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Europe Trains Guide Forum  |  General discussion  |  Train fares and tariffs  |  train discounts for seniors
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Author Topic: train discounts for seniors  (Read 4133 times)
mike
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« on: August 05, 2015, 11:13:30 am »

I am about to celebrate my 65th birthday with a trip through Europe and see that some European countries offer free or discounted train tickets to EU citizens, or in the case of Hungary, to anyone in this age group.  However I have been unable to find a comprehensive list of these countries showing associated costs, registration requirements and benefits.

After reading your 'tips and tricks', is it possible to book a free, or discounted ticket, to a country's border and purchase, from the same station, a paid ticket across the border to my destination.  Are the ticket staff happy to accommodate such a purchase or is this ticket splitting frowned upon? 

I’m thinking of planning a trip that makes the most of these bargains - while I still can!

Thank you and congratulations on maintaining such a useful website.
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tUt
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« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2015, 01:39:22 pm »

I am about to celebrate my 65th birthday with a trip through Europe and see that some European countries offer free or discounted train tickets to EU citizens, or in the case of Hungary, to anyone in this age group.  However I have been unable to find a comprehensive list of these countries showing associated costs, registration requirements and benefits.
Never seen such list or any place where all this things will be gathered together. Perhaps the reason for that is that it's simply too many countries with varying conditions of use of such tickets (e.g. age, citizenship, need for additional senior rail card etc.). Anyhow, best and optimal way will be just check each train company in those countries you would like to visit. This way you will get up to date relevant info.
After reading your 'tips and tricks', is it possible to book a free, or discounted ticket, to a country's border and purchase, from the same station, a paid ticket across the border to my destination.  Are the ticket staff happy to accommodate such a purchase or is this ticket splitting frowned upon?
Well, all the tricks we share are totally legit and in accordance to rules. I don't remember that we ever advised to break the rules or go for some illegal manipulations with train tickets. We just look at the situation with tickets & tariffs a bit differently than majority of passengers --> knowledge of tariff systems and experience allows us to find cheaper options (e.g. combination of couple tickets instead of one through, buying international ticket instead of domestic and alike tricks). Majority of train conductors don't care much as far as you have the ticket covering the journey. Some of them might understand that you playing some ticket tricks, but since all these things are legit and you basically simply exploit the loopholes rail companies leave you, they can't do anything.   

I’m thinking of planning a trip that makes the most of these bargains - while I still can!
Taking into consideration your ip address, you aren't EU citizen, right? In this case using your age in order to receive certain discount on point-to-point tickets makes sense in very limited number of cases. Simply because all these senior discounts are subsidized (usually by state) and as result offered either only to countrymen or EU citizens at best. Plus you shouldn't be tempted to think that tickets with discount for seniors is something extremely cheap/worthy - usually discount isn't very big + in many cases you can actually get a better deal for usual "adult" ticket.

Anyhow, optimal course of action here is deciding your app. itinerary (or at least list of places you want to visit). Once you do so, we would be glad to help, since with that info we can already give more or less clear advise in terms of what's your best (moneywise/hassle) options on each leg.
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arrivans
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« Reply #2 on: April 01, 2016, 12:00:14 pm »

There is just one general overview, this was printed in the magazine Todays Railways, nr 201, from sept.'12. I was closely associated with it and have access to the draft. It was not 100% correct, nor 100% complete and there are also of coruse changes since then.
Its too much to quote all, but the ''best buys'' for EU-coitizens ONLY!! are:
HU-free travel from 65, also on bustrammetro, but suplement for fast train (potdijak) and the obligatory REServation for IC still has to be paid-same for buses. Just show ID.
SK-FREE train travel on ZSR ONLY from 62, but first you must get a customercard, with foto, from any station/desk and then get a free ticket from the counter, for 1 train valid only.
Disocunts of 10/20/25/30/33/40/50% or whatever-may vary with time, day of week, season, line with just ID, from 60/62/63/65/67/70 yrs or whatever are on offer in PL-PKP, FI, FR, DK. BE offers dayreturns for just 6 eur fixed price.
Sometimes you first need to buy a card to get the discount, this may simple be the general discount card-with or without reduction in the price. F.e. in Spain=ES its called Carta Dorada and cost just 6 eur for a full year-% depends on day and train-sort. Quite often the cheap advance fixed booked fares (sparpreis or sparschiene) are even cheaper though.
However, most common on the continent is free, nearly free or reduced travel, also on local bustram, in limited area around home on long-time season tickets, off peak only. Thus this excludes any casual visitor.
ON egtre.info=a kind of wiki for trains or wikitravel for that country there is usually some info on it.
 (Maybe I can try to update this overview and get it posted on this site, as TR has stopped editing its yearly cheap passes/fares booklet).
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tUt
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« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2016, 10:46:28 am »

Thanks for the info arrivans. We've been thinking about making a separate page to list all those "seniors" discount on railways across Europe & posting it not even on the forum, but in the advice section of europetrainsguide.com
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arrivans
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« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2016, 12:22:27 pm »

In fact I thought of the same, but was hesitating to which side would be best. Also have to inquire about possibel copyright (though I cannot think of much against it).
More or less the same for what TR in the past published every year as separate booklet-free for subscriptions, which listed all known passes etc. I'll get back to you when I know more about it. + hope to be able to use your expertise re Mid/East Eur railways.
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tUt
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« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2016, 07:25:14 pm »

Also have to inquire about possibel copyright (though I cannot think of much against it).
Imho, no need. We'll just make a page about senior discount/cards from scratch and then you can take a look and give your suggestions/corrections ;)
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Anatoly2002
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« Reply #6 on: August 11, 2017, 02:55:32 pm »

Quote from: europetrainsguide.com/Countries/Turkey/Turkey-TCDD.html
Turkish citizens 60-65 years of age receive 20% discount on the domestic (within Turkey) TCDD tickets, while passengers over 65 years of age receive 50% discount
Could you please confirm that? I have anotherr info:
Quote from: editor@railturkey.org, private message
There’s no written rule for excluding foreigners.
Thank you.
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tUt
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« Reply #7 on: August 11, 2017, 08:40:43 pm »

Well, if we aren't mistaken before there was a note regarding "Türk uyruklu" (i.e. Turkish nationals) in this case, now it's not there, so you can definitely try to get the discount. Why not? However, knowing the TCDD ticket counters (especially not on major stations), don't be surprised if the cashier will refuse to issue a senior ticket (either knowingly or just due to lack of knowledge)
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Anatoly2002
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« Reply #8 on: August 14, 2017, 07:32:58 am »

Thanks for useful link.  I plan to buy tickets for high-speed train Ankara-Istanbul online, in adwance. Actually, buyng tickets with a 50% discount is not difficult. But will not there be problems with ticket controllers?
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tUt
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« Reply #9 on: August 15, 2017, 11:21:26 am »

But will not there be problems with ticket controllers?
In this case I'm afraid the only way to be 100% sure is to ask Turkish railways (TCDD) directly (you can find the contacts on the same website). Simple reference to the website might not be enough, especially in the situation when ticket conductor probably won't speak English and will not have experience with non-Turkish senior passengers.
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Anatoly2002
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« Reply #10 on: August 15, 2017, 01:57:18 pm »

In this case I'm afraid the only way to be 100% sure is to ask Turkish railways (TCDD) directly (you can find the contacts on the same website). Simple reference to the website might not be enough, especially in the situation when ticket conductor probably won't speak English and will not have experience with non-Turkish senior passengers.
I agree with you. But I can't find any e-mail on that website and their Customer Relations Management System asks local phone number to send login/password. I've googled some TCCD e-mails but no luck - message rejected or mailbox is full.
Anyway thank you for trying to help.
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« Reply #11 on: October 01, 2017, 01:11:28 pm »

Please Note in Austria the situation is very difficult depend on the Ticket/ Area a "ÖBB Vorteilscard" is need who cost 29€ / 365Day.
A Senior Ticket could cost more than a Regular ÖBB Ticket!
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