Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
An Inter Rail (or Inter-Rail) pass is a train ticket that allows unlimited 2nd class passage throughout the "Inter Rail Community" (IRC) for a defined period of time; as of April 2005, the IRC includes 30 countries, organized into eight zones:
- Zone A - United Kingdom, Ireland
- Zone B - Finland, Norway, Sweden
- Zone C - Austria, Denmark, Germany, Switzerland
- Zone D - Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia
- Zone E - Belgium, France, Luxembourg, the Netherlands
- Zone F - Morocco, Portugal, Spain
- Zone G - Greece, Italy, Slovenia, Turkey
- Zone H - Bulgaria, Macedonia, Romania, Yugoslavia
Albania remains the only country in Europe not in the IRC.
The cost of the pass is based on the zones included and the traveler's age. 16-day passes include one zone, 22-day passes cover any two zones, and month-long passes cover all zones.
The passes are available to those who've lived for at least six months in any of the 30 countries of the IRC, or in any of certain neighboring countries:
- Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania,
- Algeria , Tunisia,
- Cyprus , Malta, and
The pass does not cover travel within the purchaser's country of residence (or for those living in the neighboring countries, the country of purchase).
- 1972: The program was begun, limited to travelers 21 or younger. It covered 21 countries: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, West Germany and East Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and Yugoslavia.
- 1976: the age limit for the pass was raised to 23; it was raised again to 26 in 1979.
- 1982: the six-month residency requirement was introduced.
- 1985: Certain ferry services was included.
- 1991: the end of the Soviet Union led to expansion of the IRC.
- 1994: 29 of the 30 present-day countries are included (all but Bosnia-Herzegovina); the IRC has seven zones (A-C, E-G as in present-day), with Zone D including Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Bulgaria, Romania, and Yugoslavia.
- 1998: Inter Rail passes became available to all ages, with fares based on age. The present-day eight zone system is established, minus Bosnia-Herzegovina.
- 2005: Bosnia-Herzegovina joins the IRC.
- Official website
- Wikitravel article on Inter Rail
- InterRail.net, the in-depth personal website of an Inter Rail traveler named Peter Freisberg, online since 1996
- InterRailing.net, an ad-supported anonymously-run website, with forums for its members
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