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Eurail Dillemma

Travel Forums Europe Eurail Dillemma

1. Posted by running_ci (Budding Member 3 posts) 8y

I am a Nepali student in France, studying here since the past three years. My parents are visiting me, so I decided to get a three person Eurail select pass. However, only after buying the pass, I realized that the pass is only meant for non-European residents.

Although I am not a French citizen or even a permanent resident of France, I have been living here since the past two years and have a temporary resident permit (equivalent of a student visa, you get it if you live in the EU for more than three months). The residence permit is attached as a sticker on one of the pages of my passport.

So my question is, do I still qualify to travel with the Eurail pass (I am a Nepali citizen and would be travelling with my Nepali passport, which also happens to have my French student visa to it which clearly shows that I've been living in France for more than 6 months). I called their customer support and they were quite ambiguous, saying that it should be fine because no one will check my visa, just the first page of my passport. But again,I'm scared because I don't want to be fined while travelling.

People who have experiences with traveling with the Eurail pass, when the train conductor checks your passes, do they also check your passport? If they do, to what extent do they scrutinize it? Just the passport number and the names, or do they even go further and check my visas?

Any answers would be greatly appreciated.

2. Posted by BlankFrack (Respected Member 280 posts) 8y

Hi, until someone with specific experience of using the Eurail pass comes along I can say that I've used the Interrail pass on several occasions (three different trips) and I've never had the train conductor ask to see my passport when using it. Technically they should because they should be checking my passport number matches that on the ticket, but like I say, in 30-40 train journeys I've yet to be asked to show it. I don't imagine it would be any different with Eurail passes as it's the same principle and the same conductors/train companies involved - i.e. they're just as likely to want to check that you're a European resident with an Interrail pass as they are to check that you're not a European resident with a Eurail pass. Even if they did check your passport it would be unlikely that they'd investigate the matter much further than just seeing if the passport number is correct. I really think you'll be fine barring the most unfortunate of circumstances.

3. Posted by running_ci (Budding Member 3 posts) 8y

I just went to the railway office, with the pass and my passport. The officer there looked at it for quite a while and said that is should normally be okay, because although I have a European residence permit, it's not permanent. But then, he was kind of confused himself. But he told me that once the pass is validated, which he could do for me, I should have no problems because the train conductors will only check the passport for my identity. So i have decided to take the risk, and go with the Eurail pass.

4. Posted by gap512 (Budding Member 4 posts) 8y

Hi, I am wondering how this turned out for you. I posted the same question on another thread. I'm hoping that you might get this and share your experience with using the Eurail pass and whether you had any problems.

5. Posted by arif_kool (Travel Guru 1757 posts) 8y

Quoting running_ci

I just went to the railway office, with the pass and my passport. The officer there looked at it for quite a while and said that is should normally be okay, because although I have a European residence permit, it's not permanent. But then, he was kind of confused himself. But he told me that once the pass is validated, which he could do for me, I should have no problems because the train conductors will only check the passport for my identity. So i have decided to take the risk, and go with the Eurail pass.

Eurail pass is available to tourists travelling in Europe on tourist visa, which is not the case with u as u have a work permit. But since u have enquired and already taken the Eurail pass and if it is already validated then u can go for it....

I was in Europe last September and i used my Eurail pass extensively and it is true that once it is validated, the train conductors just see the pass and many a times they dont even ask for the passport.

6. Posted by running_ci (Budding Member 3 posts) 8y

Here comes my experience.....I had NO problems validating the pass, the train staffs are usually confused about this stuff...as i mentioned earlier, the train staff didn't know what to do, and told me that it should not be a problem at all, because i didn't possess a european passport...when i asked him about the residence requirement explicitly, he said that since i was not a PERMANENT resident, it should be fine...

so well, after the pass was validated, everything went on fine...i mean, the railway staff don't check the passport AT ALL...i took around 10-15 trains in 4 countries and they just look at the pass and if you entered the dates correctly....

btw i had also called the EURAIL helpline in the US and they said that since i carry a non-european passport it should be fine....they also emailed the same to me...however, since i was scared at first, i also had a print out of the email, just in case someone brought the issue, either on the train or in the station...

bottom line: The eurail people, the railway staff and everyone associated seemed to be very confused about this residency requirement esp for grey-area cases like mine i.e. possessing a temporary residence permit (student visa, for example) and holding a non-EU passport.....so yoiu can , and should be able to travel with Eurail although you've lived as a student in Europe...

P.S. the above conclusion is based on my experience...so please don't count it as authoritative.....

PPS i won't be checking this website from now on, so any emails or pm won't be answered...sorry guys....