Are reservations required or optional on EuroCity trains, InterCity trains, & Railjet trains?

Reservations required for IC/EC/RJ trains?
I know I should know this, but I can't find a definitive answer: When using a rail pass on Eurocity / Intercity / Railjet trains, are reservations required? Or just possible?
And for a never-ever traveler who wants to keep options open, is it easy enough to make reservations while there? Are kiosks pretty prevalent and user-friendly, or should we plan some time in for queuing up at a ticket office?
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  • Jeff (Official Rep) May 03, 2013 16:08
    Hi Pam,

    Reservations are highly recommended on Railjet trains (except for Railjet trains operating domestically within Hungary, where reservations would be required).

    Reservations are only required on EuroCity (EC) trains operating internationally between Italy and Germany or Switzerland. Reservations are highly recommended on other internationally operating EuroCity trains and EuroCity trains operating domestically within a country.

    Reservations are required on InterCity (IC) trains operating domestically within Italy but not anywhere else in Europe. In Germany, there are InterCity Express trains on which reservations would be highly recommended, but reservations are typically not necessary on the regular InterCity trains in Germany.

    Reservations are not at all necessary on InterCity trains operating within Switzerland. In fact, the vast majority of trains in Switzerland do not even accept reservations, including Swiss InterCity trains. Even if reservations happen to be accepted on a particular train in Switzerland, they are not at all necessary. In Switzerland, only certain trains designated as specialty scenic trains require reservations.

    We do recommend purchasing any reservations in advance prior to departing for Europe. It can be an unexpected hassle to have to book reservations at the station when you have limited time at a destination, and all you want to do is continue on with your travels. Also, some high-speed trains can sell out very quickly.

    For travel with a rail pass, you would purchase reservations by clicking on 'Book your Rail Pass Reservations' on the homepage of our website, www.raileurope.com.
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