Idyllic train journeys through Europe are all on every traveller’s bucketlist. These were often accompanied by the equally iconic Eurail paper passes. However, taking COVID-19 safety measures into consideration, the passes are now going digital. This will be the first time since its foundation in 1959, that Eurail will have an e-pass.
A Eurail pass allows people to travel through 33 counties in Europe on any railroads and many famous shipping lines. These paper passes are provided to non-European residents while the residents get the Interrail Pass. According to the company, more than 33,000 travellers use the pass gaining access to 250,000 km of railway, every year.
Now, for the first time in over 60 years, Eurail travellers can access an all-in-one mobile pass from the rail’s planner app for convenient and contactless travelling. The new pass is available on the Eurail webshop, with an additional single country pass, to follow later this year.
Trenitalia being Italy’s primary train operator, will be the inaugural carrier of the digital pass. With the e-pass, passengers will be able to manage their travels from their personal devices. Eurail has also initiated a field testing and training programme for Trenitalia’s ticket inspectors to ensure a smooth transition from the age-old paper-punching tradition.
The launch of the e-pass in Italy is the first of a continuous digitisation project across Europe, aimed at a completely digital pass system. The tech initiative project has been in the pipeline for many years now, and will finally create a centralised distribution system for Eurail passes while providing easier access.