The iconic paper passes of Eurail to go digital after 60 years, Europe


The iconic paper passes of Eurail to go digital after 60 years

Europe is renowned for its idyllic rain journeys and with that comes the iconic Eurail passes. It has always remained loyal to paper passes since its foundation in the year 1959. However, the pandemic has changed the course of history as Eurail has finally decided to go digital, which sounds like the end of an era.

Embracing digital technology is the need of the hour, considering the outbreak of the deadly and highly contagious Coronavirus. All the digital tests were done in the month of June this year, and now Eurail is ready to release its digital rail pass in Italy.

What’s an Eurail pass?

An Eurail pass is a rail pass that allows people to travel through 33 European countries on nearly all railroads along with many famous shipping lines. These paper passes are provided only to non-European residents while for European residents, there is the Interrail Pass, which was introduced in 1972. As per records, the passes, which provide access to 250,000 km of European railway, are used by more than 33000 travellers every year.

The iconic paper passes of Eurail to go digital after 60 years

But now that these paper passes have gone online, these will allow travellers to swap their paper passbooks for a digital app. Before this, people had to pre-order the Eurail passes through the mail or printed at home, which was a challenging task for road trippers. Not only this, there were some strict rules as to how to fill these passes. One could only use ink and not pencil to fill the details on the passes; then, these were validated at the train station before they could be used. So the digital passes will definitely make things simple for the travellers considering the fact that these passes are user friendly. All one needs to do is download an app and board the train and conductors will just scan barcodes.

Till now, Eurail resisted going digital and its paper passes were considered as an ultimate travel souvenir, a reminder of the beautiful journeys. Whenever asked why the reason for the commitment with the paper, Eurail would always give the same answer, which is that it is easy to connect rail systems in 33 countries under one easy-to-use pass. The pass connects hundreds of European destinations, which makes it easy for the traveller to switch between countries with just one easy-to-carry travel document.

The iconic paper passes of Eurail to go digital after 60 years

As per current updates, Eurail in collaboration with Italy’s Trenitalia is planning to launch the first digital versions of its multicountry passes. After this, they will introduce their single-country passes, possibly sometime later in 2020.

As far as prices are concerned, these are value-for-money considering the huge number of destinations one gets to travel with these passes. For a non-European traveller, prices begin at $295 (INR 22092) for four days of rail travel and these are valid only for a month. For three months of unlimited travel (available only for travelers 28 and older), one will have to shell out $1082 (INR 81030). For travellers aged between 12 to 27, the price ranges from $222 (INR 16625) to $812 (INR 60810).

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