booked trains and can't get on a train

  • 17 March 2023
  • 3 replies

Badge +2

I am trying to select trains for a number of trips over europe. 

ALL the trips I’m looking at are saying no seat reservations available.

I’ve gone on to OBB site to try book just seat only - and the site is saying no tickets available on multiple trains in the day (e.g. La Spezia-Milan - mid May).  

  1.  Is this saying because it is a busy period and popular route that my chance of booking seats is over?
  1. My concern is that i go to get on a train with my eurail pass and the train is physically full, and the next train and the next train and I can’t get on.   Is this likely to happen?

I’m wishing I never purchased the pass, as it would have been easier for me to buy direct a ticket through the train company online and had a physical ticket booked (even without seat reservation).

Can someone please explain.  I am finding this very hard to work out. 

3 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +8

If you give the exact details (route, departure date and time) of the trains you want to make reservations for, then the Community can help you with advice. There can be a number of reasons why you are unsuccessful with making reservations. 

Userlevel 5
Badge +3

You are surely trying to booking using the “seat-only” option. It doesn’t work and that’s “normal”.

You should go through the process of buying a ticket but you add “Interrail/Eurail Pass” as a discount. It should then work.

Reservations are only possible on IC trains for 3€ on that route. There are regional trains you can take too with a few changes, just hop on and hop off.

You board the train and 99% of the time you’ll find a seat. In the rare case there are no free seats, you can stay on the train for sure and take someone’s seat at the next stop.

You’ll never be denied boarding except on trains with mandatory reservations of course

Userlevel 5
Badge +3

This is the answer I already gave you about that same route. Did you read it ?


The Intercity trains (with mandatory reservations) seems full yes but don't worry there are reservation-free regional trains where you just hop on and off as you want. No need to book anything for these trains (it's not possible anyway).

You look the schedule on or (filter regional trains) and then simply board.

Let me know if it's still not clear

Edit : an example would be

- R La Spezia Centrale 12:15 - Sestri Levante 13:19

- R Sestri Levante 13:28 - Genova P. Principe 14:46

- RE Genova P. Principe 15:46 - Milano Centrale 17:35

All reservation-free, nothing to book. Just hop on and off


Nobody on regional trains has seat reservations so you have the same “rights” as people with regular tickets to be on the train. It is very very rare that a train is so full that you cannot even stand. Never seen that in my life. Don’t worry. If you find that the train is too full for your liking, take the next one, usually an hour later.