With a 4 country rail pass, do I need reservations for all trains I plan to ride?

If I travel 4 countries by Rail Pass, Do I need reservation for all trains I plan to ride?
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  • Jeff (Official Rep) August 01, 2016 20:31
    Hi Sam,

    A rail pass covers the ticket costs on trains. When applicable, reservations are a supplementary cost to a rail pass. Reservations are required on most high-speed trains, many international routes, and all overnight trains. In Western Europe, most major cities are connected almost exclusively by high-speed trains. Therefore, it is likely that reservations would be required for many of your trips there.

    When you pull up the results of a 'passholder' reservation search on our website, each departure that displays should come attached with a message that says either 'Reservation Required', 'Reservation Recommended', or 'Non Reservable'.

    For travel with a rail pass, you would search for any passholder reservations by clicking the 'Seat Reservations' tab on our homepage (www.raileurope.com), entering a route, and indicating the type of rail pass with which you'll be traveling (i.e. 'Eurail Four Country Select Pass').

    If you would like to verify about a specific route, please let us know.

    Most trains in Europe can be booked within a range of 60 to 120 days of an intended departure date, depending on the train.
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  • Hi Jeff; my wife and i R flying Sept. 14th frm Calif. to Copenhagen but weren't able to fully confirm ability to go until earlier this wk hence, we have no train reservations as yet re buying a set of eurail passes (4 country probably) taking various trains to explore parts of Denmark, Germany, Switzerland, & eastern France. Being of limited means re paying xtra for reservations, would we be essentially forced to simply travel from smaller regional city to city, in order to go south thru Germany, etc.?? In our early 60s, were hoping 2 see 4 countries; but between hotel & rail sleeper costs, not sure we'd be wise now to see more than one or two countries!
    Any advice will B greatly appreciated.

    Lee S.
    • Jeff (Official Rep) August 17, 2016 15:58
      Hi Lee,

      Whether or not reservations will be required really depends on the specific route(s) you'll be traveling along. Conveniently, the high-speed trains in Germany (InterCity Express trains) don't require reservations (even though they are recommended). Therefore, you would be able to board these trains using only your rail pass. However, for such extensive travel through that many countries, you would have to expect to purchase reservations at some point.

      There are not always feasible alternatives to the high-speed trains. Many routes typically have only one or the other (high-speed trains or regional trains). In fact, most major cities in Western Europe are connected almost exclusively by high-speed trains. Therefore, it is likely that reservations will be required for many of your trips there. Considering that, you wouldn't always just be able to show up at a station and expect there to be a regional (non-reservable) train. Regional trains operate along certain routes, just as high-speed trains do. With that said, you are always welcome to look into it and see what there is for a particular route. There may be regional trains; they would just take significantly longer and require multiple connections.
    • Jeff (Official Rep) August 17, 2016 16:00
      Generally, passholder reservations are just a small cost. To get an idea, you can check our website for a particular route that you're interested in. For travel with a rail pass, you would check reservation costs (and purchase reservations) by clicking the 'Seat Reservations' tab on our homepage (www.raileurope.com), entering a route, and indicating the type of rail pass with which you'll be traveling. Generally, reservable trains in these countries can only be booked once within 90 days of an intended date of departure.
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