All rail passes come with bonus transportation privileges. These extras usually entitle the pass holder to free or discounted rides on certain local public transportation systems, lake steamers, riverboats, buses, funiculars, cable cars to mountain tops, sometimes even discounts on hotels and museum entrance. Each pass has its own set of perks, most of which are spelled out in the documentation received with the pass.
Eurailpasses and Europasses, for example, qualify for special fares on high-speed premier trains such as Thalys, AVE, Artesia and Eurostar. On the latter, the regular one-way 1st class fare London to Paris on the Eurostar is $219. With a Europass or Eurailpass the price is $155.
Here is a summary of some of the extras offered with the various passes.
Eurail & Europass
For Travel in Germany
• Discount on normal fares Travemünde to Trellborn (Sweden) ferry on the TT-Line.* 50% off
• Discount on full fare aboard TR-Line Rostock - Trelleborg ferry.* 50% off
• Reduced fare on Freiburg-Schauinsland rack railway.
• Boat day trips operated between Passau and Linz (Austria) by Wurm & Kock. 50% off
• Mountain railroad Garmisch-Partenkirchen-Grainau-Zugspitzplatz and some cable cars in area. 25% off
• Europabus routes #189 and #190/190A, May through December, primarily from Frankfurt south on the Romantik and Castle Roads. 75% off
* Eurail only
For Travel in Switzerland
• Lake steamers on lakes Biel, Brienz, Geneva, Lucerne, Murten, Neuchâtel, Thun and Zürich. Free
• Boat service Schaffhausen-Kreuzlingen. Free
• Boat service on Lake Constance between Rorschach and Romanshorn. 35% off
• To the summit of Mt. Pilatus (near Lucerne) by funicular from Alpnachstad, as well as by cable car from Kriens. 35% off
• Entrance fee to Transport Museum Lucerne. 35% off
• Bürgenstock funicular. 35% off
• Jungfrau Region Railways. 35% off
• Vitznau/Rigi Railways. 35% off
• Good on Disentis-St. Moritz segment only of the Glacier Express. Add the rest for $98 plus reservation fee.
For Travel in Austria
• Puchberg am Schneeberg - Hockschneeberg rack railway. 10% off
• St. Wolfgang -Schafbergspitze rack railway. 15% off
• Boats operated from May to October by Austrian Railways on Lake Wolfgang. 20% off
• Boats operated by Austrian Railways on Lake Constance. 50% off
• Day-trips between Passau and Linz by 'Wurm & Kock'. 50% off
• Bicycle rentals at railway stations. 50% off
• Boats operating between Melk, Krems and Vienna. (DDSG - Blue Danube Schiffahrt GmbH) 15% off
German Rail Passes
Travel to Other Countries
Pass holders can purchase additional tickets for travel to any destination in Austria (pass already includes Salzburg), Denmark and the Czech Republic.
• Austria excursion: 1st class $60; 2nd class $42
• Denmark excursion: 1st class $45; 2nd class $30
• Czech Republic excursion: 1st $40; 2nd $25
These tickets are available at German Rail Pass Aid Offices upon presentation of a valid German Rail Pass.
River and Lake Trips
• Ships of the Kön-Düsseldorf Rheinschiffahrt AG, between Cologne and Mainz on the Rhine and the Mosel route between Koblenz and Cochem.
• The payment of a supplement is needed for a trip on a hydrofoil. Ships with cabins are not included.
• On the Lake of Constance German Rail Pass holders are granted a 50% reduction on all steamers operated by Bodenseeschiffahrtsbetriebe (BSB).
Swiss Rail Passes
The Swiss Pass and the Swiss Flexipass are accepted by the four Swiss speciality trains: Glacier Express (lunch reservations made locally only), William Tell Express, Bernina Express, and the Golden Pass. Seat reservations, however, are mandatory and range from $11 to $14. The seat reservation and meal on the William Tell is $47. On the Bernina Express the reservation is $14 plus $34 for train and bus through Italy.
• Unlimited travel on lake steamers.
• Unlimited travel on 30 major city transportation systems.
• Unlimited travel on all postal and most of the private bus lines.
• 25% discount on excursions to most mountain tops.
• Special rates for bicycle rental at major train stations.
Austria Rail Passes
• Discounts on steamers and bikes.