Eurail Pass Hits 60 Years

by David Cogswell
Eurail Pass Hits 60 Years

Eurail passes include Eurostar, Thalys, TGE, AVE, and more: Photo:

The year 2019 marks 60 years since the Eurail pass was introduced. Established in 1959, it gave a generation of American college students and young travelers a ticket to travel freely throughout Europe. Eurail is celebrating its 60th anniversary with streamlined product offerings, added destinations, and price reductions.

The Eurail pass gave travelers an open-ended ticket for as much travel throughout Europe as they could squeeze in during a specified period of time. The idea that a pass would let you get on a train any time and travel as long as you wanted through Europe was highly appealing to young American travelers. Its call to freedom created a mini-revolution in travel and afforded many young Americans an opportunity to travel easily in Europe they may not otherwise have had. More than 70 percent of Eurail passes are sold in either America or Asia.

During its 60 years, the Eurail system has grown and evolved, and today’s Eurail pass provides access to 155,000 miles of railroad tracks throughout Europe. The first Eurail pass back in 1959 included 13 countries, but the number has steadily increased and the pass is now good in 31 countries and a total of 40,000 destinations. For 2019, the company has added three additional countries to the roster, including Lithuania, Macedonia and ... are you ready? Great Britain.

The Eurostar train from France to Britain was incorporated into the system in 2017. Another change for 2019 is the expansion of the Greek Islands pass from 28 to 53 islands.

Mirror of history
The history of the Eurail pass reflects the history of Europe itself. When it first appeared in the late 1950s, the Eurail pass presaged the unification of Europe and the open borders policy that was to be instituted by the European Union in June 1985 with the signing of the Schengen agreement by 14 countries.

In 1991, with the fall of the Berlin Wall and the reunification of Germany, the former East Germany was brought into the Eurail network. After the fall of the Soviet Union, the Eurail system expanded eastward to include the newly independent countries of what had been known as Eastern Europe and was then renamed Central Europe.

By 2009, Eurail pass’s 50th anniversary, the network had expanded to 21 countries.

This year, Eurail is finally pulling Great Britain into its network just as, ironically, Britain prepares to pull out of the European Union … unless it changes its mind.

Streamlined pricing
Eurail has simplified its cost structure so that there are now only two categories of pass: one for a single country, and the global pass that is good for all 31 countries in the system.

Previously there were more variations between one and all. A Select pass could be purchased for two, three or four countries with common borders. Now, purchasing a pass is much simpler and more direct, either one country or all countries. Passes can be purchased for as few as three days’ duration or as long as three months at a time.

Prices for the passes have also been reduced by as much as 37 percent from last year’s prices.

Eurail has also instituted a Senior Discount, with 10 percent reductions for customers 60 years of age or more. Young people, under the age of 27, also qualify for a 10 percent price reduction. In addition, two children under 11 years of age can travel free with one adult.

To help American travel advisors get up-to-speed on the ins and outs of European rail travel, Eurail offers an educational course called the Eurail Academy. The course is comprised of seven chapters. Travel agents who complete the course are named Eurail Specialists. Information on the educational program can be accessed at

Where it goes
The 31 countries that Eurail Pass travels to are: Austria, Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Montenegro, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain,

Sweden, Switzerland, and Turkey.

Eurail’s most popular cities are: Paris, Munich, Florence, Milan, Rome, Zurich, Amsterdam, Brussels, and Vienna.                                                           

Tip of the Day

As travel advisors, we have to be curious. Curiosity leads to impactful connections that pave our road to success.

Jenn Lee, VP of Sales and Marketing, Travel Planners International


Daily Top List

Best Hotels in Toronto

1. The Ritz-Carlton, Toronto

2. Four Seasons Hotel Toronto

3. Hazelton Hotel Toronto

4. Shangri-La Hotel, Toronto

5. The St. Regis Toronto

Source: US News


9 Cruise Ship Innovations That Help Travel Advisors Sell More Cruises

Today’s cruise ships have evolved and innovated in ways that surprise and delight travelers. Here are nine of the biggest changes, all of which can help in-the-know travel advisors sell more cruises.

TMR Recommendations
Top Stories
Perillo Travel Launching Updated App for VR Experiences
Perillo Travel Launching Updated App for VR Experiences

The 360-degree virtual experiences of destinations and attractions are meant to help travel advisors close more sales.

Abercrombie & Kent Launches Two New Luxury Expedition Cruises for 2020
Abercrombie & Kent Launches Two New Luxury Expedition Cruises for 2020

A sweeping 48-day voyage in the Arctic combines all of the tour operator's luxury offerings and spans five Arctic regions.

Tour Operators Scramble After U.S. Ends People to People Travel to Cuba
Tour Operators Scramble After U.S. Ends People to People Travel to Cuba

While the new regulations will put an end to many businesses, some tour operators will continue to offer programs that are compliant with new regulations

Perillo’s Learning Journeys Take Off
Perillo’s Learning Journeys Take Off

The iconic tour operator’s special interest product, which targets travelers’ interests rather than destinations, is catching on with younger consumers.

Former Travel Bound BDM Named Avanti’s Southwest Regional Sales Director
Former Travel Bound BDM Named Avanti’s Southwest Regional Sales Director

New sales director was also a travel agent, and she will give more focused attention and service to advisors selling the brand.

G Adventures New Family Tours Target the Gap in the Family Market
G Adventures New Family Tours Target the Gap in the Family Market

The brand set out to make the tours affordable and accessible, and to take family members of all ages to iconic destinations together.

News Briefs
TMR Report Cards & Outlooks