I was looking into planning a train trip with a friend from abroad and I realized that getting a Rail pass for him would be a lot more expensive - 371 EUR vs. 253 EUR.

Is there a reason why non-European residents are heavily penalized? Or perhaps the two passes aren't actually fully equivalent?

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    Maybe it's not that the ones are penalized but that the others are subsidized? Commented Apr 7, 2017 at 17:24
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    @dunni It is valid in the residence country for one trip to the border and one trip from the border
    – Crazydre
    Commented Apr 8, 2017 at 15:48
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    It may also just be a matter of "revenue management" -- that is, since travelers from outside Europe are already spending significant money to get themselves to and from Europe, they will probably be willing to pay higher prices for a rail pass, because it will be a proportionally smaller part of their total travel budget. Commented Apr 9, 2017 at 12:13
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    I am amazed this question has not been closed yet, it is impossible to give a factual answer without interviewing those behind the selling and marketing strategees. And even then you might not get an answer beyond 'because that is the way it is.'
    – Willeke
    Commented Apr 16, 2017 at 10:13
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    This question is now obsolete - Eurail and Interrail appear to be the same (source: Eurail/Interrail website).
    – Rory Alsop
    Commented May 3 at 11:17

2 Answers 2


The reason is more likely to be historical, rather than a practical difference with the two passes. As a matter of fact, Interrail used to cover more countries than Eurail with Great Britain being the difference. But as of 2020, the UK is part of Interrail and Eurail, and both programs cover the same 33 countries.

The Eurail-plan was started in 1959 as a way to originally get American visitors to visit European countries. Interrail on the other hand was started in 1972 and originally it was only available for the European youth under 21. Since then both passes have changed a lot and only recently since 2007 have they been sold by the same company. Essentially they started as different products with different purposes during different times.


Currently the prices for Eurail and Interrail appear to be the same (source: Eurail/Interrail website). So the question is now moot.

  • What does moot mean? Commented May 3 at 10:51
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    @JorenVandamme - in this context it means "deprived of practical significance" or "made abstract"
    – Rory Alsop
    Commented May 3 at 11:16

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