hidden europe 60

Legacy Railcards

by hidden europe


So you thought the idea of a discount railcard was something new? Think again - the Swiss Halbtax card was introduced in the 19th century.

Luxembourg’s idea of offering free rail travel (see the previous article) is certainly novel, but many countries across Europe have experimented with allowing discounted travel for travellers prepared to invest in a special card. Such schemes are often regarded as a feature of the modern era, with many cards becoming available in the 1970s as state-owned railways moved away from rigid distance-based tariffs.

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"taxes, fees and charges extra" say the airline advertisements in tiny print, as they hawk low price flights across Europe. But what is included in taxes, fees and charges? And who levies these extras?

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Hurtigruten: frequently asked questions

Readers of hidden europe often ask us about details of the Norwegian coastal voyage. On this page we have gathered together two dozen such questions with our answers. A lot of general information on Hurtigruten is available in brochures. Our focus here is more on the details of life on board.

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Slow is better: the real value of InterRail

“InterRail isn’t the same as in the early days,” came the cry after our 40th-birthday bouquet in honour of InterRail published in hidden europe 37. Several correspondents have contacted us with stories of how InterRail and Eurail have lost their gloss. Many hold against the scheme that there are too many supplements nowadays — unlike forty years ago, when you could just hop on any train and travel where you wanted. But is this true? It's time to put the record straight.