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For an upcoming trip to Germany, departing from Switzerland, I purchased the corresponding one-country Interrail pass. Sooner, I also booked a sleeper compartment surcharge in a Zurich-Hamburg Nightjet train for Interrail passholders.

Later, I had a doubt, as the Interrail surcharge price class on the OBB website reads "Globalpass". I asked a local Swiss station agent about how to handle the situation. His advice was to purchase a Swiss equivalent second-class train ticket to cover the missing portion. That person was confronted to the issue for the first time and did not seem to be sure.

The situation leaves me in doubt.

  • Are Nightjet sleeper compartments considered second-class regarding passes? Not the couchettes; I mean the full-blown sleepers with breakfast service. I went through the information somewhere but it is difficult to confirm. Other railways sometimes treat those as first-class.

  • Is buying a second-class regular ticket for the missing portion of the trip a correct strategy? I will have the Interrail pass for the German portion + the extra ticket for the Swiss portion + the sleeper Interrail add-on for the sleeper cabin.

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  • I don't know for certain hence this not being an answer, but this definitely sounds right to me.
    – Muzer
    Aug 9, 2021 at 16:36
  • You can have a sleeper with a first or second class ticket: then you just pay the sleeper supplement.
    – Dave
    Oct 6, 2021 at 16:19
  • Can you provide sources to back this up?
    – mdewey
    Oct 7, 2021 at 13:41

1 Answer 1

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One of the interesting things about the NJ 40470 is that it also runs as a normal international IC (nr. 60400). You will see both trains turn up in timetable searches on the SBB and DB websites. Both with exactly the same timetable. You can see the composition of that train here.

As you can see the same train carries upon departure 3 train numbers. The IC coaches in the middle are accessible with any normal domestic or international ticket or pass.

So you can indeed just get a SBB ticket for Zurich - Basel Bad Bf, and hop on this train and stay till Hamburg, using a day on your Interrail Germany pass.

The question that remains is whether you will already be able to occupy your sleeper cabin in Zürich. When this train was still operated by DB the normal sleepers were considered 2nd class, and the deluxe sleepers were 1st. The surcharge for both was the same, but you needed a 1st class ticket for the deluxe sleeper.

OBB is no longer doing that. They only publish one surcharge per accomodation class for people with passes. And the surcharge for the Deluxe sleeper is higher than for the normal one. So I suspect that class of ticket is not relevant.

So what I would do is approach the car attendant of your sleeper in Zürich and explain it to him. Ask if it is OK for you to already occupy your sleeper. If he however insist on doing this by the book just take a seat in the middle (IC) portion, and move to your sleeper at Basel Bad bf.

Also drop an email on Nightjet, and ask them...

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    Boarding the sleeper "in advance" worked out well. The attendant said it was OK. Interestingly they rerouted the train through Schaffausen and Singen that time due to track works, thus not stopping at Basel, and we had a 80-minute delay which was fully caught up during the night. And a rare occasion to see the Rhine Falls from the sleeper.
    – DavGin
    Aug 23, 2021 at 8:20

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