Daily advice to travellers concerned about the impacts of coronavirus
Updates for our train travellers on coronavirus (COVID-19) - Last updated 27 March 2020 with daily updates Monday to Friday.
At Rail Europe we care for the health, safety and satisfaction of our customers. We are endeavouring to process all refunds as quickly as we can and maintain the excellent service we promise at Rail Europe. However, please bear with us as we are all working under far from normal circumstances.
Europe has now become the official epicentre of the coronavirus pandemic. Our Rail Europe headquarters being in Paris, many of our teams are working from home, following government recommendations. Our primary concern, at the moment, therefore, is to preserve the health of our employees and local communities. If this means that our customer service has slowed down, we hope you will understand.
We do recommend that you send your requests for refunds so that we can add them to our list. However, please consider holding off on this if your planned journey is after April, so that we can prioritise the earlier ones. We will attend to all refunds as soon as we can, we promise.
Should we travel at the moment?
Train companies continue to operate in Europe, however some government authorities require that you have a valid emergency reason to travel. If so, you will need specific documentation in order to travel. Please check on the governments’ websites before departure.
I have already booked and don’t want to travel. Can I get a refund?
This depends very much on the train operator you have booked to travel with. Italo and Eurostar, for example, do not offer any exceptional refunds beyond their standard policy. Train operators’ policies change regularly and we will update the details below as soon as we get information. If your train operator is not listed below, then they have not yet offered a refund policy based on coronavirus, but their normal terms and conditions will apply. In some cases, you need to go to the train operator’s website to claim the refunds - we provide all relevant links below.
SNCF trains (including TGV Lyria)
Full refunds or exchanges are offered to all customers who want to postpone or cancel their travel on a TGV, Intercité or TER train.This applies to journeys up until 30 April 2020, and also covers France-Germany TGV, France-Switzerland TGV, France-Spain TGV and France-Italy TGV.
You can apply for a full refund before the departure date by logging into your Rail Europe account. After your scheduled departure time, you can apply under Help/Contact us on the website.
Deutsche Bahn trains
Full refund or exchange for all customers wanting to opt out. Valid for all travel up until 30 April 2020 as long as the tickets were booked by 13 March 2020. You can apply under Help/Contact us on the website.
Eurostar offers a free exchange of all tickets, in the form of a voucher, for journeys between 13 March and 01 June 2020. Vouchers should be used by 30 September 2020, for travel up to 31 March 2021. You can apply directly on Eurostar’s website.
Off Peak and Anytime tickets for all UK journeys can be refunded at no additional cost. Advance tickets can also now be refunded, free of charge, if purchased before 23 March 2020. Valid for travel dates up until 30 April 2020. You can apply under Help/Contact us on the website.
Italo offers a free exchange of all tickets for journeys up to 03 April 2020, in the form of a voucher which is valid for one year. You can apply on Italo’s website which takes you directly to their claim form. Select the category “Refund for health emergency 2020”.
Full refunds are offered on journeys until 03 April 2020 booked with Trenitalia including Eurocity Italy-Switzerland trains. You can apply under Help/Contact us on the website.
Full refunds are being offered to all travellers on Thello trains between Paris and Venice for travel between 10 March - 15 April 2020; for trains between Venice and Paris, 09 March - 15 April 2020; and for all trains between Marseille-Nice-Milan between 10 March and 15 April 2020. You can apply under Help/Contact Us on the website.
Full refund or exchange for all customers wanting to opt out of travel. Valid for all travel until 11 April 2020. Exchange or cancellation of tickets must be done prior to travel dates. You can apply under Help/Contact Us on the website.
Swiss Travel System (STS)
Tickets are fully refundable if cancellation is done until one day prior to the first day of travel. All other requests will be handled case by case. You can apply under Help/Contact Us on the website.
Full refunds of all journeys to and from Italy for all customers, valid until 30 April 2020. You can apply under Help/Contact Us on the website.
All Thalys tickets for journeys 10 March - 30 April are exchangeable or refundable without an additional charge. This is valid up to 2 weeks after the original travel date. All tickets for trips in May and June 2020 are also exchangeable or refundable without extra cost up to 30 days before departure. You can apply under Help/Contact Us on the website.
All travellers who purchased their passes on or after 01 June 2019 and before 01 April 2020 are automatically entitled to an additional 12 month extension of original validity date, as printed on the pass. No exchange is required. Full refunds are being offered on (non-promotion) Eurail passes. Travellers who bought a promotional price pass are entitled to 85% refund. You can apply for refunds under Help/Contact us on the website.
Are all European trains being cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic?
European train operators are updating their train services all the time as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Many services are being cancelled, sometimes at the last minute. Please check on the train operator’s website for timetable updates.
Will I be insured for travel in Europe at the moment?
Note that anyone choosing to travel to a region, against their government’s recommendations, risks invalidating their travel insurance. We advise checking with your travel insurance company for any specific terms and conditions before travelling.
Many thanks for your patience as we continue to inform and, hopefully, reassure you, our valued customers.
Rail Europe Customer Support