Why trains areback on track
Rail travel has never been more popular, offering freedom and flexibility across the world’s extensive networks. Here we talk to YI DING, Business Growth Manager at Eurail, about the options available to Aussie travellers.
Q: Tell us a bit about Eurail and the services that you offer?
A: Eurail offers the ultimate rail experience. With just one rail pass, travellers can access up to 33 different European countries and more than 30,000 destinations.
With pass options starting from four days and extending to itineraries of up to three months, we have something for everyone.
Travellers can use their pass every day within the purchased period, with longer durations recommended to make the most of the multiple cross border rail journey benefits and to maximise the full Eurail experience.
In 2020, Eurail launched the first-ever mobile version of its pass; a paperless, all-in-one digital pass that gives travellers even more freedom and flexibility to discover new landscapes, cities and cultures by train.
So now, Australian travellers can access everything in one app, remain paper free and keep things super simple while discovering and connecting throughout the continent.
Yi Ding, Business Growth Manager
Q: I believe you also offer some attractive travel deals?
A: Yes. Eurail works with a network of more than 100 partners in the travel and leisure industry around Europe to make borderless train travel more appealing, exciting and adventurous for our customers.
The Eurail benefits portal offers the opportunity to feature travel inspiration, destinations, accommodations, discounts, transportation, food & drink, tours and activities to travellers.
Q: Some people might still be a little nervous about travelling overseas. What support do you provide for consumers?
A: Flexibility runs through the whole Eurail experience!
Once purchased, the Eurail pass is sent straight to the user’s mobile phone and they have an 11-month period in which they can start using it.
Eurail passes are also valid for a certain amount of ‘travel days’, depending on the pass the traveller purchases.
This means they can take and make as many train journeys as they wish on those travel days without having to buy additional tickets. Again, providing lots of flexibility and making changes and additions easy.
So, if travel plans are delayed, or if the traveller needs to change a route at last minute for any reason, they have the flexibility to do so with a Eurail pass.
We also have a disruptions page on our website where travellers can get updated information on possible routes disruptions through their journeys.
Q: Why do you think train travel is so popular now?
A: Rail travel is definitely trending. And for many reasons.
It’s more sustainable than flying, it offers more flexibility, avoids lengthy travel to and from out-of-town airports, it’s immersive and cost-effective.
There’s also the nostalgic allure of rail travel, especially around Europe. Post pandemic, travellers are seeking all these things, plus a simpler and slower way of life, and rail travel arguably delivers best on these new needs.
Q: What are the benefits of travelling by rail?
A: It’s flexible. Some trains do ask rail travellers to make a reservation, but in most cases, trains can be boarded by simply flashing the Eurail pass.
It’s immersive. Rail travel is more likely to immerse the traveller deeper into a destination than any other mode of transport. Travelling by train also lets guests enjoy the local way of life; see the destinations along their route, meet the people and hear the stories.
It’s cost-effective. The Eurail pass provides a lot of cost-efficiencies but in addition to this, unlike most short-haul flights, travellers can take luggage on the train free of charge and they will always arrive at the city centre, so they don’t need to bother with lengthy and often expensive airport transfers.
Q: What travel trends are you predicting for 2023 and beyond?
A: Besides rail travel being a travel trend in itself, we’re seeing sleeper trains making a comeback.
A number of new night train services have launched in recent years and have been rivalling planes due to the precious travel time they save by moving from one destination to the next while sleeping.
Travellers are also rediscovering the night-time glamour as well as the simplicity and nostalgic allure of the sleeper train post pandemic.
Q: Finally, what are some of the trips and sights you’d recommend to Aussies?
A: This year we recommend spending some time visiting Eastern Europe, where the Aussie dollar stretches further.
Our best tip however is to give yourself the freedom to move on as you choose. With no set flight schedule to be a slave to stay as long as you want and leave when you’re ready to find somewhere new.