I am planning to finish a trip and go back to Switzerland using the Nightjet train from Germany.

If I use an Interrail Global pass, I am confused by two overlapping rules that apply:

  • When taking a night train, only the departure day (day 1) must be marked as a travel day; it is not required to "consume" the next day (day 2) if there is no change of trains after midnight

  • The pass allows one outbound day and one inbound day to travel out and back into the country of residence (Switzerland). Those days must be marked on the pass.

The border crossing is in the morning of day 2 at Basel, and I plan to remain on board until it reaches Zurich.

In this situation, which day has to be counted as the inbound travel day? Day 1 or day 2?

  • Assuming that 'remain on board until it reaches Zurich' means you are not changing trains in Basel, day 1 will continue until you leave the train in Zürich. Oct 29, 2022 at 0:05

1 Answer 1


Its day 1

The inbound/outbound journey upgrades a travel day on a flex pass to also allow you to use that travel day in the home country. You can't have an inbound/outbound without a travel day - but you only need to board trains on a travel day.

If you are using a mobile pass the inbound/outbound journey calculation is handled automatically for you in this manner.

It is sort of the opposite of your case but interrail have an example on their website - https://www.interrail.eu/en/interrail-passes/interrail-mobile-pass/mobile-pass-faq/how-can-i-travel-back-home-by-night-train - where someone does need to catch a train in their home country after traveling into the country on an overnight sleeper. As you'd expect this needs 2 travel days but note that you also need to split the overnight train journey into 2 separate steps covering the section inside & outside your home country. This is important as if this step is not completed the inbound journey would be assigned to the first day and you'd then be unable to catch the second train in your home country (even with a spare travel day) as your inbound journey would already have been used and assigned to the day that the overnight train departed.

One thing to be aware of with the rules about overnight train is that you can't travel beyond the final validity of your pass. So if you activate a travel day on the last possible day you can do so you then do have to completely finish by midnight - and cannot stay onboard like normal.

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