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Student status + transfer time + print reservations?

  • 16 September 2022
  • 4 replies
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Hi, 

Some other questions come to my mind, because I am going on an interrail trip very soon and I am nervous. I am afraid something will go wrong.

I bought a Youth Pass because I am 25 years old. I do not know now, whether I should be a student or it is only by age? I am a student in my home country, but student card is not valid for travel abroad anyway. I hope I did not mess this up and I have the right pass. 

How is it with trains in Switzerland in general? Are they always on time as they say? I think there are some exceptions. I ask because sometimes there is 5 minutes to change a train and I know it is hardly to do so, but the next train goes in one hour. More than 10 minutes is ok? 

And I know I do not have to do reservations for domestic trains in Switzerland, but when I want to go with a panoramatic train or a cogwheel and the reservation is recommended or required, they say I should print it. Do I have to print it or just show it on my phone? I will not show all reservations except mandatory ones to the conductor, so I guess is not necessary to print it. Recommended reservation is only for me to show somebody who occupied my place. 

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Best answer by Angelo 16 September 2022, 16:27

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Userlevel 7
Badge +8

It is only by age. You need only a valid ID card or Passport (this one that is on your Interrail Pass). 

In Switzerland almost everything is on time, but it can happen than something does not run like planned, but not often. Use the website of Swiss railways sbb.ch or the SBB app to know how much time they suggest changing trains. Interrail.eu and the app say always 5 Minutes. The Swiss app knows where it is possible in 3 minutes and where you need more time.

I suggest buying the reservation for the panoramic trains via the train company/website of the train and not via interrail.eu. There you get official information if you have to print it or not. Interrail says for every reservation to print it, but most of the time it is not correct, and they accept it also as PDF on the phone. 

Userlevel 6
Badge +9

If you have easy access to a printer I always print reservations, not least because they are a lot easier to shove in somebody’s face when they are sat in your reserved seat. In Italy we had printouts of reservations on the table and the inspectors didn’t even look at our mobile passes.

Sure pdfs are often accepted but why take the risk? When you book in a station they invariably give you a printed copy.

Userlevel 7
Badge +4

Hey, I don’t know which panoramic trains you plan to take, but some might not be included in Interrail (e.g. the ones in Jungfrau area and some other mountain railways).

Reservations on phone are fine in Switzerland as long as there is a QR code to scan (but in general for the normal routes included in Interrail you don’t need a reservation).

About being on time: Swiss trains usually have quite some buffer in their travel time, so that they arrive on time. I travel a lot in Switzerland with Interrail (almost every weekend) and would say 95% of the times the connections work. If it is written on sbb that the connecting time is (e.g.) 2 mins, then it will be sufficient. In Sagliains for example connection time is 1 minute and that connection works :D. 
BUT: if there is a problem on the network, then that might affect a lot of trains… this year had a 3 hour delay in Switzerland once. 
On this weekend I used probably around 15 trains in Switzerland and two of them were delayed - once 6 minutes and once 5 minutes. That was it

Thank you for clarrification. It helped a lot. 

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