on the pass. Therefore, it would cover travel on the direct trains that connect Saalfelden and Salzburg. These trains do not accept reservations, so the rail pass is all you would need to board.

    Buses in Austria are not covered by rail passes, with the exception of a bus between Graz and Klagenfurt. You would just pay to board buses locally upon arrival.

    A connection from Berchtesgaden to Saalfelden would involve taking a train from Berchtesgaden to Bad Reichenhall, where you would switch to a bus that continues on to Saalfelden. Since Berchtesgaden and Bad Reichenhall are in Germany, this trip would not be covered by a Eurail Austria Pass. Your pass would have to include Germany as well for this to be covered. Since travel from Bad Reichenhall to Saalfelden is by bus, the Eurail Austria Pass would not cover this portion of the route either. You would purchase tickets locally for the short train from Berchtesgaden to Bad Reichenhall and also for the bus that continues on from Bad Reichenhall to Saalfelden. The trains from Berchtesgaden to Bad Reichenall only take 25 in duration, and the bus from Bad Reichenhall to Saalfelden takes just under an hour in duration.

    The Eurail Austria Pass would cover the ticket costs on the direct train from Salzburg to Feldkirch. Trains on this route do require reservations. You would book reservations for this train by clicking on 'Book a Reservation for Your Pass' from the homepage of our website, www.raileurope.com.

    A connection from Feldkirch to Interlaken takes about 3.5 hours in duration and involves 2 train changes along the way; once in Zurich and then once in Bern. The Swiss Pass would not cover the ticket costs for your travel still in Austria from Feldkirch to the border with Switzerland. If you do not wish to use an extra day of rail travel on your Eurail Austria Pass, then you can purchase a separate point-to-point to cover you from Feldkirch to the border. The ticket you would purchase for this would be one from Feldkirch to the town of Buchs, just across the border. This does not mean that you'd have to get off the train in Buchs, it is just so you would be covered for the portion of your travel that is still in Austria, without needing an extra day of rail travel on your Eurail Austria Pass for what is such a short distance.

    Of course, you could always purchase a Eurail Austria-Switzerland Pass, but that wouldn't grant you the same bonuses in Switzerland that the Swiss Pass would.

    Of the connection from Feldkirch to Interlaken, only the train from Feldkirch to Zurich would require reservations.

    For this segment, you would first purchase your actual seat reservations from Feldkirch to Zurich. You would do this by clicking on 'Book a Reservation for Your Pass' on the homepage of our website, www.raileurope.com. Since the Eurail Austria Pass and the Swiss Pass by themselves do not cover the entire route, you would have to indicate that you will be traveling with the 'Eurail Austria-Switzerland Pass' or the 'Eurail Global Pass' when prompted, in order to be quoted the reservation fees. Otherwise, if you indicate that you'll be traveling with just either the Eurail Austria Pass or the Swiss Pass, our website will think that you do not have the necessary ticket/pass to cover the entire route, and you will not be quoted the reservation fees. All that matters is that the ticket costs are covered for the entire journey to be able to travel with these reservations, so it doesn't matter what pass you enter, as long as it covers the entire route.

    You can purchase the additional ticket from Feldkirch to Buchs on our website under 'Check Fares and Schedules' on the homepage. Here you would just do a search for trains from Feldkirch to Buchs on the day you intend to travel. To ensure you are issued the appropriate ticket, just make sure the train you select here corresponds to the train from Feldkirch to Zurich you booked reservations on. You can do this by matching the departure time and the train number. Once again, even though you are booking a ticket that shows Buchs as an endpoint, that does not mean you would get off the train there. You would just remain on the train until it arrives to your destination of Zurich, where you would then change trains to continue for the rest of the connection.

    The connecting trains from Zurich to Bern and from Bern to Interlaken do not even accept reservations, so the Swiss Pass is all you would need to board. You can just view the schedules for such non-reservable trains by entering the cities under 'Check Fares and Schedules' on the homepage of our website and clicking the option to 'Check Schedules'.
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  • Jeff (Official Rep) April 06, 2012 18:49
    While you're in Interlaken, you might want to purchase the Jungfraujoch Top of Europe Pass. This would cover you for travel via a cogwheel railway up to Kleine Scheidegg and then the famous Jungfrau railway through the Eiger Tunnel up to the peak of Jungfraujoch. You can purchase this pass by clicking here: http://www.raileurope.com/activities/....

    If you purchase the Swiss Pass, you would purchase the 'Grindelwald or Wengen-Jungfraujoch/Swiss Pass' option of this pass.
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