We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Has anyone used the organization International Rail

Level Contributor
19 posts
7 reviews
Save Topic
Has anyone used the organization International Rail

Has anyone in Australia used the organization "International Rail" for the booking of train tickets for travel in Europe, and if so are they a reputable and reliable organization ? We will be traveling through Italy and thought we would pre book tickets from Australia.

48 replies to this topic
Imperia, Italy
Destination Expert
for Italian Riviera
Level Contributor
30,637 posts
Save Reply
1. Re: Has anyone used the organization International Rail

If you are travelling through Italy there is no need to use an agent which will have higher costs, and may well choose not to access the cheapest fares for you. Use the train operators' websites.

Use http://www.trenitalia.com/homepage_en.html which accepts English names for Italian cities (except Padova, Mantova and Siracusa). That will introduce you to routes and full fares, and you can find out Italian station names from it.

But http://www.trenitalia.com/ is better for finding cheap fares - click the British flag for English and use italian station names such as Milano Centrale, Rome Termini, Firenze S M. Novella and Venezia S. Lucia. For cheapest fares, book as soon as possible after booking opens 120 days in advance.

Times are not yet available online for dates after June 8.

Trenitalia's cheap regional trains, for which there are no advance reductions and no reserved seats, have fares shown only seven days in advance. Buy tickets for these in Italy.

There is an additional private operator on some routes http://www.italotreno.it/en/

Edited: 19 February 2013, 10:42
Level Contributor
19 posts
7 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Has anyone used the organization International Rail

Thankyou perlizia, , this is very informative information. Would you please advise If we book direct with the operators what form of confirmation do we get and when and how do we get our tickets. Can we also make seat reservations at the time of booking tickets ? Thankyou

Imperia, Italy
Destination Expert
for Italian Riviera
Level Contributor
30,637 posts
Save Reply
3. Re: Has anyone used the organization International Rail

Seat reservations are automatically included in the ticket price. On some trains you can choose seats, but not all.

With bookings made on http://www.trenitalia.com/ for all journeys within Italy, you receive an e-mail with a PDF containing your PNR number and barcode, and train, carriage and seat numbers. Print this off at home, and simply show the ticket inspector on the train when s/he comes around.

Bookings for journeys requiring the use of more than one train made on http://www.trenitalia.com/homepage_en.html give you a code to pick up tickets from a ticket machine in Italy, so use http://www.trenitalia.com instead

Before booking, read the conditions for exchange and refund for each ticket type.

Level Contributor
19 posts
7 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Has anyone used the organization International Rail

Thank you for another comprehensive reply. One more question if we may, it is our understaning that you must validate tickets before embarking on a train. Does the barcode negate this requirment ?

Imperia, Italy
Destination Expert
for Italian Riviera
Level Contributor
30,637 posts
Save Reply
5. Re: Has anyone used the organization International Rail

You do not need to validate any tickets bought online and printed at home. For tickets bought or collected in italy, you must validate Regional tickets for trains without reserved seats, but you do not need to validate tickets which are already only valid in specific reserved seats on one specific train.

Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
213 posts
Save Reply
6. Re: Has anyone used the organization International Rail

I wouldn't bother with International Rail. I contacted them for assistance with Trenitalia reservations (as Trenitalia lists them as the local agent here in Australia). But, after emailing them with the details of the two journeys I wanted to make, they replied with costs on a Eurail Pass. Clearly an attempt to up-sell me.

So I did some further investigation on Trenitalia and found that the reservation process directly on-line with the company was so straightforward that I felt there was no need for any assistance from International Rail at all. Try a few 'dummy' bookings on Trenitalia and you'll see what I mean.

Alternatively, depending on the journeys you wish to make, take a look at Italo Teno.

Bishops Stortford UK
Level Contributor
49 posts
133 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Has anyone used the organization International Rail

May I suggest you use www.seat61.com to do all of your rail research on European rail travel. You simply click on the country you are interested in and all the info and links to relevent sites are there, as well as the latest news on timetables, disruptions, etc. I would advise you to always try to book any rail travel as far in advance as you can with the train company you are travelling with. Many rail booking sites are resellers that charge higher prices than the train companies. Good Luck.

Evanston, Wyoming
Destination Expert
for Page, Grand Canyon National Park
Level Contributor
5,062 posts
155 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Has anyone used the organization International Rail

Agree with Mister_Liam, Seat61.com is a very comprehensive and enjoyable site. The proprietor really enjoys his work.

Level Contributor
19 posts
7 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Has anyone used the organization International Rail

Thankyou all for the very helpful information. We have decided to book direct with the operators and it has proved much cheaper.

Torquay, Australia
Level Contributor
1 post
256 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Has anyone used the organization International Rail

I used this organization for our train travel in Spain this September. After looking at the various options to book directly it was far easier and cheaper to use International Rail. I could ring them and discuss options and not have the language or time differences to deal with. You do have to know when and where you want to travel, but if you have this worked out I would highly recommend this organization.

When you get your tickets you already have a carriage and seat booked for you which makes it far easier to get on the train. Other ways sometimes require you to book your seat even if you have already pre purchased it.

We booked 5 long distance trips and everything was great and it was cheaper than what othe people paid on the ground in Spain.

Reply to: Has anyone used the organization International Rail
Get notified by e-mail when a reply is posted